Quad Cities: Adults and children alike will be entertained with the exciting exhibition schedule at three Quad Cities’ area museums. Glass artists have created beautiful landscapes and playful creations to see. Glass spheres and weather balloons reveal interesting worlds. Children can build amazing inventions, take fun-filled adventures with Dora and Diego, and engage in new environments focusing on engineering, technology and science.
The Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, takes you into the beautiful world of glass blowing and glass sculpture with three exhibits including: Kids Design Glass; Katja Loher: Videoplanet - Orchestra; and Roman Glass Works.
Kids Design Glass began as an education program at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. Master Glass artists from the museum’s HotShop selected drawings of mythical monsters by children in local schools and, with the children’s help, transformed the drawings into glass sculptures that combine youthful imagination with the pristine beauty of art glass. This traveling exhibition features 52 glass sculptures, along with the original drawings that inspired them. The exhibition runs through May 4, 2014.
Katja Loher: Videoplanet – Orchestra features Swiss video artist Katja Loher as she combines performance art, music and dance to create a dynamic installation that questions the balance between humans, nature and technology. Instead of using the conventional monitor or wall projection, she projects her videos onto the surfaces of weather balloons hanging from the gallery space and from within glass bubbles mounted on the walls.
Visitors enter a darkened gallery space to experience a magical universe. Filmed from a high vantage point, these videos offer visitors a chance to peer into a series of mini or micro-worlds in which costumed dancers form letters that compose words and sentences to post simple, though-provoking questions. In other sequences, dancers take the shape of floral arrangements or recreate the inner workings of a timepiece.
Each tiny “universe” in the exhibition provides an elaborate commentary on big issues. Her video – Why Did the Bees Leave? – metaphorically details the intricate relationship between man and nature by using the Colony Collapse Disorder that has killed millions of bees across the country. Using live actors, Loher creates a tiny world of man-bees that has been videotaped and projected onto a glass sphere. The entire installation will offer viewers an unforgettable experience of a world of microcosms and macrocosms that rival the works of the great 17thcentury painter, Hieronymous Bosch. The exhibition will be on view through May 4.
Step into a glass floor-to-ceiling landscape and be enchanted. Landscape: Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman, on loan to the Figge Art Museum from the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, amazes visitors as a curtain of sculpted and fused clear glass forms a beautiful landscape that was originally the centerpiece of a three-part installation entitled Glimmering Gone.
Landscape is a collaboration between Ingalena Klenell of Sweden and Beth Lipman of Wisconsin. The two artists were inspired by Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943), a painter from Tacoma, who painted grand American landscapes in the tradition of Albert Bierstadt. Landscape seeks to recreate the sense of wonder found in Hill’s paintings. Using transparent glass for their installation, Lipman and Klenell emphasize the romanticism inherent in 19th century landscapes, as well as the fragility of nature as we understand it today. Their use of glass as a “painting” material bears comparison to the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, while the misty landscape can resemble a Chinese brush painting or a Midwestern scene on a winter day. The exhibition runs from February 15 through May 24.
Step back in time to ancient Rome and explore the art of ancient Roman glassblowing through vessels from the collections of Augustana College and the Putnam Museum during Roman Glass Works. Western Illinois University students from the Museum Studies Graduate Program contributed to layout, educational, and interactive components of this exhibition which creates a context that connects the history of glassmaking from ancient Mesopotamia to the present day. The exhibition complements and ties together the other glass exhibits at the Figge Art Museum and highlights beautiful works from ancient Rome. The exhibit runs from February 22 through May 20.
The Figge Art Museum is located at 225 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA. For more information visit their website www.figgeartmuseum.org or call 563-326-7804.
Both adults and children will be inspired and entertained by the exhibits at the Figge Art Museum, but be sure to also stop at the Family Museum in Bettendorf, Iowa. The museum features all new permanent exhibits and the traveling exhibit Nickelodeon’s Dora and Diego – Let’s Explore.
Enter the enchanting world of Dora the Explorer, her animal-rescuing cousin Diego and their friends Boots and Baby Jaguar at the museum’s upcoming exhibit, Nickelodeon's Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! Visitors can explore Isa’s Flowery Garden, help Tico gather nuts, set sail with the Pirate Piggies’ crew, and search for baby animals in the Rainforest Maze. Also journey to the Purple Planet via a rocket ship, and learn how to care for baby animals in the Animal Rescue Center. The 3,000 square feet exhibit is perfect for preschool children 2 to 5 years of age. The exhibit is scheduled to open May 24 and ends August 31.
The ThinkShop is a new, permanent exhibit at the Family Museum where families and children use real tools in a supervised setting to build one-of-a-kind inventions in a highly-interactive, hands-on space. Through the use of real building materials and recycled components, kids can bring ideas to life.
The ThinkShop is part of a multi-million dollar rebuild of the museum’s permanent exhibit halls that includes the new Lil’Ssippi River Valley indoor waterplay area and Fox Hollow Town Square and Farm Fox Hollow.
The Family Museum is located at 2900 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf, IA. For more information visit www.familymuseum.org or call 563-344-4106.
2014 is also a great time to visit the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa, where fun and learning can be had for all ages! Don’t miss CSI: The Experience available March 1 through July 6 at the Putnam Museum. This traveling exhibit immerses guests in hands-on science while leading them through the challenge of solving a crime. The exhibit brings to life fundamental scientific principles, numerous scientific disciplines, and the most advanced technology and techniques used today by crime scene investigators and forensic scientists. Through hands-on activities with real equipment, as well as multi-media presentations, guests will sample the following science fields and understand their role in cracking crimes: DNA, Toxicology, Forensic anthropology, entomology, pathology, Forensic art, Firearm and Toolmark identification, Latent prints, and Blood Spatter analysis. CSI: The Experience is an immersive, interactive forensic science exhibit based on the hit TV series that invites people to use real science to solve hypothetical crimes in an exciting multi-media environment featuring guidance from the CBS show’s characters.
On display February 15 through May 18, Bittersweet Harvest, a bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibition on loan from the Smithsonian, explores the little-known story of the Bracero program; the largest guest worker program in U.S history. Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican men were invited to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts. This exhibition is organized into three main sections that explore the Braceros’ motivations and expectations for the journey north, the work they did, and the effects the Bracero program had on family and communities in Mexico and the U.S. “Bittersweet Harvest” features the work of famed photojournalist Leonard Nadel as well as oral histories collected by the Bracero Oral History Project.
Other big news at the Putnam Museum is the new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Science Center, l opening April 12, 2014. Plans are well underway to re-purpose one-third of the museum into an active and engaging environment focusing on engineering, technology and the sciences. The new exhibit will include more than 45 hands-on experiences for all ages such as the Pull-Yourself-Up Pulley, specially designed robots that interact with visitors, a FAB Lab with 3D Printers and real-time connection to FAB Labs around the globe; Laser Fog and much more. Local businesses, such as Genesis Systems Group, LLC; Cobham; Shive-Hattery and Deere & Company are working with the Putnam Museum to develop one-of-a-kind visitor experiences that cannot be found at any other museum or science center.
Beyond exhibits, the Putnam Museum offers a wealth of exciting movies at the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater that include: Rocky Mountain Express 3D through February 6;Jerusalem 3D through March 20; Titans of the Ice Age 3D February 7 – July 31; Mysteries of the Unseen World April 12 – August 31; Earth Wins March 21 – May 22.
The Putnam Museum is located at 1717 W. 12th Street, Davenport, IA. For more information, please visit www.putnam.org or call 563-324-1933.
For information on the Quad Cities area, call the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at800-747-7800 or visit their website at www.visitquadcities.com. The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa; and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.
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