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Art in Plain Sight: “Lady of Germania” PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Thursday, 05 May 2011 07:09

'Lady of Germania,' by Jeff Adams. Photo by Bruce Walters.

Crossing the Centennial Bridge into Iowa, one is welcomed by a larger-than-life sculpture of a woman with outstretched arms. Behind her is an approximately 90-foot-long colonnade with the word “Davenport” in large capital letters across the top. This gateway is at the location of the city’s first park, Washington Square, and the statue is based on a figure that once stood there.

 
Mature Beyond Their Years: The Quad City Arts High School Invitational, Through May 19 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 05:01

Corrin Roswell, untitled

The 34th-annual Quad City Arts High School Invitational features 197 artworks, and that’s a lot. But the technical ability on display is exciting, particularly if one imagines the work these high-school students might create as they mature.

As a middle-school art teacher, I’m familiar with the long process of artistic development. During high school, students who put in the practice can draw with line realistically and understand composition and visual elements. Getting students to the point where they can draw an accurate still life, or mix the correct paint hues for a portrait, however, is a milestone in itself. And young people who can not only achieve technical fluency but begin to apply a consistent visual style, and express ideas and tone, are generally in the extreme minority. Although all students in this show should take pride in their exceptional work, only about a quarter of the students have reached this even higher level.

 
Art in Plain Sight: Gene Horvath Works PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Bruce Walters   
Thursday, 24 March 2011 07:57

'Invitation,' by Gene Horvath. Photo by Bruce Walters.

A 22-foot-high, brightly painted yellow-orange aluminum sculpture was installed at 100 17th Street in Rock Island in 1982. Placed near the entrance of the First National Bank of the Quad Cities, it was created to invite the viewer to join the celebration of the bank’s 130th anniversary. The sculpture was titled, appropriately, Invitation.

Though the building is now the Modern Woodmen Bank building, Invitation stands in the same location. Its intense and pure color suggests a brightly colored flower, and the sculpture seems to bloom from its relatively small, rectangular base – almost like a rapidly growing plant in a vase that has become too small.

The uniform color, on the other hand, suggests industrial fluorescent yellow. Though the sculpture’s shapes are fluid, even elegant, they are formed from hard-edged, seamless sheets of metal. The sculpture’s dynamic arcs seem to describe enormous paths of flight – more akin to a jet fighter than a bird.

 
Bold Statements: The Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, Through May 1 at Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Friday, 11 March 2011 05:25

Leslie Bell, 'Little Guilders'

You can’t miss Leslie Bell’s Little Guilders. His generous use of blazing hot pink and graffiti-style drips with neoclassical nudes is a compelling and somewhat mysterious blend of figurative, narrative, and abstract painting. Of the 56 works in the 35th Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, vivid and conceptually layered two-dimensional work such as this dominates the walls, with comparatively small yet graceful three-dimensional pieces serving as complements.

The annual exhibition, in Centennial Hall at Augustana College through May 1, includes artists who live within 150 miles of the Quad Cities and awards more than $3,000 to 10 top-judged works. This year’s show was juried by Dan Mills, an artist and the director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

About half the work Mills selected is exceptionally strong, balancing technique, aesthetic, and ideas. The remainder demonstrates technical skill but lacks the innovation or conceptual intrigue of the exhibit’s best pieces.

 
Vehicles for Novel Imagery: Three Artists at the Quad City International Airport, Through February 28 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Michelle Garrison   
Tuesday, 15 February 2011 09:52

Grant William Thye, 'Autumn in the Blue Ridge'

I’ve never seen trees like Grant William Thye’s before. The textural and layered brushstrokes commonly used in rendering trees are replaced by bright, flat, organic shapes outlined in calligraphic swooshes. The result is a fresh approach to the genre that’s part classical landscape, part abstraction, and part cartoon.

This freshness and presence of a clear style are apparent with all three artists on display through February 28 in Quad City Arts’ gallery at the Quad City International Airport. Thye, Angela Dieffenbach, and Karina Cutler-Lake employ traditional genres as vehicles for novel imagery.

 
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