Artist Jaclyn Garlock's 68x95 painting, "Jingle Bell Time, What a Swell Time"

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (October 16, 2020) On exhibit in Quad City Arts Rock Island Gallery through December 11 will be Extraordinary Women, large-scale paintings by Jaclyn Garlock.

Garlock’s large-scale paintings depict life-sized women engaging in non-salaried work from cooking to laundry to volunteering and enjoying themselves as they do it. The titles of her paintings are borrowed from song lyrics, which is especially appropriate since she resides in Clear Lake, Iowa, home of the Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens performed their last show before boarding the flight that crashed into a frozen cornfield five miles northwest of Mason City, commemorated thereafter by Don McLean as "The Day the Music Died" in his 1971 song "American Pie". Garlock's bold, narrative compositions are acrylic on canvas.

Jaclyn has been an artist all her life, but didn’t realize it until she was in her 30’s. She tried teaching and then wanting to do something more creative, opened a silk-screening business. After learning the process of silk-screening, she began to experiment with the process and learned that she could layer images to create more detail. She began staging scenes using various props, which she photographed and then printed on rag paper and sold at fine-art fairs around the Midwest. Although she had a BFA in painting, she hadn’t painted since college until the year 2000, when she decided it was time.

Garlock explains, “After messing around with different subjects, I decided to do a self-portrait. I dressed up, put on too much make-up, made my hair Tammy-Wynette big, and set my camera. I loved the result and was on the way to strictly figurative work. All my friends posed for me they loved dressing up as something they were not. We’d set up different little scenarios and act them out like making a short movie. Then adding in various costume changes, I could stage and photograph the scenes to mimic the ideas I had in mind. With photoshop, photos could be cut and pasted, adding in another figure or different props, to create the best composition. I started building my compositions around women for the simple reason they are fun to dress up, but added men to the picture a little at a time, until now where they are more than just window-dressing.”

Happy with the direction her paintings were taking, Garlock let go of creating and selling screen prints at art fairs. She concentrated on building a body of work to exhibit regionally at art centers and museums. She found that people related to her images and made up stories about the people in the paintings.

The online gallery can be viewed at

Quad City Arts is a non-profit local arts agency dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Quad City region through the arts. Support for art exhibitions is provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Quad City Arts Gallery is located at 1715 Second Avenue in the Arts and Entertainment District of Rock Island. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10AM-5PM, and Saturday, 11AM–5PM.


Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher