Hella is a band from Sacramento, California. But Zach Hill wants you to know that Hella is also a person. Sort of.

Hella is "a musical thing that became a person unto itself," Hill said. "There's such an evolution.

I was greeted by myriad colors and shapes as I entered the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery in LeClaire to see its current exhibit. Lisa Mahar's three-dimensional, functional art is unfettered and bold, while Leslie Bell's more muted portraits and figure paintings are sensual and evocative.

Iowa's agricultural abundance, natural landscapes, and teeming wildlife are themes that tie together the work of Iowa artists Larsh Bristol, Douglas Eckheart, and Brian Roberts, currently on exhibit at Quad City Arts in Rock Island.

As I walked into MidCoast Gallery West in downtown Rock Island, I was immediately transported back in time to my grandfather's garage in upstate New York. The image was complete, from the old dusty equipment whose purpose and use were a mystery, to the used license plates adorning the walls where the grimy pegboard paneling didn't quite cover.

A small brick building, crowned with a chipped and peeling white painted cupola, sits at the back of the Turner Funeral Home parking lot in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At first glance, one mistakes it for a large garage with an apartment overtop.

In taking a tour of three art shows this weekend, the pick of the litter is Sheri Seggerman's and Elizabeth Shriver's show at MidCoast Gallery West in downtown Rock Island. The Quad City Arts Center is presenting The Artist in You, an exhibition juried by Nick DiGioria, Kunhild Blacklock, and Gloria Burlingame.

Classic figure studies and traditional pottery grace the showroom at the Quad City Arts gallery in downtown Rock Island, and John Beckelman's pottery displayed with Priscilla Steele's drawings represent a return to style, shapes, and techniques that existed long before bits and bytes created the digital era.

The River Cities' Reader's photo contest is getting bigger. Much bigger. In its inaugural edition last year, the contest received roughly 80 entries. This year, we got 105. And while we published 12 winners a year ago, we're giving you 15 in this issue.

Rowen Schussheim-Anderson and Monique McDonald have several of their woven and beaded artworks on display at the Peanut Gallery in downtown Rock Island, and aside from a misstep into glib politics, the show offers two artists adept at their craft, even hinting at new directions.

Is Quad City Arts going to the dogs? Apparently so, at least from August 20 to September 24. Quad City Arts sent out a call for entries for dog-themed art, and the jury decided on 70 works by 48 regional artists now on display.

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