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Art in Plain Sight: Bix 7 Plaza PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 10:12

Photo by Bruce Walters

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Bix 7 race, a bronze statue of two runners was unveiled in 1999 at the corner of Fourth Street and River Drive in Davenport, in front of the Quad-City Times building. They are atop a five-foot pedestal and base on the eastern front of the Bix 7 Plaza, a circular garden with a walkway and honorary plaques that commemorates the participants and contributors to the annual race. The runners are Bill Rodgers, who won the seven-mile race twice, and Joan Benoit Samuelson, a four-time Bix 7 women’s champion. Both athletes represented the U.S. in the Olympics; Samuelson was the gold medalist in the first women’s marathon.

The life-size sculpture depicts the runners side-by-side, running nearly in tandem with a similar stride that conveys a sense of equity between the genders in sports. The figures are confident but not triumphant – not stretching their arms out in victory.

 
Art in Plain Sight: Civil War Memorials PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Friday, 22 February 2013 12:43

Scott County Soldier's Monument. Photo by Bruce Walters.

The Quad Cities have two prominent, highly visible Civil War monuments: the Rock Island County Soldiers’ Monument in Rock Island and the Scott County Soldier’s Monument in Davenport. Both were completed in the years following the war. It was not until 2003, however, that a monument to the Confederate soldiers who died at the Rock Island Arsenal was built.

The Rock Island County monument, located on the county-courthouse grounds near the Centennial Bridge, was unveiled on April 9, 1869 – the fourth anniversary of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The memorial was designed by Leonard Wells Volk (1828-1895), who briefly lived in Rock Island before opening his studio in Chicago in 1857. Volk had the distinction of being the only sculptor to model Abraham Lincoln’s features from life; casts of the future president’s face and hands were made by Volk in 1860.

The Scott County Soldier’s Monument, located in the center of the 1100 block of Main Street near Central High School, was dedicated a dozen years later, on July 4, 1881. Rodney Forsyth Carter (1838-1912) is credited as the monument’s designer.

 
Heavy Ideas with Elements of Play: "Alison Saar: STILL ... ," at the Figge Art Museum February 9 through April 14 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 01 February 2013 06:00

Rouse, by Alison SaarDescribing the creator of the new exhibition STILL ..., on display from February 9 through April 14 at the Figge Art Museum, the venue’s executive director Tim Schiffer says that installation artist and sculptor Alison Saar “is kind of pushing the boundaries of what sculpture is.” Clearly, Schiffer has a gift for understatement.

In Saar’s exhibit piece titled 50 Proof, a vintage washstand sits below a glass bust of a human head, from whose eye sockets flows a continuous stream of black tears. In Black Lightning, a red fluid signifying blood is pumped, through copper tubing, from a bucket on the floor into a pair of boxing gloves on the wall. And in Rouse, a nude figure stands amidst a healthy assemblage of deer antlers, and cradles over her head another nude figure resting in deer antlers.

Well, make that antler sheds, as Saar is quick to say, “No animals were harmed in the making of this piece of art.” She laughs. “I don’t want PETA in there setting it all on fire.”

 
A Comfortable Place for Dialogues: The Figge’s New Executive Director Outlines a Modest but Tangible Vision PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 05:51

Tim SchifferIf you’re looking for excitement from Tim Schiffer – the Figge Art Museum executive director who started on August 1 – don’t talk to him. Instead, just look at the walls.

In our interview on January 25, the soft-spoken Schiffer articulated a modest plan for the Figge, but one that visitors will be able to see for themselves in “clusters” of exhibits that play off each other.

Schiffer’s predecessor, Sean O’Harrow – who left after three years at the Figge to head the University of Iowa Museum of Art in November 2010 – believed that the Figge needed to emphasize education above all else (including being an art museum) and that the endowment needed to be built from $5 million to somewhere between $20 million and $50 million.

Because the process of developing a strategic plan for the Figge is just getting underway, the new executive director didn’t offer measurable goals in those areas. But Schiffer – who had been executive director of California’s Museum of Ventura County since 1999 – has already put his stamp on the museum in a different way.

 
Selections from “Augustana Sights & Sounds,” January 25 through February 22 at Bucktown PDF Print E-mail
Photography
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:10

Here you’ll find selections from the photography and video exhibit Augustana Sights & Sounds, which will run from January 25 through February 22 at the Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street in Davenport). An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, January 25, and will feature music by Augustana students along with the visual work.

Photographers featured in the show include students from Augustana College and local high schools.

Angelica Lindqvist, Augustana College class of 2016

 
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