Walking with Dinosaurs
The
irony might be a little obvious, but extinct dinosaurs have helped
stave off extinction for another animal: the creator of animatronic
creatures.

Animatronics
is "one of those arts that's probably dying out," said Sonny
Tilders, the creature designer and builder for Walking
with Dinosaurs: The Live Experience
,
coming to the i wireless center March 5 through 9.

The recently closed show at the Quad City International Airport art gallery featured nearly 50 stunning works: the serigraphy of Karen Blomme, the metal works of Tom Lytle, and the oil paintings and constructed boxes of Heidi Hernandez. I have exhibited with all three artists and have always been impressed by how their works strongly define the character of an exhibition.

 

While a handful of pieces are charged with exploratory energy, many of the works are more predictable progressions or refinements of previous visual explorations.

 

Blu NOLA While the work of Blomme and Lytle (both established area artists) seeks to cultivate visual and conceptual territories that they have already "claimed" with previous imagery, Hernandez (a younger, up-and-coming artist) is more vigorously exploring the "unknown" to find her own territory.

Calliope Suite (Editor's note: St. Ambrose University art professor Kristin Quinn opened a sabbatical exhibit - Between Sea & Sky - last week in the school's Catich Gallery. River Cities' Reader art critics Bruce Carter and Steve Banks met to talk about her new work. Excerpts of their conversation follow; audio from their discussion can be downloaded by clicking here .)

 

beading by Maggie Meister
Bead
artist Maggie Meister found her voice in Italy.

She
began beading 15 years ago and started teaching beading in 1996.

"Before
I went to Italy, I was doing very basic jewelry design," said
Meister, who will be teaching how to make two of her jewelry pieces
at Your Design Ltd. in Bettendorf on March 8 and 9. "I didn't
really feel like I had any kind of voice. I knew I wanted to do
something, but it wasn't until I moved to Italy that things start
to click into place."

Clear Your Mind: Contemporary Glass Invitational
The
Figge Art Museum's Contemporary
Glass Invitational
feels
dangerous. The glass process itself carries the physical peril of
fire and molten liquid. The artistic effects are also unsettling,
combining soothing beauty with surprise. These glass sculptures glow
with intense and subtle visual pleasures, but they also create
anxiety through their tensions and contradictions.

Kaitlin Sirois - Colors of the Slough
The
Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street in downtown
Davenport) will host a Final Friday event on January 25, showcasing
photography, music, and comedy from Augustana College students.

Bruce Walters' Sold House Creepy bunny costumes rendered in charcoal on paper, elongated hands rising out of the water to scratch at the stormy sky, a long, unspooled, film-like reel of hands signing out a missive wrapped around toppled driftwood pillars, and a possible gate to the underworld are parts of two separate book-based bodies of work now at Quad City Arts. One set re-presents the familiar with superb technical eloquence, utilizing the book as an end-product receptacle. The other, more adventurous body of work requires the book to become a component of the viewer's experience of the show.

Reader issue #662 Primal fires transform mud into stone. Tanned-hide-like scrolls stitched together with tea bags evoke tribal dance and hunting rituals. Intricate and whimsical lattice-like snowflake images lighten the spirits. These elemental forces of nature are on display at the Quad City Arts gallery, in the forms of clay works by Sally Gierke and Jim Cronk, cut paperworks by Keith Bonnstetter, and tribal fabric works from Tricia Coulson.

Reader issue #661
For
our fall 2007 photo contest, we asked our readers to submit
photographs playing off the words "beginning," "middle," and
"end." Here we present our favorites from among the nearly 100
submissions we received.

Reader issue #657 John
Bloom was a master of lines. Drawing directly from everyday life, he
transformed his observations with a skillful economy and nuance that
can only come from long experience and total observation. Even in his
lithographic printmaking, his subtle and beautifully lighted tones
were created by a multitude of lines. In his paintings, his linear
preparations paid off in a painting style that grew progressively
lighter, almost effortless.

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