Bruce Walters' "I Felt Truly Alone, Dearest Alice" in “The Mysterious Disappearance of Miss Haylee" at the Quad City Arts Center -- through December 1.

Exhibit: Through Friday, December 1

Reception: Saturday, October 28, 6 – 8 p.m.

Quad City Arts Center, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL

A collaborative art exhibition with a seasonally appropriate spooky theme, The Mysterious Disappearance of Miss Haylee will haunt Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center through December 1, this delightfully spine-tingling event blending the collective talents of area visual artists Heidi Hernandez and Bruce Walters alongside those of local author Michael McCarty.

The story behind The Mysterious Disappearance of Miss Haylee goes as follows: In 1923, a stage magician beckons a young woman to step into a large wooden box at a Halloween party. She is never seen again. And thus begins an ever-deepening mystery woven from a century of events, hallucinations, ghosts, rivalries, and deaths. With Quad City Arts' latest exhibition, paintings, drawings, photographs, artifacts, sound, newspaper articles, documents, a tarot card reading, and a doll house will combine to tell this suspenseful and surprising story and reveal its secrets.

Heidi Hernandez's "Dearest Alice, I Feel So Empty"

Heidi Hernandez, a National Board Certified Teacher, teaches Visual Arts and Design courses at the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities. Hernandez is a professional teaching artist and has exhibited her large-scale paintings in major cities throughout the Midwest, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Iowa City, and the Quad Cities. She has been included in many group exhibitions and has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions at the Figge Art Museum and St. Ambrose University. Hernandez received her B.A. in Arts Education, K-12, and B.A. in Fine Arts from St. Ambrose University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Minor in Art History. She was also awarded the John W. Schmidt’s Excellence Award in Art and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Bruce Walters retired from Western Illinois University in 2021 and was conferred with the title of Professor Emeritus. His artwork has been included in more than one hundred solo, invitational, and competitive exhibitions: in the Midwest at the Des Moines Art Center, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and numerous university museums; internationally as a contributing artist at Ulster University, Belfast; University of Dundee, Scotland; and Tate Modern, London. Two of his recent short films have been broadcast on Midwest PBS stations, and Walters is also a contributing writer for the River Cities' Reader responsible for the popular "Buried Stories" series highlighting the gravesites of prominent individuals who make the Quad Cities their final resting place.

Michael McCarty's "More Conspiracy Theories of the Quad Cities"

Michael McCarty has been a professional writer since 1983 and is the author of more than 50 books of fiction and nonfiction including Ghosts of the Quad Cities, Eerie Quad Cities, Quad Cities Beer: A History, Modern Mythmakers, More Modern Mythmakers, A Little Help From My Fiends, and Lost Girl of the Lake. He is a five-time Bram Stoker Finalist, and in 2008, he won the David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from Rock Island's Midwest Writing Center. McCarty lives in Rock Island, Illinois, with his wife Cindy and their pet rabbit Yeti.

A public gallery reception for The Mysterious Disappearance of Miss Haylee will take place at Rock Island's Quad City Art Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, with the artists present and free refreshments served. The exhibit itself will be on display through December 1, with regular gallery hours Mondays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, call (309)793-1213 and visit

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