Brian Buckles' "Underwater Blues" at the Quad City Arts Center -- through April 29.

Through Thursday, April 29

Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery, 2200 69th Avenue, Moline IL

Aquatic paintings, bold tapestries, and woven baskets combine for a fascinating and eclectic trio of exhibitions on display through April 29, with the Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery hosting exhibits by Waterloo, Iowa painter Brian Buckles, Davenport-based textile artist Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, and Moline's woven-basket creator Kelly Hanson.

In presenting his new exhibit Art from the Sea, Buckles states, “I have had lifelong fascination with marine life and in particular, sharks. At an early age, I became aware of the overfishing and cruel shark finning practices that are threatening the survival of many species, worldwide, which will have devastating consequences. Most people won’t see these animals in their natural habitat, so my work aims to bring the sea to the viewer, focusing on the beauty, variety and power of sharks and marine life. Dynamic compositions and dramatic lighting are brought to life through the use of oil paint, canvas and graphite. My mission is to create Art for the Sea with the goal of using art to inspire others to learn more and engage in protecting these amazing animals.

"Art for the Sea is more than a tagline," Buckles continues. "It’s a mission statement. It is a reminder to me of why I am creating art in the first place – that my art should serve a purpose beyond mere wall decoration. My art serves to show sharks and marine life in a different light, moving beyond stereotypes and sharing the beauty and truth of creation. All creatures serve a purpose and deserve our respect and responsible stewardship.”

Rowen Schussheim-Anderson's Hues from the Edge

Describing the works in her latest exhibition Color Field Tapestries, Schussheim-Anderson states, “The tapestries along the main wall were woven over the past year, many during a recent much appreciated sabbatical from teaching at Augustana College. My goal was to create a new body of work entitled Color Field Tapestries. The objective was to produce color field tapestries, a term to my knowledge that has not been applied to tapestry art. During the art movement known as Abstract Expressionism, artists Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, and several others developed the concept of color field painting at the end of the 1940s. Their canvases, devoid of figurative forms, used color to express emotion. Producing large painted fields of color, they strived to balance hue and value. Rothko thought of color as a means to an end: Colors were spiritual and emotional.

"Like the color field painters," continues Schussheim-Anderson, "I wanted to work with fields of blended color. Blending with fiber is very different than with paint, which is very fluid.  Subtle transitions are possible to achieve through tapestry weaving methods, in which surfaces are built row by row, fiber by fiber. I also decided to add accent areas of line and pattern, to contrast with large areas of colored shapes, or “fields.” The works in the other cases are not part of the Color Fields in Woven Tapestry series. They draw on organic grids, nature, collage, and travels to West Africa as inspiration and/or structure. These tapestries are woven of a variety of fibers including wool, linen, cotton, rayon, nylon, and silk, and occasionally beads are utilized. Works were produced in my studio on a 56” wide four harness floor loom."

Kelly Hanson woven basket

Hailing from Moline, woven-basket maker Hanson says, “I have always liked working with different fibers and creating pieces that were also useful. I was introduced to the coil stitch weave at a class set up by a friend and loved it. I love the different layers of patterns that can be created by weaving in beads that shine or ribbon that changes the texture. I try to build unique baskets with color schemes that can either pop against the natural jute or complement it and play with different shapes. Coil stitch woven baskets have been utilized by many different cultures throughout history. Though the methods have changed a bit with different tools being available, I like being able to connect to history while also creating something different and new.”

The Quad City International Airport Gallery is located opposite the airport's gift shop and restaurant, there is a $1 fee for parking, and more information on the Brian Buckles, Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, and Kelly Hanson exhibits on display through April 29 is available by calling (309)793-1213 extension 108 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.

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