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Winter Photography-Contest Winners PDF Print E-mail
Photography
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:46

Our winter photo contest – the first such reader competition we’ve held since 2008 – brought 80 submissions over three categories: attraction, resistance, and ambivalence. Thanks to all who entered!

In these pages are the top five finishers in each category as judged by the River Cities’ Reader staff. We considered both the technical merits of the photograph as well as how well it fit or played off the category in which it was entered. Accompanying each photo is a short statement from the photographer. Click on the photo for a larger version.

While we restricted photographers to three entries, some entrants placed more than one photo among these top 15.

Ambivalence, First Place, Aric Keil


“This was taken along a fence line outside of Lost Nation, Iowa, in 2011. All of the goats (except one) seemed timid yet curious when I stopped to take the photo. They did not approach me or run away from me; they just stared ambivalently.”

 
Art in Plain Sight: Palmer Busts PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 08:10

Photo by Bruce Walters.

In the Heritage Court on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus (at 1000 Brady Street in Davenport) are four large bronze busts. Sculptures of D.D. Palmer, his son B.J. Palmer, and his grandson David Palmer are placed symmetrically on a curved brick and stone wall with the incised words “The Foundation of Chiropractic.” These men collectively presided over the Palmer College of Chiropractic for its first 81 years, beginning with its founding in 1897.

Slightly to the north is a bust of Mabel Heath Palmer, who is recognized as the “First Lady of Chiropractic” and was B.J.’s wife and David’s mother.

Created by three different artists over a period of nearly 70 years, the sculptures are stylistically distinct. They are unified, however, by their consistency in height. Each bust is approximately five feet tall. Positioned on the two walls, they each reach a total height of about 12 feet. They also work together because of the consistent use of materials and conformity to a sculptural form from antiquity – the bust. During the Roman Empire, important families celebrated their achievements and honored their deceased relatives by displaying these sculpted portraits prominently and publicly.

 
Art in Plain Sight: First National Bank Building PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Thursday, 12 January 2012 08:20

Photo by Bruce Walters

Photo by Bruce WaltersThe entrance to the First National Bank Building (now U.S. Bank) at 201 West Second Street in Davenport tells the story of commerce and banking through classical images and symbols. The ancient Greek and Roman references and high artistic level of the entrance tell us, in effect, that banking is an important institution – one of the cornerstones of Western civilization and a pillar of the community.

 
Heroes Through the Lens of the Depression: “Beyond the Surface,” Through February 26 at the Figge PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Saturday, 31 December 2011 06:48

Abe Lincoln Enters Coles County, IllinoisArtists use certain visual cues to make a portrait feel heroic: bright, clear lighting, a low viewing perspective, strong or kind facial expressions, adoring masses, flying flags. These techniques cast the subject as trustworthy, powerful, and revered.

This is not how Charles Turzak did it. The print Abe Lincoln Enters Coles County, Illinois at first glance seems a traditional heroic portrait. A younger Lincoln stands in the center of the composition. The distant clouds appear to part behind his head, giving the effect of a halo and drawing our eyes to his face. He leans slightly to the left, muscles taught, in a pose seemingly moments away from action. He clutches an axe. His open collar, bare feet, and rolled-up sleeves suggest a hard-working everyman.

 
Art in Plain Sight: Christmas Lights PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Thursday, 15 December 2011 08:36

The John Deere Commons. Photo by Bruce Walters.

It’s easy to start taking outdoor Christmas lights for granted about now. They have been draped over trees and strung along porch railings and under the eaves for weeks – even longer in the shopping centers.

Though often used with little real thought, they have symbolic connotations. It is intriguing to think of them as a modern equivalent of the Yule log that warmed our distant ancestors during the winter solstice. Or the guiding star over Bethlehem on the first Christmas.

Pause for a moment and consider how remarkable it is that these tiny electric lights can transform a bleak winter night into a delicately laced wonderland. How leafless trees can become magical, and simple homes can become places of wonderment. How they brighten more than the longest nights of the year. How fond memories grow from these fragile strings of lights.

 
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