Speaker Series.

The Speaker Series kicks off as a series of free public talks by visual artists and cultural producers in Rockford, Illinois. This series provides a platform for the cultural producers to share their history, practice, and ideas with the Rockford area community. All talks will be recorded and submitted to the Rockford Visual Art Archive.


Clydale Hilson & Leah Blake

Thursday, September 19, 2019
6:30 PM  7:30 PM

“Loft Ten 19, 1019 Third Ave. in Rockford’s Midtown District, opened in December.

Since then, the more than 4,000-square-foot space has welcomed more patrons than co-owners Clydale Hilson and Leah Blake expected.

They met years ago while attending Upper Iowa University classes in Rockford. They became friends and decided to open a new studio that would appeal to those in their twenties and thirties.

“We’re growing quickly,” Blake said. “I was kind of shocked.”

Blake invites artists to call them to book a showing. For events, she and Hilson charge $75 per hour for the first two hours and $50 an hour for the remainder of the event.

The gallery is open on Tuesdays, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. People also can call for an appointment.

Hilson and Blake have full-time jobs. He is a Rockford firefighter. She is an administrator at Milestone Inc. in Rockford.”

— Susan Vela, Rockford Register Star