Art, Galleries & Museums
Family Museum Announces 2012 Spring Break Spectacular Lineup PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Elly Gerdts   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:20

Bettendorf — With a week off from school, area parents and kids are looking for fun and exciting activities during spring break. From March 11 - March 17 the Family Museum is offering seven days of just that: programs ranging from live music, live animals, science, and performance art. Events and performances are included with paid admission or Family Museum membership.



Jim Gill

Performance at 2:00 PM

Jim Gill, an award-winning musician and author, offers more than a show - each concert is an opportunity for family play! In concert, Jim strums energetic rhythms on his banjo while everyone claps, sings, dances and even sneezes along to silly and inspiring musical games!



Comedy Sportz

Performance at 10:00 AM

Get ready for some laughs! The Comedy Sportz team from right here in the Quad Cities will take the stage at the Family Museum! The act-letes’ hilarious audience-involved improvisation skits will have kids giggling!

Instrument Petting Zoo

Stop by anytime 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and pet some instruments! Our friends from West Music are bringing along a sampling of instruments kids can try for themselves. It’s a great way to pique a musical interest in young children.




Presentation at 10:00 AM

Are you and your family prepared in case a disaster strikes?  What do you do if a tornado is headed your way? How do your prepare your children without scaring them?  Experts in storm chasing get to the facts to educate you about disaster preparedness.

Niabi Zoo

Presentation at 2:00 PM

Meet some friendly critters from the Niabi Zoo!  A Zookeeper will bring a variety of animals for you to see, and they will share with us the zoo’s role in animal conservation.



Insect Zoo

Thursday: Zoo is open from noon - 2:00 PM with a presentation at 1:00 PM

Friday: Zoo is open from 10:00 AM - noon with a presentation at 11:00 AM

Do you love bugs? Come see, touch, and learn about all kinds of awesome insects with the Iowa State University Department of Entomology Insect Zoo! You’ll meet insects found in Iowa and throughout the world.



Bubble Wonders: Anything Is Possible!

Performance at 10:00 AM

You won’t want to miss this fun, inspiring, sticky, and educational show! Bubble Wonders is full of amazing tricks like the Bubble Caterpillar, the Bubble Volcano, the Dancing Bubble, a Bubble Merry-Go-Round, and much more!




Performances at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM

Boogers, vomit, urine, sweat, pimples…nothing is off limits with Sylvia! Come prepared for a little bit of gross-out with a lot of education as to why this icky stuff is crucial to human health and well-being.


Sponsored by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

The Family Museum inspires children and families to play and learn together! The Family Museum Foundation is a nonprofit organization that needs and appreciates support for early learning. Donate online at

News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Paula Neuhaus   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:50
[DUBUQUE, IA., FEBRUARY 22, 2012] Art Gumbo, a quarterly soup dinner that supports local art projects with community-supported micro-funding, is now accepting applications from arts organizations or creative groups for the Spring funding cycle. Applications for  Art Gumbo mini grants are available now through Thursday, March 15. Applications are available at

Submission guidelines include the separation of individual artists and organizations or groups during funding cycles. Individual artists are not eligible to apply during this cycle. The first seven eligible applications received by 11:59 p.m. on March 15 will qualify to compete for funding.

Art Gumbo is an independent community-based initiative that funds local arts projects using money collected at quarterly soup dinners. During each Art Gumbo funding cycle, artists or arts organizations are invited to submit a brief project proposal that demonstrates an impact on the Dubuque community. The public is invited to attend and vote for their favorite proposal. A $10 donation at the door entitles the attendee to a locally prepared soup dinner and the opportunity to review all submitted proposals and to vote for their favorite. The Art Gumbo fund’s nightly proceeds will be awarded to the two proposals that receive the most votes. Art Gumbo sessions will be hosted at new locations each quarter featuring soup by a regional food source. The next Art Gumbo Soup Dinner is scheduled for Thursday, March 22, 6-8 p.m. at St. Mark Community Center, 1201 Locust Street in Dubuque.

For more information visit or contact Paula Neuhaus or Megan Starr at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Friday, 24 February 2012 15:12

The Figge Art Museum is opening its new Artica Gallery on Saturday, February 25th, at 2 pm. A formal program in the auditorium will honor all project participants, followed by a ribbon cutting. Light refreshments will be served. The installation was made possible with support from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.


Artica helps visitors discover where artists find inspiration, how artists use their imagination to be creative, and how artists express their ideas. Artica also encourages visitors to look, imagine, and create. Five images from the Figge’s permanent collection, reproduced in vinyl, serve as the inspiration for the displays and hands-on activities. “Artica Guides” offer tips for parents and caregivers on what to talk about with children when viewing the five works of art.


Activities are designed for children, but many activities can be adapted to visitors of all ages. A brief description of each station is listed below:


Station 1:  Artists challenge us to see the world differently.

A linoleum print of a woman’s face by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso is the inspiration for the drawing activities at this station. To learn about the relief printmaking process, watch the 7-minute video featuring St. Ambrose University Art professor Joseph Lappie demonstrating how a multi-colored linoleum print is made. The film was produced by Matt Carroll, a professor in the Communications Department at St. Ambrose University. Self-portraits drawn by students who attend elementary schools in Bettendorf, Davenport, Geneseo, Moline, and Pleasant Valley are sprinkled throughout the gallery.


Station 2: Artists express what we feel.

Why are penguins vacationing in the Caribbean? After viewing this humorous picture painted by Haitian artist Jasmin Joseph, make your own penguin finger puppet or draw a picture of your favorite animal playing a musical instrument. Colorful pictures depicting animals playing musical instruments drawn by students who attend elementary schools in Bettendorf, Davenport, Geneseo, Moline, and Pleasant Valley will serve as inspiration.


Station 3: Artists make the ordinary extraordinary.

How could an artist transform a simple chair into a throne? One Haitian painter did just that by embellishing it with painted designs and flowers. After viewing this colorful work, try making your own miniature chair using a variety of materials.


Station 4: Artists engage our imagination.

The colorful “gingerbread” houses that were constructed in Haiti around the turn of the 20th century are characterized by bright colors, tall ceilings, decorative latticework, and wrap-around porches. After viewing this imaginative painting, construct your own “gingerbread” house using the provided template. Colorful blocks and Legos are also available for aspiring young architects.


Station 5: Artists play with line, shape and color.

The Spanish artist Joan Miró created playful images using expressive lines, unique shapes, and bright colors. Experiment with color using the large wall board or the computer software programs.


The Artica Gallery also includes picture books that help teach children about the Artica concepts of inspiration, imagination, and expression.


Leanne Paetz of Pederson Paetz, Omaha, designed the Artica Gallery. The palette of cool colors including aqua, blue, and green was inspired by the colors in the painting of the penguins described above. The playful font and design elements create a lively, animated space that will appeal to children and those young at heart.


Admission to the reception is $10 per families. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members. The Artica Gallery is open during regular museum hours and is free with admission or membership.


For information about museum programs, visit the Figge website at



Local Artist, Mark Soenksen to Make Gallery Debut at Peaceful River PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Jake Glimco   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:23

McCausland, IA / February 17, 2012 – Peaceful River Trading Co. will feature the work of DeWitt, Iowa native, Mark Soenksen on Thursday, February 23rd from 4pm to 7pm at Peaceful River Trading Co. in McCausland.  Mark’s show this month will be the first in a series of gallery nights hosted throughout the year by this unique McCausland shop.

Mark Soenksen expressed, “I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to exhibit my work and I appreciate all the support Peaceful River Trading Co. has given me”.   Soenksen has come a long way from his childhood days of doodling on the walls of the family farm.  As a youth, he honed his creative energy by drawing his heroes from Sci-Fi stories and comic books.  His passion for art intensified as he grew older, leading him to enroll in as many art classes as he could in high school.  Mark later attended Iowa State University and graduated in 1994 with majors in Drawing, Painting and Print Making and a minor in Sociology.  Since then, Mark has explored his zeal for painting by focusing on the human figure, usually incorporating Sci-Fi themes into his work. He also enjoys drawing his family farm.

“Mark just needed a little push to start selling his work and we are glad to help.  We are so excited to have a place for local artists and crafters to display and sell their beautiful and creative work!  We look forward to promoting local artists throughout the year,” says Peaceful River Owner, Sheila Bosworth.

Peaceful River brings visitors back to a simpler time and is housed in a beautiful, circa-1916 bank building, formerly the home of McCausland State Bank. They carry many items from arts and crafts to antiques, gifts, and collectibles. Peaceful River Trading Co. is open from 10am to 5pm Wednesday through Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays.  McCausland is located about 20 miles northeast of Davenport, just off Utica Ridge Road on F33 and 5 minutes north of Scott County Park.  Explore Peaceful River Trading Co. at


News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Sharyn Reitz   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 08:55




IOWA CITY – SUNDAYS AT FOUR, a free community arts series, will present JOY KILLS SORROW, a Boston-based string band, on March 4 at 4pm, at the Congregational United Church of Christ, 30 N. Clinton Street in Iowa City.

Joy Kills Sorrow is a “newgrass” band with five young performers who joined together in Boston after their classical training.  Iowa City native Bridget Kearney is the bassist and primary songwriter for the band.

Come and spend an hour with the lamenting music of the heartland, singular stories of heartache and laughter, beautiful string arrangements and pure ensemble singing.

For more information on the SUNDAYS AT FOUR series, call 319-337-4301 or visit the church's website at  The Congregational United Church of Christ is located at 30 N. Clinton Street, across from the University of Iowa Pentacrest.  The Church is handicapped-accessible.

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