After the scandals at Enron and WorldCom, a lot of people and investors are asking: Are there a lot more companies out there with serious accounting problems?

The answer is yes, and the reason is pretty simple.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

In the two-person exhibit at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery in LeClaire, visitors can see one artist who is in awe of his medium and subject matter, and another who enjoys manipulating her medium to fit her subject matter.

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