Through Friday, December 3
Quad City Arts Center, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL
A visualized answer to the question “What did you do on your pandemic?”, the group exhibition Art on Lockdown – on display at Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center through December 3 – is a glorious celebration of creativity in oftentimes stressful and lonely times, this diverse collection of works boasting no fewer than 80 works of art by 67 regional artists.
As “Shelter in Place” began in March of 2020, Quad City Arts’ staff searched for different ways to connect with the community and for a way to encourage artists to keep creating at a confusing time. As most non-essential workers found themselves working from home or not working at all, they needed something constructive to fill their time, as creativity helps people cope with isolation, anxiety, and boredom by refocusing the brain. In 2020, creativity showed up in many ways as people learned how to bake bread, speak new languages, play instruments, or create visual art. To help motivate artists, Quad City Arts decided to hold a no-fee competition with the goal of showing selected works in the Rock Island Gallery, and artists could continue working as they had before the pandemic or try something completely different. The plan proved to be successful given that 187 entries were received, many by artists previously unknown to gallery staffers. Some of the selected artists had never shown work in an art gallery before, so this challenge represented a particularly exciting breakthrough for them.
The artwork was not required to reflect the pandemic, but considering it was top of mind, artists did react to the events of 2020. Many of the contributors wrote about what inspired them to create their entries, and those words are on display at the Quad City Arts Center next to their art. Painter Caitlyn Doran, who created a piece titled Goro Goro Relics, wrote, “Goro goro is the Japanese onomatopoeia for lazing about. I just moved back to the states from Japan, and I never imagined this idle a life was waiting for me.” The Devil's Angel artist Lisa Mahar, meanwhile, stated, “My art is great therapy for my inner demons (no pun intended). Art allows me to work through things in a positive way.”
Along with Doran and Mahar, the artists featured in Art on Lockdown include: Linda Andrews, Megan Baker, Sharon Beckman, Debra Beyerlein, Kent Broadbent, Alexandra Buxbaum, Cat Byrd, Sarah Peak Convery, Jae Florence Corales, Judith Costello, Gage Cox, Barbara Curtis, Nadine D'Angelo, Nancy Dopler, Kim Gibson, Fritz Goeckner, Laura Goldman-Weinberg, Shelley Griffing, Pat Halverson, Tammy Haman, David Hast, Judy Heath, Ellen Henkels, Rick Johnson-Hernandez, Abigail Kongkousonh, Nathaniel Kraft, and Karen Kurka-Jenson.
Also boasting works in the Art on Lockdown exhibition: Paul Lange, Isaiah Lawrence, Mike Leinhauser, Cindy Lesperance, Nancy Lindsay, Kris Love, Hayden Minor, Michael Moreth, Katrina Morrison, Araunah Morter, Mark Nelson, Rose Noble, Pam Ohneumus, Robert Peterson, Nancy Purington, Dana Quick-Naig, Elaine Rexdale, Michael Ryan, Kelly Schnell, Katie Schutte, Annabelle Sigmond, David Smith, Kevin Smith, Karen Stewart-Casper, Lisa Stisser, Pauline Swanson, Mark Szemus, Brent Tubbs, Miranda Vavrosky, Bruce Walters, Marcia Whitmore, Amber Williams, and William Wohlford.
Regular Quad City Arts Center gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, admission is free, and more information on the exhibition on display through December 3 is available by calling (309)793-1213 and visiting QuadCityArts.com.