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A Smile on the Wall: Airbrushed Acrylic Paintings by John Booth PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 September 2006 23:00

"Suited Saguaro Sights Migrating Money" by John M. Booth Painter John M. Booth, referencing one of his artworks, says, "Hopefully, it'll put a smile on somebody's wall." The odds are pretty good that it will - in his airbrushed acrylic paintings, there's a lot of smiling going on.

In Booth's Fishin, an enormous red fish grins dementedly as he prepared to devour a small black cat. In Tada, a similar fish - emerald green this time - is balanced on top of a cat, who, in turn, stands upon a dog; their smiles indicate great pride at the feat. (Ta da!) In Good Coffee, a balding, middle-aged man looks frighteningly giddy about taking his first sip.

And throughout Booth's works, many of which can be seen at ( and at Riverssance this weekend, his figures - human and animal, smiling and unsmiling alike - are painted in bold, vivid colors, a vibrant array of reds, blues, greens, and purples.

Riverssance Prepares to Pass the Baton PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 September 2006 22:58

The Riverssance Festival of Fine Art will be losing one of its founders after this year's event, with Larry DeVilbiss stepping down from his second stint as director.

"Persistence of Mother" by Larry DeVilbiss DeVilbiss has run the festival for the vast majority of its 19 years - he returned three years ago when MidCoast Fine Arts took over the event - but he'll be leaving after this weekend's edition, being held Saturday and Sunday in the Village of East Davenport's Lindsay Park. (The River Cities' Reader is a sponsor of the event. A Riverssance map is located on the back cover of this week's issue.)

A Door Left Open: John Dilg Artist Reception, September 8 at St. Ambrose’s Catich Gallery PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 September 2006 22:40

Children PlayingViewing the work of an artist who has been making art for decades is like looking at an iceberg. You see the little part that is showing but not the hidden part, which is years of study, making art, learning about oneself, and inventing.

The work of John Dilg, on exhibit at St. Ambrose University's Catich Gallery through September 29, may seem simple at first glance, but that is only the tip, the obvious part. Part of the reason is that as one paints for a long time, one begins to consciously and unconsciously shed the unnecessary. What remains is the essential. Dilg's work is simple, spare, and verges on being a visual language, like hieroglyphs or ideograms. There is a subtle humor about them, and the dozen small paintings spread around the room feel like the characters or phrases of this visual language.

Lessons for Outsider Artists: Do-It-Yourself Attitude Yields Spring Harvester Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Banks   
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 23:14

Cedar Rapids Harvester Show You open the door and are engulfed by the plump and relentless beats from the DJ. The cave-like basement has pockets of illumination that attract buzzing swarms of twenty- and thirty-somethings to clusters of art, like chicly clad insects to an irresistible bug zapper. The art ranges from jarring paintings, whimsical sketches, and disconcerting collages to kinetic sculptures with whirling wheels of spurs and cast turds on a stick gathered in some kind of dookie Stonehenge.

This was the energetic scene at the Harvester show this spring in Cedar Rapids. The two-day show was a culmination of more than five months of grassroots work by three friends who shared a vision of helping showcase the artistic endeavors of non- or under-represented artists in Iowa. Their journey and lessons can be used by local artists who want to develop their own venue or event.

Transformers: Three Collage Artists, through August 11 at Quad City Arts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Banks   
Tuesday, 25 July 2006 22:50

The Creator and The Critic "In my nightmare, black ominous towers vibrating with negative energy, producing a very low and constant humming sound, surround a picturesque little cottage with a flower garden and a white picket fence. A little girl steps out of the cottage and into the garden, where she bends over to pick a daisy. I yell, ‘Don't pick the flowers,' and then I awaken. I knew that the flower was the trigger that would detonate the black towers (nuclear missiles) surrounding her."


- excerpt from Harry Brown's artist statement


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