CREATIVE TRANSFORMATIONAL...

Artists

Since its inception, CRE8IV: transformational ART has highlighted 21 lead artists creating 34 large-scale murals in Rockford, Loves Park, Rockton, Roscoe and Pecatonica. Some artists work solo, while others work in a team. Artists range from local and regional to national and even international creators.

2022 Artists |  2021 Artists  |  2019 Artists  |  2018 Artists

2022 Artists

Jump to Artist: Jenny Roesel Ustick & Atalie Gagnet  |  Thomas Agran   |  Brett Whitacre  |  Dustin Eckhardt  |  Anthony Lewellen  |  Jenny Mathews  |   OhYa Studio  |  Michael Cooper 

Jenny Ustick & Atalie GagnetNo Rinky Dink

No Rinkydink are Jenny Ustick and Atalie Gagnet, joining together with their years of mural experience, and a dedication to craft and collaboration. They feel strongly about connecting with and honoring the communities where they are invited to work.

Jenny Roesel Ustick is Associate Professor of Practice in Art at the University of Cincinnati. She has been painting murals regionally and nationally since 2008, and has been muralist in residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Graniti, Sicily.

Atalie Gagnet of Dayton, Ohio is a mural graphics and sign painter since 2003. She has painted for the Guggenheim and Architectural Digest for Art Basel Miami. She is driven by serving small businesses and communities through her work.

Mural Location: Nicholson Properties
206 7th Street Rockford, IL 61104 (North facing)

Mural Location: Novedades Azteca
815 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61104 (East facing)
 

Thomas AgranThomas Agran

Born in Kentucky, raised in Ohio, and currently residing in Iowa City, Iowa, Thomas Agran is very interested in the Midwest -- for both its charms as well as its challenges. He is particularly dedicated to the Midwestern landscape, its total transformation through agriculture, and the political, social, and environmental consequences of that change. Some of his paintings also explore the complicated nexus of food, agriculture, nostalgia, and marketing. Agran has taught painting and drawing at the university level since 2011, and worked for 3 years as the Director of Public Art for the Iowa City Downtown District. In addition to his studio work, he has designed, executed, managed, and mentored dozens of mural projects -- from private commissions to large municipal state work in historically sensitive areas to community engaged and participatory mural and public art projects. In addition to his studio practice, mural work, and teaching, Agran also works as a consultant for murals and other public art projects and programs.

Mural Location: 
10536 Main St. Roscoe, IL 61073 (North facing)
 

Brett WhitacreBrett

This is not Brett’s first mural in the 815. Brett joined us in 2019 and 2021. His other works can be found at Rockford MakerSpace, CD Source in Loves Park, and in Pecatonica on the corner of Main & 8th Street. This year he was back in Loves Park just down the road from his 2021 project. His project consists of over 100 colors and is his most colorful mural to date.

Mural Location: 

315 Elm St. Rockford, IL 61101 (West facing)
 

 

Mural Location: ROTD Crafter's Corner

5545 N 2nd Street Loves Park, IL 61111

Dustin EckhardtDustin

Dustin Eckhardt is mural artist & illustrator living in Rockford, IL. His work showcases vibrant colors and clean illustrative line work that explores themes of nature, curiosity, introspection, and more. You can find some of his work around Rockford, as well as the greater areas of Chicago IL and Madison WI.

Mural Location: Rocky's Bar & Grill

5314 N. 2nd Street Loves Park, IL 61103 (North facing)
 

 

Anthony Lewellenanthony

Anthony is a Chicago based multidisciplinary art maker. In his formative years he was an innovative figure within Chicago’s graffiti culture and is still active to this day. Early on he made a name for himself in the Midwest and beyond hallmarked by street work that featured a simple bold palette and emotionally complex characters born out of direct observation and digestion of life in the city. His work has come to include a growing body of large-scale public murals along with numerous private commissions. Highly prolific in the studio as well Lewellen’s work is always building upon a highly personalized visual vocabulary rooted in a love of drawing that continues to evolve and grow. The elements of this visual language are quintessentially Midwestern and even more precisely quintessentially Chicago, consistently appearing in his work. The images he creates seem to evoke unspoken narratives written in the urban landscape like images torn from a story. He continues to live and work on the cities North West side.

Mural Location: Comprehensive Community Solutions
917 S. Main St. Rockford, IL 61101 (North & South facing)
 

Jenny MatthewsJenny

Jenny is a visual artist from Rockford, IL, who specializes in everything from tiny watercolor illustrations to big acrylic murals. Jenny’s prolific style allows her to obsess and work on extensive series of small things as well as large-scale singular pieces. Her work has been on display at the Rockford Art Museum and can currently be seen at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, IL. Her small illustrations are published in many children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Artist Instagram

Mural Location: The Nowegian
1402 N. Main St. Rockford, IL 61103 (North facing)
 

OhYa Studio-Ray Mawst & Brian KehoeOhYa

Ray Mawst and Brian Kehoe painted their first mural together in 2019. Brian started making murals on his own with his own freelance mural company in 2017, but the two realized they made a great pair and founded OhYa Studio in 2020. It’s obvious when viewing the Rockford mural that they were making the right choice to work together.

Mural Location: Ignition Studios
1444 Myott Ave Rockford, IL 61103 (West facing)
 

Murals & More -Micahel CooperMurals more

Michael Cooper has been painting large scale murals for about three decades. He founded Murals & More LLC in 1990 with is wife, Mickie. He is most well known for his attention to detail and hyper realism. Michael teaches classes at his studio, runs seminars throughout the country, and even has an instructional DVD on how to paint murals.

Mural Location: Bill Doran & Co.
707 W. Jefferson Rockford, IL 61101 (South & East facing)
 

 

2021 Artists

Jump to Artist: Thomas Agran  |  Yulia Avgustinovich  |  Rafael Blanco  |  Fatherless  |  Lisa & Libbie Frost  |  Sam Kirk  |  Stuk One  |  Jenny Roesel Ustick & Atalie Gagnet  |  Brett Whitacre

Thomas AgranThomas Agran

Born in Kentucky, raised in Ohio, and currently residing in Iowa City, Iowa, Thomas Agran is very interested in the Midwest -- for both its charms as well as its challenges. He is particularly dedicated to the Midwestern landscape, its total transformation through agriculture, and the political, social, and environmental consequences of that change. Some of his paintings also explore the complicated nexus of food, agriculture, nostalgia, and marketing. Agran has taught painting and drawing at the university level since 2011, and worked for 3 years as the Director of Public Art for the Iowa City Downtown District. In addition to his studio work, he has designed, executed, managed, and mentored dozens of mural projects -- from private commissions to large municipal state work in historically sensitive areas to community engaged and participatory mural and public art projects. In addition to his studio practice, mural work, and teaching, Agran also works as a consultant for murals and other public art projects and programs.

Mural Location: Magpie
126 N. Madison St. (south facing)
MURAL INFO

Yulia AvgustinovichYulia Avgustinovich

Yulia was born and grew up in Baranovichi, a small town in Belarus. At the age of 16, Yulia went to Minsk and studied art in college receiving a degree in classic painting and teaching art. She started her career as a muralist in 2002 and completed her first outdoor mural in 2008 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Yulia states, "After accomplishing my first public art projects and wall murals, the feeling of fulfillment and the amazing feedback I received from the public confirmed that I was on the right path."

Mural Location: J-Bear's
311 S. Main St. (south facing)
MURAL INFO

Rafael BlancoRafael Blanco

Native of Alicante (Spain), Rafael Blanco is a contemporary artist fascinated with identity, human expression, and diversity & inclusion as a main focus in his work. Trained as a classical studio painter, Blanco has been, since 2014, transitioning to public art, especially to large scale murals.

Blanco attended Florida Southern College (2000-02) and graduated with a BA in Studio Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California (2002-04). After receiving his MFA in Painting & Drawing from the University of Nevada, Reno (2010-2013), he worked as the Art Program Coordinator at Feather River College until 2019.

Currently, he works as Assistant Professor at Elmhurst University, where he teaches Drawing, Painting, and Art History. Blanco lives in the Chicago area with his family.

Mural Location: Resale Shop
1019 S. Main St. (north facing)
MURAL INFO

FatherlessFatherless

Fatherless is a print collective from Rockford, Illinois, that started in 2010. They have gained international attention with their print, installation and commission work using a lurid palette and bold graphic sense. The members operate as a unit collaborating freely with each other's ideas and imagery. This process does not reveal any individual artists or "father" but rather an amalgam of the whole. Each piece is a one off monoprint that will never be repeated. The collective power of the four individuals allows for a wide range of ambitious projects that satirizes what they see as "our consumer driven, media saturated, disposable culture." Artists consist of Javier Jimenez, Greg Lang, Dave Menard, and Ben Rider (UK).

Mural Location: Jumping Joe's
603 W. State St. (west facing)
MURAL INFO

Mural Location: Social
509 E. State St. (west facing)
MURAL INFO

Lisa & Libbie FrostLisa Frost

Nationally recognized artist Lisa Frost's mission is to spread cheer throughout the land. Lisa is the owner of Lisa Frost Studio, located in Rockford, Illinois. As a native and current resident, she is dedicated to her art and giving back to her community. Libbie is 20 years old and attends Notre Dame. She plans on pursuing college in business and an art related field.

Mural Location: Rockton Food & Spirits
121 W. Main St., Rockton
MURAL INFO

Sam KirkSam Kirk

Sam Kirk is a multidisciplinary artist, who explores culture and identity politics through her creations. Her artwork focuses on a variety of intersections which encompass a call to celebrate differences and enact change. Her paintings include vivid powerful images of women, members of the LGBTQIA community, and those who have historically been underrepresented. Her work celebrates these people and the journeys that have made them who they are.

Mural Location: Luna Datura's Curious Gifts
117 S. 3rd St. (north facing)
MURAL INFO

Stuk OneStuk One

Ryan "Stuk One" Lape is a Chicago-based artist and a force in the nationwide graffiti scene for more than 20 years. Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Stuk One specializes in small to large-scale mural work, illustrations, canvas work, merchandise design, inked drawings, and typography.

Utilizing mediums ranging from aerosol paints and markers to acrylic paints and inks, Stuk One pushes the limits of perception with his unique design aesthetics and advanced applications. Fans of Stuk One instantly recognize his bright color schemes and unique compositions, combined with surgically clean lines and design elements. Clients ranging from apparel companies and music groups, to restaurants and residential art collectors, all utilize Stuk One for his unique versatility and talents that provide and endless menu of effective design possibilities.

Mural Location: Jumping Joe's
603 W. State St. (east facing)
MURAL INFO

Jenny Roesel Ustick & Atalie GagnetAtalie Gagnet and Jenny Ustick

No Rinkydink are Jenny Ustick and Atalie Gagnet, joining together with their years of mural experience, and a dedication to craft and collaboration. They feel strongly about connecting with and honoring the communities where they are invited to work.

Jenny Roesel Ustick is Associate Professor of Practice in Art at the University of Cincinnati. She has been painting murals regionally and nationally since 2008, and has been muralist in residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Graniti, Sicily.

Atalie Gagnet of Dayton, Ohio is a mural graphics and sign painter since 2003. She has painted for the Guggenheim and Architectural Digest for Art Basel Miami. She is driven by serving small businesses and communities through her work.

Mural Location: La Chiquita
1108 S. Main St. (west facing)
MURAL INFO

Brett WhitacreBrett Whitacre

Brett Whitacre is a self-taught American artist living and working in Northern Illinois. His art is inspired by a mix of vintage and modern advertising as well as American history. Upon moving to Chicago in 2000 he began collecting otherwise discarded materials from alleyways such as old window panes, television sets, luggage, and salvaged wood. He applies his imagery to the found objects juxtaposing old and new. The end result of his work tends to have a strong modern feel contrasted with a rustic warmth. Whitacre creates pop art with a sensibility that's less "What does it all mean?", and more "Hey, isn't that Burt Reynolds?!" Celebrity highlights include the Bandit himself and nine other mustachioed visionaries (Hogan, Shalit, Pryor, etc.)

Mural Location: CD Source
5723 N. 2nd St., Loves Park
MURAL INFO

Mural Location: Pecatonica
Corner of Main & 8th Streets
MURAL INFO

Mural Location: Everything Store
101 E. 3rd St., Pecatonica
MURAL INFO

 

2019 Artists

Jump to artist: Yulia Avgustinovich  |  Corey Barksdale  |  Lisa & Libbie Frost  | 
Jenny Mathews  |  Chris Silva  |  Jenny Roesel Ustick & Atalie Gagnet  |  Brett Whitacre  |  Molly Z

Yulia Avgustinovich (Denver)Yulia Avgustinovich

Yulia was born and grew up in Baranovichi, a small town in Belarus. At the age of 16, Yulia went to Minsk and studied art in college receiving a degree in classic painting and teaching art. She started her career as a muralist in 2002 and completed her first outdoor mural in 2008 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Yulia states, “After accomplishing my first public art projects and wall murals, the feeling of fulfillment and the amazing feedback I received from the public confirmed that I was on the right path.”
Artist website

Mural Location: The Symbols
316 W. State Street

Mural Location: Davis Park
320 S. Wyman Street 

Corey Barksdale (Atlanta)Corey Barksdale

Artist Corey Barksdale’s projects have touched the hearts of all those that have come across them. Every piece of his artwork connects with the body, mind and soul. Corey’s resume includes a current project for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, and numerous projects for television. Corey states, “My vision as an Atlanta artist is to connect more on a more personal level with my fans and audience with the best of creative art works.”
Artist website

Mural Location: Urban Equities
114 N. 1st Street (visible from 324 E. State Street)

Lisa & Libbie Frost (Rockford)Lisa & Libbie Frost

Nationally recognized artist Lisa Frost’s mission is to spread cheer throughout the land. Lisa is the owner of Lisa Frost Studio, located in Rockford, Illinois. As a native and current resident, she is dedicated to her art and giving back to her community. Libbie is 18 years old and a senior at Boylan Catholic High School. She plans on pursuing college in business and an art related field.
Artist website

Mural Location: Lower Jefferson Street (east side of Rock River)
299 N. Madison Street

Jenny Mathews (Rockford)Jenny Mathews

Jenny is a visual artist from Rockford, IL, who specializes in everything from tiny watercolor illustrations to big acrylic murals. Jenny’s prolific style allows her to obsess and work on extensive series of small things as well as large-scale singular pieces. Her work has been on display at the Rockford Art Museum and can currently be seen at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, IL. Her small illustrations are published in many children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Artist Instagram

Mural Location: Wired Cafe Alley
416 E. State Street

Chris Silva (Chicago)Chris Silva

Though born in Puerto Rico, Chris’ creative pursuits are firmly rooted in Chicago’s urban culture. Chris was an innovative figure in Chicago’s graffiti and skateboarding scenes and from that foundation proceeded to play a significant role in the development of what is now commonly referred to as “street art.” Chris splits his time between working on large-scale commissions, producing gallery-oriented work, and leading youth-involved public art projects.
Artist website

Mural Location: Rockford Orthopedic Appliance
422 E. State Street

Jenny Roesel Ustick & Atalie Gagnet (Cincinnati)Jenny Ustick and Atalie Gagnet

Jenny is Assistant Professor of Practice and Foundations Coordinator in the School of Art at the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning. She manages large-scale public murals, with eleven walls completed in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. She has also worked on projects in Miami Beach, Florida and in the Villa Crespo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Jenny website  |  Atalie website

Mural Location: Chocolat by Daniel
211 E. State Street

Brett Whitacre (Sycamore)Brett Whitacre

Brett is a self-taught American artist living and working in Northern Illinois. His art is inspired by a mix of vintage and modern advertising as well as American history. Upon moving to Chicago in 2000, he began collecting otherwise discarded materials from alleyways. He applies his imagery to the found objects juxtaposing old and new. The end result of his work tends to have a strong modern feel contrasted with a rustic warmth.
Artist website

Mural Location: Rockford MakerSpace
203 N. Church Street

Molly Z (Chicago)Molly Z

Molly has worked many years as a finely detailed illustrator, contracting with agencies, product manufacturers and many different clients, always looking for a way to make beautiful art that affects our daily lives. She has created many large-scale works of art, public art for museums, schools, and businesses and has produced live art murals for major industry conferences and special events.
Artist website

Mural Location: Lucette Holistic Salon and Boutique
508 E. State Street

 

2018 ARTISTS

KELSEY MONTAGUE

Kelsey is an artist very interested in exploring how public art, interactive art and social media intersect. Her murals specifically invite people into a piece and then invite people to share their experience online. She believes that art should not be separated from the human experience. Instead the human experience should have a hand in creating the art itself. After studying art in Florence, and graduating from Richmond University in London with a degree in Art, Design & Media, Kelsey spent 4 years in NYC – embracing and battling the Big Apple while developing her pen & ink style.
Artist website

Mural Location: Eddie Green Place
331 E. State Street

JUSTUS ROE

Justus Roe works in a variety of visual mediums including canvas painting, large scale wall paintings / murals and sculptural installations. His work references architecture, city grid systems, and landscapes. His stylized forms, mark making and color palette develop work that is at once reminiscent of aerial perspectives and metropolitan environments.
Artist website

Mural Location: I90 gateway
542 N. Lyford Road

Mural Location: 6th Street Abatement Wall
Near 6th Street & Chamberlain Street in downtown Rockford