Cassini stands in isolation in a wooded area on Beacon Harbor Parkway in East Moline near the Mississippi River. The sculpture is approximately 20’ in height, but feels even larger when standing near it. Its mathematically-inspired forms and rhythms are hypnotic. The sculpture’s curved strips form a whole. Yet in regarding the whole, one is drawn back to its interlocking elements or to the interior space created by these forms.

During the First World War, construction began on St. Luke’s Hospital at 1227 East Rusholme Street in Davenport. The hospital has been renovated several times in the intervening century, but never as impressively as the $150 million renovation and construction project – the largest in Quad Cities history when it was announced in 2013 – that has been recently completed. The hospital, renamed Genesis Medical Center, is at the center of a beautiful campus that also includes the Genesis Heart Institute and medical office buildings.

I do understand why museums intimidate us: We feel as if we won’t “get” what is meant to be gotten. But well-curated museums provide a broader experience than we often allow ourselves to have. What if we allowed our own interpretation to be the main goal? When there's nothing to “get” other than our own perspective, a museum visit can uncover a simple contentment, peace of mind, and happiness.

Talk about an arts destination. I finally visited the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy for the opening of Bettendorf native (in from Kanas City) Troy Swangstu's animal paintings. His meaty semi-abstract paintings are up through March 9 and are well worth checking out, especially if you are into Basquiat and Bacon, and wish you had gotten to visit the Caves of Lascaux, too.

Step away from the game console. Step away from the screen. Extract yourself from the Faceborg. Visit dozens of places around the world, eras, concepts, ideas, history and art – all inside the Figge Art Museum.

Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.” – Yogi Berra

Yogi’s words are illogical. But brilliant.

It is equally illogical to inlay a full-sized baseball diamond – made of brick and stone! – in the pavement west of Modern Woodmen Park, not far from the “real” one inside.

If you visit the Figge Art Museum to see Jefferson Pinder’s exhibit Ghost Light (see our review here), the artist will be satisfied if you leave enlightened. Or thoughtful. Or angry. Or confused.

He’ll also be okay if you see the neon sign reading “Colored Entranced” and choose not to enter the gallery.

The statue at the Kaaba Shriners Masonic Center. Photo by Bruce Walters.

Two similar Quad Cities sculptures that could be best described as sentimental raise issues about the role of art. Although their tones are different, both pieces depict young girls with adult-male authority figures and are meant to reflect the goals of the organizations that host them.

The neon sign at Bowlmor. Photo by Bruce Walters.

Downtown Davenport was once bathed in the bright glow of neon signs. In a photo taken from the intersection of Main and Second streets in the 1940s, the Hansen’s Hardware neon sign in the foreground rises several stories over the street below. So does a nearby Kaybee sign. There are, seemingly, a dozen or more smaller neon signs in the block.

Today from the same vantage point, we see U.S. Bank, the Figge Art Museum plaza, and the Charles J. Wright Ground Transportation Center. The prominent Hansen neon sign? Long gone. So are all of the other large neon signs in the photo: Kaybee, The Hub, Three Sisters, Baker’s Shoes. Also gone are the even-more-impressive neon signs rising high above the downtown theatre marquees.

Neon signs from this past era, fortunately, can still be found elsewhere in the Quad Cities.

Photo courtesy of The Guerrilla Girls (<a href="http://GuerrillaGirls.com" target="_blank">GuerrillaGirls.com</a>)

The most-famous work by the Guerrilla Girls is simple and direct, asking: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?”

The pointed text of the 1989 poster continues: “Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.”

That work is more than a quarter-century old, but the Guerrilla Girls have updated it over the years – with the results just as discouraging. The 2011 version states that women represent 4 percent of the artists in the modern-art sections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art but 76 percent of the nudes.

The work gets more complex as one considers it.

Pages