Artistic inspiration is a mystery to some, sought by others and personal to every artist. The Mississippi River Valley Art Drive (MRVAD) is a self-guided art tour on November 2 and November 3,2013, that allows the public to visit local artists in the setting that inspires their creativity. Not all of the stops are individual studios, but all of the art is done by local artists.

This is the 7th MRVAD art drive offering the opportunity to interact with the artists in a more private, personal setting; their studio, their home or private gallery. Most comfortable in the environment of their creativity, this encounter allows for depth of conversation and the development of a relationship between artist and art enthusiast.  Discussion or display of techniques and materials are more easily experienced at the location of execution. It is from this location, many times, that the subject of the artwork originates.

As far north as Bellevue, Iowa, with artists sprinkled throughout the Quad Cities and surrounding river towns, through Bishop Hill, to the West Central Illinois Arts Center of Macomb, a variety of artists incorporating 30 different mediums participate in this art tour. The fall MRVAD art tour includes The Next Picture Show in Dixon, Illinois as well as the Starlight Art Glass Studio in West Burlington, Iowa. There are scenic routes to encompass any or all sectors of this far reaching Mississippi River Valley art tour. Most artists are available by appointment if time does not allow you to reach them during the drive.

Some artists invite others to join at one location making it convenient for the public to experience several artists in one spot. The list of the participating artists with corresponding addresses and hours of operation are available at by printing the map and brochure. This site will also provide any last minute cancellations or unavoidable changes. Take some time to review all of the artists and then plan a  route!  Telephone numbers are listed so all inquiries may be specifically directed.

This is a fun experience. Enjoy the changing countryside with fellow art lovers, conversing with the talented creators of incredibly delightful art and meeting new people while supporting the local artists of the  Mississippi River Valley.

The Fall Mississippi River Valley Art Drive is a self guided art drive featuring artists of all media in their private homes, studios and galleries November 3 & 4, 2012. This is the 5th art drive for MRVAD and the 3rd year of internet presence at, offering a printable map of the drive locations, a description of artists' work as well as a sample gallery and art events list. Approximately 300 artists, represented in 43 locations across Illinois and Iowa from Elizabeth to Kalona, are separated into 3 geographical sections for driving convenience. There is also bus group availability with Stephanie at Johannes Bus Service, 309-788-7932. This unique tour allows you to meet some of the artists, see their studios and interact with them to understand their creative motivation. This art drive includes an art foundry, art centers, garden art, painters, jewelry creators, authors, potters, fiber art, original porcelain dolls and recycled art. Designate an art day, have fun and fall in love with art!

One of the largest self-guided art drives in the midwest, MRVAD boasts of 50 participating sights, representing over 200 artists, upward of 30 mediums showing off a multitude of perspectives and techniques.

Individual artists may demonstrate from their home studios or galleries, some may present work in their preferred retail location, while some sights will offer classes. 

This self-guided art drive is unique in several aspects.  First, it offers local art work from Dubuque and Galena all the way along the Mississippi to Galesburg.  Secondly, the variety of art encompasses everyone's needs: decorating, gifting, adornment and practicality! 

The drive hours are 10am - 5pm, Saturday May 5 & Sunday May 6, 2012.  Visit to verify participating location address, contact information and times.  A printable map availabe March 15, 2012 with all the details @

Purpose: Mississippi River Valley Art Directory is a website to
promoting art along the Mississippi River. The goal is to create one
website organizing all forms of art, making it easy for clients to
locate you, your website and your place of business.

Mission: The Mississippi River Valley area is saturated with wonderful
ART.   Connecting us all together and creating an art destination to
meet specific desires is our mission.

Let us introduce ourselves:

Diane Michele (Wall) Volrath started her art career in the medium of
sugar. She was the owner of Cake Creations for 16 years in Davenport,
Iowa. After retiring she became a multi-media artist living on the
Mississippi River in Princeton, Iowa. Her studio, Inspirational Images
Photography,  is next door to her house where photography meets the
stained glass world. Diane images photography on to glass and finishes
it with stained glass. Visit to learn more about
Diane and see her creations.

Rhonda LeMar-James spent 20 years managing a variety of venues in the
hospitality business. It was a fast-paced, exciting business where 2
days were never alike. That's where multi tasking became so important!
A family responsibility took her from that world and into the world of
art. She grows gourds here in Iowa and then uses them to express
herself. Along the path there were so many talented artists all
searching for the best way to get their art noticed by others. Diane
and Rhonda intend to make that a much easier task with this website
and these maps. To learn more about Rhonda visit

Both ladies are active in the art world, promoting area groups,
festivals and artists. They sit on several boards, including the Quad
City Photography Club, Artist Advisory Council, Left Bank Art League,
The Gourd City Area Gourd Patch, and they also teach in the area.

After several discussions about how to assist artists in the task of
getting products noticed, the Mississippi River Valley Art Directory
was born.

Please join us in celebrating art in the Mississippi River Valley area.

Within this website you will find a Weekly Blog listing current art
events throughout the Mississippi River Valley. The second page is a
directory of all art locations organized by region with links to their
web-pages. The third page is a map of the art locations, hours of
business, and media available. Included here is a spot where you can
purchase full size maps for self driving tours. The fourth page is a
list of art galleries and home based art studios participating in the
Spring and Fall Art Drives. The annual Fall MRVAD drive is the first
weekend in November. This year that is November 6th & 7th, 2010 from
10am- 5pm, check this page to plan your route. The final page is an
application form for artists and art galleries to complete to be
included in this website and map listings.

Memberships include :

? Web-presence and link

Have your gallery, studio or home address listed on the world wide web
to access  clients and agents. A link will be provided to your
personal web-page if applicable.

? Map listing, maps for display and dispersal upon request

Maps will be placed in Welcome Centers, hotels, motels, area
businesses and all locations that visitors and locals search for ideas
for things to do along the Mississippi River. You may request maps to
hand out at your site and at art shows.

? Bi-annual newsletter promoting the open gallery/private studio self
drive tour.

A newsletter will be forwarded with helpful information and tips for
all members about the spring and fall art drives. This is a time for
artist to invite clients in to their personal studios. For those of
you without a studio, considering joining with several other local
artists at a public building in town. Our Goal is a fun day for a
drive along the Mississippi River Valley viewing great art and
interacting with the people that create it.

? Bi-annual open house gallery/private studio self drive

Each year we promote a special ART DRIVE twice a year, inviting
clients to view your galleries and private studios. This will be held
the weekend before Mother's Day and the first weekend in November each
year on Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. You may list your private home
based studio address, gallery address, the address of an Art show you
may be attending, a farmers market address, or a public building you
have rented for this occasion. The dates will be November 6 & 7, 2010;
April 30 & May 1, 2011; & November 5 & November 6, 2011. THIS IS AN
You do not have to be listed on the Art Drive Directory page to be
included in the main listings.

? Monthly Blog available for individual artist promotion

The first page will blog art shows and art events in the Mississippi
River Valley. Please send your promotional event materials to subject line MRVAD BLOG INFO or Diane Volrath, Po
Box 282, Princeton, Iowa 52768.

1 month prior to the event.

? Photos of your three top selling items included in photo gallery

Email with your photos to include.

Annual fee: $20.00

Form to join Mississippi River Valley Art Directory

Artist name:

Business name:

Email address:

Business Address and Phone #:

Dimensions of display shop-important for possible tour groups.

Is shop handicap accessible:

Your hours of business and

if you would like to be included

in the Spring and Fall ART DRIVE:

Information on your studio:

Medium (media):

Webpage address:


By submitting this application form, I understand I am giving
permission to M.R.V.A.D. to publish my information on the web and it
is my responsibility to provide accurate information and timely
revisions of this information to M.R.V.A.D.

Mail form with check to: MRVAD, 22185 180th Ave., Davenport, Iowa 52807

Form may also be filled out online at .

For questions please inquire at: mail@MRVAD.COM or phone Diane at

563-343-2765 or Rhonda at 563-508-1853.