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Past, Present, and Posters: “Hatch Show Prints,” Through November 19 at the Catich Gallery PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 09:53

In the Hatch Show Prints exhibit in St. Ambrose University’s Catich Gallery, the past and present intermingle through design. Art, design, and culture don’t move forward in a linear way; instead, they diverge, change, and return as new but still familiar styles. Typefaces from almost a century ago manage to look fresh in the hands of a modern designer, and a poster from the 1950s can seem almost prophetic in its similarity to today’s graphics. By presenting designs of the past alongside new designs with a retro bent, Hatch Show Prints reveals the connections between history, culture, and design, and their relationships to music and performance.

 
The October Country: Bruce Walters’ “Halloween Flight” and “Vultus” PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 21 October 2010 07:32

'Halloween Flight'

It is with a laugh that Bruce Walters says, “There’s no lightness in me.”

Walters, a professor of art at Western Illinois University, was at Quad City Arts discussing Halloween Flight, an imposing collection comprising five distinct bodies of work employing autumnal motifs: a story of drawings from which the exhibit draws its name; selections from his Changelings series of drawings of masked people; a pair of lenticular prints (which create the illusion of motion based on the viewer’s changing perspective); 15-foot-tall banner paintings under the title Sentries; and the Vultus projected video of 100 mask photographs.

His next project? A series based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Walters might claim that he’s obsessed with the dark imagery associated with Halloween – with its origins in the change of seasons from summer to fall, the ancient belief that spirits could enter the world of the living during this transitional period, and fall celebrations of the dead.

'Changelings'

Yet one only needs to look at the variety of themes invoked in the work to see that Walters is more interested in exploring the fullness of the holiday than one particular aspect of it, and that it’s not all darkness. The Halloween Flight story is simple, nostalgic, and quaint – Walters called it “idyllic” – using a child’s vocabulary of motifs (a black cat, the moon, a graveyard, a ghost, trick-or-treaters) in evocative, lovingly detailed drawings. At the other end of the spectrum is Vultus, quietly sinister in its sequence of stark, high-contrast photos of masks, disturbing in both its vividness and inscrutable blankness. (In addition to being shown inside Quad City Arts for this exhibit – which runs through November 19 – Vultus will be projected outdoors at the Figge, Quad City Arts, and three other locations over the next few weeks.)

 
Death Is a Many-Splendored Thing: “Dancing Towards Death,” Through January 9 at the Figge PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 07:55

Ivo Salinger, 'Der Artz'

One might expect a collection of images featuring the personification of death to be morose, dark, depressing, and grotesque, but in the new Figge Art Museum exhibit Dancing Towards Death, many of the works are instead humorous or thoughtful. The show is more about the uses of death-related imagery (and Death as a character) than death itself, with the skeletal manifestation conjuring a variety of moods and themes.

The show (which runs through January 9) was mostly drawn from a private collection and was supplemented with work from the Figge’s collection. The art-history connoisseur will appreciate the inclusion of big names such as Albrecht Dϋrer, Rembrandt, and Käthe Kollwitz, but the exhibit also features unknown craftspeople, such as the artisans who created Books of Hours. And the accessibility of both the theme and the imagery will provide a meaningful experience for the casual art viewer.

 
Your Roots Are Showing -- “Roots: Who’s Your Momma?,” at Quad City Arts Through October 1 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Monday, 13 September 2010 05:53

Corbett Fogue, Untitled

Quad City Arts has hosted a variety of themed shows over the years – such as The Cat Show, The Dog Show, and The Artist in You – but the current Roots: Who’s Your Momma? reveals an emotional intellectualism in many of our local artists. Running through October 1, the exhibit features 49 artworks by 29 regional artists, and in a novel move, the exhibit has been divided between two venues: Quad City Arts in Rock Island and the German American Heritage Center in Davenport.

The artists who truly tackled the theme of Roots generated some thought-provoking pieces that make the viewer contemplate different aspects of the concept of “home.” While several works are too loosely connected to the theme, poignant and well executed art dominates. And the inclusion of artists’ statements makes the show accessible to the casual viewer, connecting the work to the theme. (Full disclosure: I have a piece in the show and work occasionally at the Quad City Arts gallery.)

 
Augustana Hosts Native American Artists PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 09 September 2010 19:13

Kathleen Wall

On Wednesday, September 15, and Thursday, September 16, Augustana College will host five of the Native American artists represented in the Olson-Brandelle North American Indian Art Collection, which through October 30 is on display at the Augusta College Art Museum.

“Never before have we brought in five major visual artists at one time,” promotional materials for the events state. “The convocation will be an unusual interactive experience – not a lecture you sit for – as groups tour around to see each artist in action. We haven’t ever tried an event like this one, and it promises some memorable experiences, including a grand drum and dance finale.”

The events are:

Panel Discussion with Artists Represented in the Olson-Brandelle North American Indian Art Collection

Wednesday, September 15, 7:30 p.m., Larson Hall, followed by reception in the Augustana College Art Museum

Participating artists will be: D. Y. Begay, Navajo weaver; Robert Tenorio, Santo Domingo potter; Kathleen Wall, Jemez figurative potter; Richard Zane Smith, Wyandot potter; and Sally Black, Navajo basket maker.

First Connections: An Arts Festival with Artists Demonstrating their Work

Thursday, September 16, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Centennial Hall Convocation

All five artists will participate, along with Navajo basket maker Agnes Gray. The Brown Otter Singers Song & Dance Group (Meskwaki) will provide a finale for this event in Centennial Hall at 11:30 a.m.

A press release for the exhibit follows.

 
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