Our fourth photo contest represented a significant departure - both in the framing of the competition and the results. Instead of setting subject-matter limitations - such as previous categories "people" and "Quad Cities places" - we asked readers to submit photographs based on broad but evocative themes: "danger," "metamorphosis," and "liberation.

Attendance for the 16th annual Riverssance Festival of Fine Art in 2003 - the first year the event was presented in conjunction with MidCoast Fine Arts - was estimated at about 15,000 people. But last year's festival drew roughly 12,000 attendees, a number that Riverssance Director Larry DeVilbiss admits was well below expectations.

At Riverssance, collectors and connoisseurs of art have the opportunity to purchase the works they most love, but their creators are competing with one another for more than just a sale. They're also competing for a share in the festival's $3,000 awards purse.

Corrine Smith strikes me as being a very centered person. I say this because the overall theme I see in her current show - at the MidCoast Fine Arts' Bucktown gallery until September 30 with sculptor Matt Moyer - is balance, even though she never uses this word in her artist statement.

Since the summer of 2000, when it attracted an estimated 2,000 visitors, MidCoast Fine Arts' annual ArtStroll street festival has been the go-to event for both area artisans and connoisseurs of the arts, a union of not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations designed to showcase the quality and diversity within the Quad Cities' art community.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the eastern part of Davenport’s
downtown was called Bucktown and known for its vibrant nightlife –
including more than three dozen brothels.
It will soon be home to a different – and perfectly legal – sort of
commerce: the work of roughly two dozen artists.

Area artists agree that the Bucktown Center on Second Street in
downtown Davenport – which rents studio and gallery spaces to local
artists – is a wonderful way to combine their vision and talent with
the sophistication and tourist draw of the Figge Art Museum up the
street.

•The Quad City Arts Metro Arts program for aspiring artists closes this week with a celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, in the District of Rock Island's Arts Alley. The young-adult participants in the five-week program were paid apprentices in one of five areas: graphic novels, kinetic sculpture, contemporary music composition and performance, kite design, and mural design.

Artist Adrian Tio Diaz produces museum-quality work. His skillfully-executed linocut block prints are bold and forceful, with images of a primal nature - symbolic and often disturbing. His current exhibit at the Quad City Arts Center features prints from books he has illustrated.

If you like the simplicity of form and function, with the added panache of vivid color, you should make your way to the Iowa Welcome Center in LeClaire to see Bob Brehmer's ceramics at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery's most recent exhibit.

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