Saturday, March 2, through Tuesday, April 30
Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery, 2200 69th Avenue, Moline IL
A variety of gorgeous works in wood, watercolors, markers, and acrylics will be on view from March 2 through April 30 at the Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery, with the airport housing works by a trio of Midwestern artists: Todd Hughes of Grand Mound, Iowa; Julie Nelson of Quincy, Illinois; and Douglas Rutzen of Blandinsville, Illinois.
Hughes creates high-end custom furniture made from the finest woods. Each piece is designed by the artist himself, making his works truly one-of-a-kind, and in addition to functional furniture pieces, Hughes creates abstract wall hangings made from a variety of woods. The works are all hand-finished with wax to maintain the beautiful finishes, and as Hughes explains in his artist statement, “I only use the finest woods in my works making one piece at a time paying attention to detail and form. After all the cutting milling and sanding of the wood is done, I move on to gluing and clamping. Then more sanding down to 320 grit or better. A host of finishes and custom colors can be applied to make it uniquely yours. I hand rub each with 000 steel wool and wax, finely hand signed.”
Nelson paints directly with watercolors and marker using no preliminary drawings. As she states, “I look for repeated rhythms in shapes and lines and a ‘push’ and ‘pull’ in positives and negatives in lines and areas of color.” Her floral still-life paintings are not meant to be a true representation of what she sees, but rather a spontaneous reaction to the beauty found in nature. Nelson received both her BFA and MFA degrees in studio art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and spent 30 years in art-museum positions, including the last 20 years as executive director and curator at the Quincy Art Center. She retired in the fall of 2014 and returned to studio art, working in water media, and her works can be found in collections throughout the Midwest.
Rutzen's acrylic paintings depict, as he says, “settings rather than scenes,” with each painting celebrating sunlight filtered through leaves or waves or reflected off bark or submerged rocks. While these paintings fall into the landscape genre, they invite the viewer to enter ubiquitous, sun-dappled arboreal or aquatic environments. As Rutzen explains in his artist statement, “It is hoped that these paintings will be felt by the viewer as an invitation to enjoy rest and solitude in the mkidst of the hectic pace and relentless pressures of everyday life.”
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 March 2 through April 30 exhibit with artworks by Todd Hughes, Julie Nelson, and Douglas Rutzen is available by calling (309)793-1213 extension 108 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.