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.
• In a move contrary to its past practices, the Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre in Davenport will bring two new movies to the area in the span of just a few weeks. T-Rex: Back to Cretaceous opens March 21 (with a companion exhibit), followed by Ghosts of the Abyss (directed by James Cameron and focusing on the wreckage of the Titanic) on April 11.
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.

Pages