It's not too surprising that Pete Schulte talks a lot about music. He resists describing his recent works as paintings, drawings, or sculpture; more than anything, they are riffs. Visual riffs. Meditations on a theme.

From the ethereal to the surreal aptly describes the art exhibits by Gene Anderson and David Hast currently on display at Midcoast Fine Arts Gallery at the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center in LeClaire, Iowa.

The ethereal comes from Gene Anderson's large, modernistic sculptures that mimic the smoothing effect eons of time have on boulders and stones.

MidCoast Gallery West has works from two accomplished artists on display through the end of February. Bruce Walters has 16 two-dimensional works and Marilyn Davis has 15 porcelain pieces. Both artists demonstrate a mastery over their medium with a high degree of competency.

In their current exhibit at Quad City Arts, Sandra Dyas re-creates the realism of photojournalism with the sensitivity of individual subjects, while Todd Snyder gives us a glimpse into his vision of actual places painted through the lens of unreality.

Although Elaine Ball and Brent Langley have two very different artistic styles, both express a great deal of sensuality in their work in a joint exhibit on display through January at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery at the Iowa Welcome Center in LeClaire.

The current exhibit at MidCoast Gallery West is unique in that both artists work in different media but are using them toward the same end. Joann Winkler has six installations that illustrate her childhood memories, while Barbara Bianchi has 22 mixed-media pieces plus a video that do the same thing.

The Quad City Arts Gallery last week opened a traveling exhibition called Exuberance! Faces of LGBT Youth, featuring 300 photos of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people. The gallery statement says that "we must begin to see them as they truly are: heroes, potential leaders, loving family members, gifted role models, regular kids.

Connie Gibbons' office at DavenportOne is small to begin with, but it's positively cramped now, with boards and papers showing layouts, logos, and artist renderings of the River Music Experience, set to open June 11 next year across the street, in the Redstone building on Second Street between Main and Brady in downtown Davenport.

Last year, mixed-media artist Terry Rathje won second-place honors at the Rock Island Fine Arts competition with his sculpture Cubus. He now has 11 sculptures in an exhibit (running through November) at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery at the Iowa Welcome Center near LeClaire, but I'm not as excited about the works chosen for this show as I was by Cubus.

We received nearly 80 entries in response to the first-ever River Cities' Reader photo contest, and we couldn't be more pleased with the results. We divided the contest into three categories - people, Quad Cities places, and digitally altered - and the diversity of the entries shows the wide range of possibilities for the photographic arts.

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