Artist Peter Xiao grew up in Beijing, China, which he describes in his artist statement as "congested" and filled with "political upheavals." For this reason he is more interested in painting "humans and their conditions" rather than the classic Chinese subject, nature.

• Reggae legends are visiting the Quad Cities. Bob Marley's backing band, The Wailers, will be performing on Friday, April 15, at Quad City Live. Since Marley's death in 1981, the band has been touring regularly and issuing sporadic recordings.

Cedar Rapids resident Priscilla Steele had entered a pair of drawings into the 29th Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition competition. She felt that the two figures related well to one another and that, together, they strongly represented her artistic talent.

In designing our third photo contest, we decided to suggest - but not require - a spring theme. While it wasn't a criterion in our judging, several of the winners did indeed follow our advice - most clearly seen in Linda Ortiz's second-place-winning photograph in the "people" category, showing a young girl in field rich with green and accented by violet and a small dab of yellow.

Pat Edwards is a small, soft-spoken woman, and her oil paintings are also small and soft-spoken. However, there is a quiet power in her person and in her work. The Catich Gallery at St. Ambrose University is currently featuring Here and There, an exhibit of her paintings that will be on display through April 22.

When it was unveiled last September, the Quad Cities Arts, Heritage, & Cultural Tourism Plan was a mass of good ideas and tough questions. While many issues remain, a pair of meetings held Monday represented tentative progress in one major area: where the money might come from.

Photo Synthesis

From time to time, we'll publish the photography of Scott A. McMeekan, with the goal of showcasing his images and prompting new artwork. We'd like our readers to respond to his work in some form. We plan to publish the best responses alongside the original photograph in a future issue.

Editor's note: This is the debut of a new feature in the River Cities' Reader highlighting news, events, and other information about local libraries.

• In celebration of William Shakespeare's birthday, the Rock Island Public Library will present "A Whole Lotta Shakespeare Going On," hosting many Shakespeare-related activities for the culture hound.

When I walked into MidCoast Gallery West in Rock Island to see the current exhibit featuring works by B. Thomas Lytle and Steve Banks, my senses were bombarded. I was overwhelmed by the number and disparateness of pieces on display, and didn't really know where to begin.

The Quad City Arts Center's Garden Show is a bright and cheerful exhibit that invites spring to come and stay a while. All participating artists were juried by Quad City Arts after a call for entry. The seven artists selected for the Garden Show were invited to take part because of the common theme in their art - flowers and nature.