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items tagged with Quad City Arts

Timeless Treatments: Three Artists at the Quad City Airport Gallery Through June
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Reviews

2014-06-05 15:13:41

Works by Matt Moyer. Photo by Meghan McLaughlin

Recently at the Quad City International Airport art gallery, two travelers were bluntly musing about twisting sculptures cantilevered off the display wall. “Normally, this would be considered a pile of crap,” one said.

I was taken aback and then chuckled at the comment. The sculptures of Matt Moyer, at first glance, do resemble aged industrial plumbing.

'Filtered Servo Appurtenance' by Matt MoyerBut closer inspection reveals something more. The airport visitors discussed the subtleties of these sculptures, discovering how the surface colorations simulate wear but are a bit too unblemished to be in a state of disintegration. The mechanical arabesques tease our eyes and raise questions about reactions to old objects.

Moyer’s pieces are the attention-grabbers in the three-person Quad City Arts show running through June. In addition to the work of Moyer (from Columbia, Missouri) are mixed-media assemblages by Wayne Bertola (of Chicago) and photography by Marvin Thompson (of Clinton, Iowa). While their work is very different, all three artists explore the effects of time.


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At the Intersection of Bluegrass and Brazil: Quad City Arts Visiting Artists Matuto, September 21 at the Galvin Fine Arts Center
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-09-10 18:50:00

Matuto, photographed by Vincent SoyezDepending on the source, the English-language equivalent of the Brazilian slang term “matuto” appears to be “country boy” or “bumpkin” or “hillbilly.” What it absolutely isn’t is “critically lauded ensemble selected as American Musical Ambassadors for the U.S. State Department.”

Yet that is indeed a fitting description for the capitalized Matuto, the sextet of touring musicians appearing locally as Quad City Arts’ latest Visiting Artists. After a week spent conducting workshops and performing for area students, these dynamic, adventurous artists and educators will present a September 21 concert at St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center, where they hope to excite many more listeners with the infectious thrill of Brazilian bluegrass.

That’s right: Brazilian bluegrass. Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of it.


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Beauty from Different Angles: Ethel, April 12 at St. Ambrose’s Rogalski Center
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-04-03 11:25:10

Ethel. Photo by James Ewing.

The string quartet Ethel refers to itself as a “band” and uses amplified classical instruments and improvisation. It’s called a “post-classical” ensemble, and the group has toured with Todd Rundgren and appeared on guitarist/songwriter/singer Kaki King’s 2012 album Glow.

Ethel is the very definition of “crossover,” and if all that doesn’t scare you, try this sample from Pitchfork.com’s (strongly positive) review of Heavy, its 2012 record: “The violins peel off into glass shards, and the cello starts moaning. It’s a relief from the opening melee, but only insofar as scalp-prickling fear that there is a serial killer lurking in your home is technically preferable to the certainty of being stabbed to death.”

At Ethel’s April 12 performance at St. Ambrose University, don’t expect quite that level of eclecticism. Or violence.

But the Present Beauty program Ethel will play still covers plenty of territory on the theme of “what it is to experience beauty from different angles,” said violinist Tema Watstein in a phone interview last month.


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Piano Mover and Shaker: Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Leon Bates, October 27 at Augustana College
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-10-22 16:35:58

Leon BatesOn any given day, you can find the acclaimed classical pianist Leon Bates headlining one of the world’s most renowned concert halls, or playing alongside one of America’s most prestigious symphony orchestras, or performing and educating as an artist-in-residence – a position he’s currently filling as Quad City Arts’ latest Visiting Artist.

But your best chance of running into Bates – whose public concert for Quad City Arts will be held at Augustana College on October 27 – might actually be at the gym, as he’s no doubt one of the few professional pianists who is also, as we discussed during a recent phone interview, an avid bodybuilder.


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Art in Plain Sight: “Lloyd’s Trek”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Feature Stories

2012-05-03 13:46:33

Stuart Morris, 'Lloyd's Trek.' Photo by Bruce Walters.

A large abstract sculpture, Lloyd’s Trek, greets visitors to Schwiebert Riverfront Park in the District of Rock Island. Standing some 20 feet tall at the park’s southwest corner, the sculpture seems to watch protectively over the many areas of activities: a fountain meant to be run through; a playground that combines digital game elements with contemporary slides, swings, and climbing structures; a checkerboard concrete beach; walkways; and a performance stage.

The artwork feels fresh and intuitive. Though the artist, Stuart Morris, said it is an abstraction of a walking figure, its playful balance and irregular shapes also suggest a precarious stack of blocks or a doorway to the park.


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