Spiritual elements run through the current show at Quad City Arts in The District of Rock Island, with two artists interested in the idea of a life-force connection. The exhibit features paintings by David Murray and intaglio prints by Katie Kiley and runs through March 22.

Davenport Museum of Art Director Linda Downs envisions the Figge Arts Center as a vibrant gathering place for the general public and artistic types. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City used to be "a meeting place for young people," she said, and the "incubation place" for artists, critics, and art-lovers alike.

Nancy Senn-Kerbs, program director of the Family Museum of Arts & Sciences in Bettendorf and past president of the group Iowans for the Arts, might sound wishy-washy on the status of state support for the arts. "It is discouraging in some ways but encouraging in others," she said.

The idea of cultural identity is tricky, and finding a cohesive means to express the guiding principles of being an American in the utterly subjective realm of artistic interpretation is impossible.

Even though an "American experience" shared by all of us who live in the United States is difficult to conceive, the current exhibit at the Davenport Museum of Art (with the name The American Experience) seeks to portray a version of our nationhood through visual art.

Elizabeth Shriver strives for beauty, while Steve Banks tries to achieve ugly. She works in ceramics and is into natural shapes, while he works in two-dimensional painting and collages and is into unnatural shapes.

Initially, the pairing of Eric Mart and William Hannan in an exhibit at MidCoast Gallery West feels dichotomous and unnerving. There is the storied flow of Hannan's calligraphy around his illustrations in one eye, and the skittering, nearly audible rattle of Mart's sculptures in the other.

Artist Luis Jiménez wants discussion. What he often gets is controversy.

"I've always been surprised by it," Jiménez said in an interview with the River Cities' Reader. "I intend to create some dialogue.

Raised in Illinois, the current show at the Quad City Arts Center in The District of Rock Island, is a great show, a must-see. The exhibit showcases works created by more than 25 graduate students, alumni, and faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal.

If you like Isabel Bloom's whimsical cast-concrete figurines and want to learn a bit more about the artist, you'll enjoy this exhibit at the Davenport Museum of Art, which collects 25 of the sculptor's early works, including a few unfinished ones showing the armature supporting the concrete overlay.

The most striking thing about Emily Lambertsen's paintings is her compositions. She works from photographs, but her compositions create images that transcend the original photo. Color is used sparingly but dramatically to enhance the effect.

Pages