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items tagged with Quad City Arts

More Than a Method: The Quad Cities Wood Turners Club and Jeff Stevenson, Through December at the Quad City International Airport
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Reviews

2010-11-22 11:02:48

David Johnson, 'Missing Pieces #7'David Johnson’s vase is missing large chunks.

In the current Quad City Arts exhibit at the Quad City International Airport, the vase Missing Pieces #7 is symmetrical but for the voids that appear to have formed naturally through the growth and decay of its wood. Their jagged, random edges echo the blotchy rings of the wood grain, yet Johnson has varnished the entire surface, making it seem at once broken and new. The vase is not suitable for its ostensible purpose and seems to question the relationships between craft, aesthetics, and functionality. It’s a striking use of the medium of wood.

The show, running through December, features two bodies of work: selections from the Quad Cities Wood Turners Club and mixed-media works by Jeff Stevenson. While the wood turners employ a relatively restrictive technique – modified wood in a functional context – Stevenson uses a massive range of media, from magazines to encaustic. The two components of the exhibit are different, but they both transcend the limitations of their methods: The best of the wood works (such as Johnson’s vase) have visual and technical depth, and Stevenson’s strongest pieces gel thematically and visually even as the variety of materials threatens chaos.

Read More About More Than A Method: The Quad Cities Wood Turners Club And Jeff Stevenson, Through December At The Quad City International Airport...

"Whoa. What Is This?!": Todd Green Plays Dozens of Unusual Musical Instruments as Quad City Arts' Latest Visiting Artist
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-11-04 12:00:00

Todd GreenTodd Green, the latest guest in Quad City Arts’ Visiting Artist series, began his professional career as a guitarist. Yet the musician knows that whenever he performs at one of his many school engagements, the guitar is perhaps the last instrument the kids will be interested in.

“I have a berimbau,” says Green during a recent phone interview, “which is a very unusual, bow-and-arrow-looking thing that you play percussion on. They really like that. And then, you know, there’s silly stuff. Like, I have animal toenails, I call them. It’s actually goat hooves that are all hooked together and make a percussion sound.

“Usually it’s the weirdest ones, you know?” says Green with a laugh. “Especially with the really young kids. You can read their faces – their mouths are open and their eyes are all big – and you can just see them going, ‘Whoa. What is this?!’”

Read More About "Whoa. What Is This?!": Todd Green Plays Dozens Of Unusual Musical Instruments As Quad City Arts' Latest Visiting Artist...

The October Country: Bruce Walters’ “Halloween Flight” and “Vultus”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Feature Stories

2010-10-21 13:32:31

'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.


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.)

Read More About The October Country: Bruce Walters’ “Halloween Flight” And “Vultus”...

Your Roots Are Showing -- “Roots: Who’s Your Momma?,” at Quad City Arts Through October 1
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Reviews

2010-09-13 11:53:06

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.)

Read More About Your Roots Are Showing -- “Roots: Who’S Your Momma?,” At Quad City Arts Through October 1...

Memory, Identity: Peter Xiao and Les Bell, through November 25 at Quad City Arts
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-19 16:27:24

Peter Xiao, 'Guardians of State.' Click for a larger version.The centerpiece of the current two-person exhibit at Quad City Arts is a collection of four paintings recalling Peter Xiao's childhood in China.

From an artistic perspective, Xiao is rendering people more conventionally in terms of both figure and color, said Les Bell, the other artist in the show. In the past, he said, Xiao worked in a "cubistic" space, bending figures and objects and colors to meet the formal needs of the piece.

Bell called Xiao's use of color in these new works "smoldering," and said: "It's a much more complex level of narrative than I've ever seen in his work. ... I'm completely charmed by the drama of these scenes."

Bell also said that "you'd swear he was working from models to get these individual personalities."

But these works come from memory, and Xiao -- a professor at Augustana College -- said that "I sort of turned [auto]biographical for the first time. I always worked with the figure but was usually shy about putting myself there, because you want to be objective about things."

Read More About Memory, Identity: Peter Xiao And Les Bell, Through November 25 At Quad City Arts...

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