One of the things I enjoy about the shows at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery in LeClaire's Iowa Welcome Center is the open comment book. People who wander in off the highway, looking for a place to make a potty stop, can find themselves in an art gallery.

David Campbell's large, realistic sculptures overwhelm a space and demand the viewer's attention, while Marguerite Perret's prints delicately await the audience's close inspection. This contrast makes for an excellent show at MidCoast Gallery West on the corner of Second Avenue and 17th Street, just west of the plaza in downtown Rock Island.

For an online gallery, click here.

Meticulous, stubborn, driven, and original are all descriptions that come to mind when considering local artist Pete Schulte, who opened his first New York City exhibition this past Tuesday, July 2nd, at the artist-run 55 Mercer Gallery in the Soho District.

In the current two-person show at Quad City Arts, Mary Cullen Lowman's artist statement describes her philosophy quite well: "Mary's primary interest is life, not still life. She finds that most of her work focuses on living friends - four-legged and two.

The art-glass studio Glass Impact this past weekend opened its new, expanded facility at 1616 2nd Avenue in The District of Rock Island. (The old stomping grounds were across the street at 1611 2nd Avenue.) The new home, which is about three times larger than the previous one, includes a workshop and gallery but also an expanded art and production "hot shop," a supply area, a sandblast room, a "learning lab," and full-service design and restoration service.

Steve Maxon's bronze and aluminum sculptures have a hard edge - pun intended - with a huge dose of humor. The bronze cast and iron piece Gone West, for example, has the upper part of a skull wearing a World War I army helmet that a skeleton hand is tipping to the viewer.

Fantastic reality meets realistic fantasy in the two-woman show of Catherine Jones Davies and Dorothy Beach running through May at the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center in LeClaire. While Davies' paintings tackle reality with the style of Expressionism, Beach takes a realistic approach to whimsical subject matter.

The 7th Annual Quad City Gospel Music Festival will be held on Friday, May 3, at the Adler Theatre starting at 6:30 p.m. The featured performer for the evening is gospel star Vickie Winans, and the evening will also feature the Golden Note Youth Awards and a performance by Darnell Williams.

The new exhibit Old West, New West: Art of the American Frontier at the Davenport Museum of Art (DMA) offers some 40 painting and sculptures that show the contrast between the way the West was portrayed in art in the late 19th Century and the way it's being represented today.

Even though MidCoast Fine Arts hosted shows for Thomas Lytle in August and Bruce Walters in October, the current exhibition joining the two artists in the Quad City Arts Gallery is well worth the trip to the District of Rock Island.

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