The great new show at the Quad City Arts Gallery in The District of Rock Island showcases a bit of a role reversal, with the woman being bold and the man being subtle. The show, running through August 8, features 27 wood turnings by Steve Sinner and 15 collages by Corrine Smith.

As changeable and far-ranging as Teresa Mesich's paintings are in the current show at MidCoast Gallery West (in the District of Rock Island), David Zahn stakes out two bold, solid, consistent themes: bronze busts and hand-thrown ceramics adorned by figures.

What had been MidCoast's Pastel Exhibition & Competition has been transformed through addition into something altogether different: a multifaceted arts-in-education event for teens that creates a link to workforce development and retention.

Photos by Brian Barkley

Seven new sculptures have popped up in downtown Davenport, the result of the second Sculpture on Second project of DavenportOne. The organization is also developing a brochure for a walking tour.

On Sunday afternoon at the Davenport Museum of Art, teenage girls stood three deep in some places, scrutinizing text at least as thoroughly as they absorbed Lauren Greenfield's photographs. Most pictures were accompanied by engaging interviews, usually with the photographic subject.

Ellen Wagener does the kind of drawings that work so well for so many people, there isn't much incentive to try anything new. Over a 10-year career, she has mastered a pastel version of genre painting, paying homage to the same row-crop agriculture, rolling terrain, and big sky that so captivated native son Grant Wood.

This year's Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition is quite a bit different from last year's show. That's not surprising, because the exhibit will depend on the likes and dislikes of the juror. Last year, I recall more cutting-edge artwork, while this year there is more symbolism and whimsy.

Steve Banks' monumental reliefs, which he calls "toy pieces," are distinguished by meticulous production and finishes that could have been done in a body shop. Some of these reliefs are being shown at the Peanut Gallery in Rock Island through May 10.

The artwork in the upcoming Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition might be described as in-your-face. This year's juror, Timothy Norris, said, "Visually powerful artwork rises to the top because it commands me to look at it - it hits me in the face.

One of the most important things I noticed about the current exhibit at MidCoast Gallery West was what I didn't see. The exhibit features more than 30 works by nine women, but there is nothing in or about the show to draw your attention to the artists' sex.

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