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In Good Company- Betsy Youngquist

Betsy Youngquist

Photograph by Nels Akerlund Photography + Video

124 N Main St., Rockford 

For Betsey Youngquist, there's no place she'd rather be an artist than right here in Rockford.

"I think this is a wonderful place for the arts," says the Rockford native. "I travel all over the world and I meet people who are always asking me about Rockford. There is so much artistic talent here that people may not be aware of."

Over the past 20 years, Youngquist has exhibited her work all over the world including the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., the VIDA Museum in Borgholm, Sweden, and the International Doll Show in Kiev, Ukraine.

Youngquist is a found object based artist, meaning she incorporates pieces that may or may not be art material into her works of art. She started by applying beads to the surface of her watercolor paintings years ago, and has continued to carry that into other forms of art. Working with sculptor R. Scott Long in designing and constructing the forms, the surfaces are encrusted with beads and found materials in a mosaic process, many times using fragments of old porcelain dolls. "I love being in the creative process, and letting the art flow through me," she says.

As with any artist, Youngquist gets a myriad of reactions from her art. "There's something in what I create that brings joy to most people," she says. "Not all, but most are happy. The greatest response I get is when someone smiles. That's the true litmus test." 

(Written by Paul Arco) 

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