New Genres Art Space
     New Genres Art Space’s mission is to be a diverse and inclusive contemporary art space that considers digital and emerging art as a form of expression, education, and social change. We fulfill our mission through six programs: exhibitions, an artist residency, classes and workshops, a speaker series, the Rockford Visual Art Archives, and a Digital Media Art Collection. Through these programs, New Genres Art Space offers community members the opportunity to understand how emerging art forms directly relate to their daily lives.
     Emerging artforms and digital media are ever-present in our daily lives and can easily translate their value to therapeutic, educational, and community settings. New Genres Art Space constantly navigates an uncharted role within emerging art practices and education in order to further new collaborative relationships between artists, educators, students, and community members.
     According to UCLA, “New Genres is a practice which begins with ideas and then moves to the appropriate form or media for that particular idea, sometimes inventing entirely new sites of cultural production, new methodologies, technologies, or genres in the process. The area gives emphasis to questioning preconceived notions of the role of art in culture and its relationship to a specific form or medium.”
     New Genres Art Space is a 501(c)(3) incorporated nonprofit art space located in Rockford, Illinois.
NGAS provides an interdisciplinary platform that considers the fluctuating ideas of multiculturalism and diversity. We believe that new and digital art forms can easily translate their value to therapeutic, educational, and community settings.
     In partnership with the Rockford Public Library, NGAS’s exhibition and classroom spaces are located on the second floor of the Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford, Illinois.
     Mike Werckle received a BFA in Character Animation from California Institute of the Arts in 1992. Upon graduation, Mike worked as Assistant to the Producer of Starlight Theatre in Rockford, Illinois, and went on to found The Wrong Hands Theater Company there, serving as it's Producing Director until entering the game industry in 1994.
     Mike started at Viacom New Media in Chicago writing and storyboarding the animated sequences for Beavis and Butt-head: Virtual Stupidity. Mike produced and directed the opening 3D animated film for the landmark Dungeons & Dragons: Core Rules game for TSR in Madison, Wisconsin. At Raven Software, and later at Human Head Studios, Mike helped pioneer the use of 3D animation techniques in the highly acclaimed games Hexen II, Heretic II and Rune.
     Mike attended The University of Texas - Austin, earning an MFA in Film Production in 2006. While there, Mike served as the Radio-TV-Film representative on the planning committee for the New Works Theater Festival, and directed Lucy Dies In Fives, a mixed media play with video which was awarded "Best in Fest" at Austin's highly regarded Fronterafest 2004.
     With a mastery of animation and film, Mike entered the Film Industry as a Previsualization Animator and VFX Artist, working alongside top directors to design thrilling sequences on films such as Superman Returns, Live Free or Die Hard, I Am Legend, Tropic Thunder, Machete, and Predators.  Mike helped design the dinosaur sequences for Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival, 2011) and worked with Lana and Lilly Wachowski on their sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending.  
     In 2013, Mike founded The West Side Show Room with the goal of making room for everyone to participate in the transformative art of theater.
     This promises to be a fun and entertaining program as well as informative.  This will be an excellent opportunity to bring a guest or prospective member.  You'll have to show up to see who will introduce our presenter and act as Rotary host.