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.

Brian W. Vaszily of Schaumburg, Illinois, will be reading from and signing his novel Beyond Stone & Steel: A Memorial to the September 11, 2001 Victims on Saturday, April 6, at Borders Books & Music in Davenport.

Click here for the full-color .pdf document of paintings and poems as part of the Poem/Art Odyssey.

The concept behind the Poem/Art Odyssey is something like the game of Telephone, with a big twist.

With the opening of MidCoast Gallery West, the arts energy in the Rock Island District is, as Emeril Lagasse says, bam: taken up a notch. The gallery is located at the corner of 17th Street and 2nd Avenue and is paired with the ArtFX Gallery, and both sit a mere half-block from the Glass Impact glassblowing studio.

The Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition gets better each year, and this year's show is not to be missed when it opens on April 5 in Augustana College's Centennial Hall Gallery.

There were 280 entries from 149 artists in this year's edition of the annual regional competition, and only 66 works made the show, including 10 from Iowa City, nine from Davenport, seven from Rock Island, and five each from Moline and Bettendorf.

MidCoast Fine Arts will be celebrating the opening of its new gallery this Friday, and it's meant to be part of the continued growth of Rock Island's downtown. The MidCoast Gallery West, at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 16 ½ Street, will be opening its doors on March 8, sharing its space with ArtFX, a commercial gallery run by artist Donna Lee.

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