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

•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.

When searching for a new necklace or a piece to hang in the living room, a state park might not be the first place you'd think to shop. Yet the Black Hawk State Historical Site will soon be teeming with artwork, as the Left Bank Art League presents its 49th annual Fine Art Fair from 10 a.

Jon Stuckenschneider's silver gelatin prints are tranquil, almost hypnotic to gaze upon. They show the blur between fantasy and reality. In his print entitled Cedar River the trees are indistinct and hazy, while the sky and water have a grainy texture.

Most of us have had the experience of running into someone who went to school with us years earlier. Very little, if anything, usually comes of those chance encounters. But for local artists Nicole Miller and Justin Elvidge, both 22, a surprise meeting has led, a mere four months later, to a shared exhibit of oil paintings at the Peanut Gallery in Rock Island, the first local showing for both Quad Citians.

On a Saturday morning, if I were suddenly inspired to seek out work by local artists, I could go to a gym and catch a really good show while working out on the treadmill. Then I could treat myself to breakfast at my favorite café and see another wonderful exhibit while drinking my coffee.