won_jae_lee_dream.jpg A soft luminescent form gently sways in the air. As it slowly turns, its glowing color shifts from blue to an enchanting violet. Nearby, pale green compostable plastic wedding dresses gives comment to the newfound disposability of what used to be a family heirloom. Watching and waiting on the floor is an internally illuminated octopus made from shaped PVC pipe. These delightful works are just part of the bounty of intriguing three-dimensional constructions awaiting you now through May 25 at the Bucktown Center for the Arts in downtown Davenport.

Bekah Ash The third edition of the Venus Envy art exhibit - held as part of Saturday's larger celebration of women's creativity - certainly includes traditional feminist themes such as gender-role subjugation, objectification, and commodification. But the diverse show is not dogmatic, with works on women's health issues, goddess imagery, and the life-giving nature of women, with many pieces demonstrating grace, wit, and wisdom.

but without the chocolate chipsGolden-brown and rust clouds battle a wave of cool, storm-tossed blues. Lush, glossy surfaces are resisted by thickly painted gestural slashes and incised flowing forms. These are just part of the explosion of colors and surfaces found in Con-tin-gen-cies, the current show of new works by Emily Christenson at the doe Gallery in the Bucktown Center for the Arts.

Brian Roberts - MouthTactile, warm, and vibrant quilts wage a playful dogfight with large and bold oil paintings dripping with lush colors, offset by lightly weathered pods of overlapping metal plates. Just a few miles away, their siblings passively engage each other in a nonchalant visual standoff.

Can this really be the same exhibit?

Cedar Rapids Harvester Show You open the door and are engulfed by the plump and relentless beats from the DJ. The cave-like basement has pockets of illumination that attract buzzing swarms of twenty- and thirty-somethings to clusters of art, like chicly clad insects to an irresistible bug zapper. The art ranges from jarring paintings, whimsical sketches, and disconcerting collages to kinetic sculptures with whirling wheels of spurs and cast turds on a stick gathered in some kind of dookie Stonehenge.

This was the energetic scene at the Harvester show this spring in Cedar Rapids. The two-day show was a culmination of more than five months of grassroots work by three friends who shared a vision of helping showcase the artistic endeavors of non- or under-represented artists in Iowa. Their journey and lessons can be used by local artists who want to develop their own venue or event.

The Creator and The Critic "In my nightmare, black ominous towers vibrating with negative energy, producing a very low and constant humming sound, surround a picturesque little cottage with a flower garden and a white picket fence. A little girl steps out of the cottage and into the garden, where she bends over to pick a daisy. I yell, 'Don't pick the flowers,' and then I awaken. I knew that the flower was the trigger that would detonate the black towers (nuclear missiles) surrounding her."


- excerpt from Harry Brown's artist statement


Shirley Stacey is just kickin' back. She has her hair pulled up with a red and white bandanna, and her feet are resting on a pale-blue footstool. The calmness in her face and smooth tonal transitions in her skin initially stand in contrast with the house party of color in the afghan draped behind her wooden chair.

Evacuate This Friday marks the opening of Adaptation to Evacuation: From NOLA to Iowa, a show of recent work by Karen Blomme at the Peanut Gallery in Rock Island. The exhibit showcases the transformation of Blomme's art over the course of two tumultuous years of study, reflection, migration, production, and adaptation.

Internationally renowned "sculptor" Roy Staab will be making an appearance and giving a lecture at the Mode Gallery in downtown Davenport on Saturday, May 27, at 6 p.m. Staab's appearance is in conjunction with a two-week exhibit of his work at Mode.



Internally illuminated torso sculptures made of paper, rough-shaped hide-like weavings with primitive figures, shimmering digital photographic constructions of a transmogrified rock-and-roll icon, and a leg crowned with a house covered in plastic toy babies represent just a sliver of the powerful artistic diversity to be discovered at this year's Venus Envy art exhibit, which populates the first three floors at Bucktown Center for the Arts (in downtown Davenport) through May 26.