Friday, February 2, through Friday, March 23
Quad City Arts Center Gallery, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL
A fast-paced world requires a calming influence, and that's what Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center will provide in its new exhibitions of lovely, serene paintings by Brad Bisbey and Holly Kimball and beautiful wood sculptures and furniture by Jay Stratton, on display from February 2 through March 23.
Bisbey's gestural landscapes and portraits are impressionistic in style, and the artist seeks to bring out the spontaneity of the moment when painting – to describe not only what he is seeing but how he feels about what he is seeing. As Bisbey states in his artist statement: “For me, painting is a personal journey, a kind of visual journal of life around me. Anyone and anything is a potential subject, so I try to stay awake to everything around me. Whatever the subject, I want first to be competent with the process and the materials, but I am equally concerned with communicating how I feel about what is before me. I am always looking for that balance between reason and emotion in my work. I must first have an emotional connection with the subject because I know that if a subject touches me, it may touch another person as well. In the final analysis, my painting is both a search and a means of communication.”
Stratton creates highly figurative wood sculptures that twist and turn up to six feet in height, and also creates artistic wood furniture including tables, stools, and lidded vessels, proving that beautiful art can be functional. Stratton also applies his woodworking skills in local churches, homes, and offices, with the works created on a grander scale than his gallery pieces.
And Kimball, in her exhibit Nuances: Paintings and Drawings, shares with her gallery patrons work that is fresh and vibrant, with her depictions of nature – specifically lily pads – admired for their soulfulness and sensitivity. Kimball interplays background and foreground for a sense of mystery and subtlety within the graceful, fluid motion of the broken strokes and soft edges.
Quad City Arts' reception for the Bisbey, Kimball, and Stratton exhibitions will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 2, and regular gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is free, and more information is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.