"Suited Saguaro Sights Migrating Money" by John M. Booth Painter John M. Booth, referencing one of his artworks, says, "Hopefully, it'll put a smile on somebody's wall." The odds are pretty good that it will - in his airbrushed acrylic paintings, there's a lot of smiling going on.

In Booth's Fishin, an enormous red fish grins dementedly as he prepared to devour a small black cat. In Tada, a similar fish - emerald green this time - is balanced on top of a cat, who, in turn, stands upon a dog; their smiles indicate great pride at the feat. (Ta da!) In Good Coffee, a balding, middle-aged man looks frighteningly giddy about taking his first sip.

And throughout Booth's works, many of which can be seen at (http://www.masongraphics.net) and at Riverssance this weekend, his figures - human and animal, smiling and unsmiling alike - are painted in bold, vivid colors, a vibrant array of reds, blues, greens, and purples.

Issue 586 cover Johanne Jakhelln has worked with unorthodox spaces before. As the artistic director for Ballet Quad Cities, Jakhelln, for example, has had to deal with the choir step on the stage at Augustana College's Centennial Hall. "You have to be creative to integrate that into what you're doing," she said.

So the Mississippi River is no big thing. For this Saturday's one-hour performance One River Mississippi, Jakhelln merely needs to choreograph and coordinate more than 60 volunteer performers at seven sites along the river from the Centennial Bridge to the roller dam at Locks & Dam 15. She will just work with dancers, water skiers, boaters, and a Native American medicine woman. And it only needs to be coordinated with six other river sites - Itasca, Minnesota; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Memphis; New Orleans; and Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana - and set to music.

No big deal. Just like at Centennial Hall.

At her house, Katie Kiley is drawing in India ink on a wooden vase created by Steve Sinner. Using magnifying-glass headgear and two of the finest-point pens she could find, she's creating eight panels around the vase, depicting scenes from a California town. The naked eye can't appreciate the level of detail, and each panel takes two weeks to complete, she said.

Sinner expects to sell the piece for $20,000, Kiley said, and she's being extremely careful with the vessel. "I have this resting on a down pillow," she said.

Sinner, of course, is among the most highly regarded artists in the Quad Cities, and Kiley notes that he knows what price his work commands. But she is no slouch, as evidenced by two awards she won in the 181st Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, presented by the National Academy in New York City.
In discussing the Quad Cities’ inaugural Venus Envy last year, festival chair Rachael Mullins said she hoped to draw between 300 and 500 people. Mallarie Zimmer, the founder of Venus Envy who has spread her celebration of women and the arts from St.
Attendance for the 16th annual Riverssance Festival of Fine Art in 2003 - the first year the event was presented in conjunction with MidCoast Fine Arts - was estimated at about 15,000 people. But last year's festival drew roughly 12,000 attendees, a number that Riverssance Director Larry DeVilbiss admits was well below expectations.
At Riverssance, collectors and connoisseurs of art have the opportunity to purchase the works they most love, but their creators are competing with one another for more than just a sale. They're also competing for a share in the festival's $3,000 awards purse.
Since the summer of 2000, when it attracted an estimated 2,000 visitors, MidCoast Fine Arts' annual ArtStroll street festival has been the go-to event for both area artisans and connoisseurs of the arts, a union of not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations designed to showcase the quality and diversity within the Quad Cities' art community.
When searching for a new necklace or a piece to hang in the living room, a state park might not be the first place you'd think to shop. Yet the Black Hawk State Historical Site will soon be teeming with artwork, as the Left Bank Art League presents its 49th annual Fine Art Fair from 10 a.
Most of us have had the experience of running into someone who went to school with us years earlier. Very little, if anything, usually comes of those chance encounters. But for local artists Nicole Miller and Justin Elvidge, both 22, a surprise meeting has led, a mere four months later, to a shared exhibit of oil paintings at the Peanut Gallery in Rock Island, the first local showing for both Quad Citians.
Editor's note: This is the debut of a new feature in the River Cities' Reader highlighting news, events, and other information about local libraries. • In celebration of William Shakespeare's birthday, the Rock Island Public Library will present "A Whole Lotta Shakespeare Going On," hosting many Shakespeare-related activities for the culture hound.

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