The latest show by Corrine Smith, running through March 9 at the Morrissey Gallery inside St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center, is a chance to see some exciting new color explorations by a painting and collage powerhouse. She has incorporated a wider range of bolder colors that have invigorated her powerful images with even more visual octane.

Rachael Mullins - The work of two artists now showing at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery in LeClaire could easily be called The Old World Made New and All Creatures Great & Small.

It took more than six months to clear out the potted plants and detritus from stray cats that choked their future gallery space. That was just the first in a long string of challenges that confronted husband and wife Ron and Sarah Jane Fellin as they infused the Peanut Gallery with life.

After almost eight and a half years, numerous art shows and happenings, and $20,000 of their own money to keep it running, a fire in an adjacent building that was being demolished forced the Peanut Gallery to end its run this past fall.

Jeanne Tamisiea - How do you choose from thousands of paintings, illustrations, and drawings to represent a lifetime of making art? How can one express an artist's wide range of vision in only 53 pieces?

Jeanne Tamisiea came to the Quad Cities to teach at Black Hawk College in 1987, after serving as a traveling art instructor in North Dakota and directing her own illustration and design company. Originally from Iowa, she earned degrees from Drake, Michigan State, and Syracuse. She died in July 2006 at the age of 57, of complications from a viral infection of the heart. (See "Quiet Giant," River Cities' Reader Issue 598, September 13-19, 2006.)

Alison Minas - Camus once said that all artists try to reproduce in their work the most moving experiences of their past. By using these memories as a starting point, artists and writers give a delicious emotional energy to their work. These events can then be constructed, modified, and embellished to suit their ideas and images.

The latest show at the Quad City Arts gallery presents an assortment of such remembered associations, made with the perspective and vision of the present. Heidi Hernandez has painted personal, charming, and friendly stories from her family memories. Alison Minas photographed the interior scenes of a familiar haven in her large images of a '50s diner. And Steven Carlson has constructed numerous and startling toy-like "boxes of childhood visitations," full of personal reactions to the past.

"Put-together" by Rosie Lee Tompkins Leonardo da Vinci was famous for improvising poetry while playing the lute. Mozart and Beethoven were legendary for their spontaneous piano inventions. And blues and jazz musicians have always loved the ability to create new combinations of music or words while playing.

Accidentally on Purpose: Improvisation in African Textiles & African-American Quilts, a magnificent exhibition at the Figge Art Museum, demonstrates this gift of improvisation, of turning a traditional form into a fresh and unique creation. And like great musicians, these quilt artists sew a piece together with their own original and surprising harmonies.


Sun, Sea & Sand Most of us remember our grade-school art classes, in which we cut up construction paper or magazine photographs and glued them together to make a collage. Few of us thought then that we were making art, for it seemed so much fun.

But this personal and beautiful medium is full of expressive possibilities that can reveal the artist's most intimate thoughts and feelings. On December 16, regionally known artist and calligrapher Shelly Voss opens a retrospective exhibit of her magical collage meditations. The reception runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Leger Gallery in downtown Davenport, and the exhibit will be up through January 19.

Jim Riesberg - "Setting the Standard"Jim Riesberg's most recent series of large-format collages originated from an auctioned four-pound box of vintage photographs, musty old invoices, advertisements, and water-stained inventory sheets from a hardware store that had been in business in the 1880s. By scanning and combining these written and visual sources, he has created a many-layered body of images, full of emotion.

artwork by Sara Fletcher Three excellent young painters - Sara Fletcher, Sarah Goffstein, and Greta Songe - shine in their current exhibition at the Leger Gallery in downtown Davenport. Former students of Ron Cohen at the University of Iowa, they are all at the beginnings of their teaching careers. These artists are well on their way in establishing their personal styles in art, and all have something individual to say about experience and memory. One artist is influenced by the light and stillness of Vermeer, another by the colors and patterns of the artist Vuillard, and the third by the flowing music of nature.

Reader issue #603In the 1985 HBO mockumentary The History of White People in America, co-writer and host Martin Mull offered the world mayonnaise-loving WASPs - suburbanites who had lost any sense of their roots, to the point that one child's understanding of his own heritage was limited to the streets on which he and his parents had lived.

White people, the show seemed to be saying, are beyond ethnicity and culture.

Mull doesn't see a meaningful connection between that work and his paintings, which will be shown at the Figge Art Museum in a retrospective that opens October 28. The only link, he said in an interview last month, is that they reflect his upbringing in Ohio. "It comes from the same vein," he said, "the same mother lode."