Just as last year was unusual for our Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship program, this summer also is unique.
Far fewer students – ages 15 to 21 – are participating, in fewer projects, and they are wearing face coverings and are social distancing, as is the current practice. That does not mean that the two outdoor murals and improvisational comedy being created over the past five weeks are any less meaningful, important or impressive.
“Every Metro Arts site has a collection of masks available, if the student either doesn’t have one or has forgotten theirs that day, so we can make sure we’re following the social-distancing guidelines and keeping everybody safe,” Quad City Arts executive director Kevin Maynard said, noting the lead artists also wear masks.
“I don’t think that our social distancing guidelines have hindered the process or progress on any of these projects,” he said. “It has limited the number of apprentices. Most sites typically have 10 apprentices and a lead artist, but with the (Illinois) guidelines in phase 3 being no groups larger than 10, we did have to cut an apprentice from each project.”
Compared to 2019, when there were about 90 apprentices doing projects throughout the Quad-Cities in the spring, summer and fall, this year about 30 area youth are being provided with five-week paid summer apprenticeships.
These apprentices create projects that positively impact our community: a mural in Moline, improv comedy, and a mural in Rock Island. These projects were made possible through support from the City of Rock Island, Friendship Manor, Modern Woodmen of America, The Moline Foundation, and Renew Moline.
Since summer 2000, Metro Arts has provided youth ages 15-21 with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines. They work together in groups to complete projects that enhance the community through the arts. Participants learn artistic techniques and applications of their genre while developing personally and professionally.
This program allows young adults to develop new career and artistic skills, build self-confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment as they work under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Their mentors are accomplished, local artists who are passionate about teaching and encouraging creativity.
“This year, we obviously knew it would be a lot smaller – there were no spring projects with the pandemic going on,” said lead artist Sarah Robb of Davenport, who’s heading both new murals, at 1516 6th Ave., Moline, and on three sides of the Friendship Manor maintenance building, at Rock Island’s 11th Street and 21st Avenue.
In her 14th summer leading Metro Arts, she’s been working with eight young artists daily in Moline in the morning for four hours and nine in Rock Island in the afternoon.
If painting close together, the students are required to wear masks or face shields, and unlike previous years, do not share paint or buckets with water to rinse brushes. Masks are provided in case students forget to bring one, as well as hand sanitizer, water and sunscreen.
The mural in Moline is in the courtyard on 6th Avenue next to La Primavera, on the wall of Bajas Classy Resale, across the street from the mural Robb led in 2018 for the Child Abuse Council (which was supported in part by Quad City Arts’ Arts Dollars, but wasn’t a Metro Arts project).
The new mural (called “It’s a New Day”) is the first Metro Arts project in the city of Moline, supported by Renew Moline and The Moline Foundation. Specifically, The Tom and Karen Getz Memorial Fund was established at The Moline Foundation to support and promote civic pride, youth development and the arts. Tom and Karen served and led innumerable community organizations with energy, commitment, and heart.
“This collaborative mural project exemplifies and honors the legacy of these two truly remarkable community leaders,” said Paul Plagenz, president/CEO, Moline Foundation.
“It has a positive message during this time – hopeful, a lot of color,” Robb said. The students at both locations have been “troupers” and seamlessly adjusted to the circumstances.
“Once they’re working, they’re in their own world,” she said. “We just look different because we have masks on. They all get it, have been cooperative and thankful they still have the opportunity.”
“The best part is the community of other artists, and we get to know their style and connect it to make one piece,” said senior Moline apprentice Rebecca Quick, a 21-year-old Moline High alum. “We’re sweating like crazy, but keeping our distance and we’re making it work.”
“There have been a lot of changes due to the virus, but obviously things aren’t that different,” said Kamryn Linskey, a 2020 Sherrard High grad who last year did Metro Arts at the MLK Center in Rock Island. “It’s definitely the same amount of fun as last year. Working with Sarah, it’s been awesome.”
Since Friendship Manor is a larger project, which involved nearby Olivet Baptist Church, Robb will take a break after this week, and start another five weeks in late July with a new group of 11 or 12 apprentices to finish the building by the time school starts.
“That was by design, because it is such a large project, we split it up into essentially groups and two projects,” Maynard said, noting stipends for the apprentices are $500 each; $750 for the senior apprentice, and $2,000 for lead artists.
“Most of the cost for the mural goes into the labor and materials. We do have a small administration fee, which is around 9 percent of the total cost. We typically ask building owners to come up with some of those funds,” he said, noting they typically pay at least $4,000 and an average mural costs around $10,000, based on size and number of apprentices.
The three-student improv comedy group meets daily at Schwiebert Park in Rock Island and is led by Erin Mahr, a Rocky grad who did improv with Metro Arts in 2002. “So it’s fun to be on the other side now,” she said. “At the time, I didn’t think I’d ever teach it. I had so much fun learning improv games at the time, and I thought it was a great opportunity to earn money while learning a fun skill like improv. I enjoyed ComedySportz, learning the different games and skills there.”
Mahr was in ComedySportz from 2010 until last year, when it disbanded, and is a performer with G.I.T. Improv.
This year, with students masked, “It’s been an interesting year,” she said. Mahr was co-lead artist last year with Patrick Adamson, at Rock Island’s former Establishment Theatre, now owned by the Center for Living Arts. They’re outside this year, partly to be safer health-wise.
“In improv, you have to work more with body language, being able to hear and understand each other,” Mahr said. “The apprentices have done a wonderful job of adapting and making the most of their experience, given the situation.”
Improv comedy translates to everyday life skills, she said. “It’s great for public speaking; it’s a great confidence builder, even just social skills.” Last week, they did a brief improv show July 2 for customers at Theo’s in downtown Rock Island.
“What I enjoy most about the improv program is the fact that I get to do something I love every day, and I also get to make new friends that otherwise wouldn’t have existed,” said Teddi White, 18, a new Bettendorf High grad in her second year of Metro Arts. “It’s a little difficult working with masks for a few reasons. It gets very hot very quickly, it’s harder to enunciate, and it’s harder to tell other’s facial expressions.”
“I love improv because it’s really flexible and free,” she said, noting she first did improv about eight years ago in a class at Davenport Junior Theatre and has been to multiple ComedySportz shows.
Covid also forced changes in how Metro Arts will present their annual showcase – virtually this year, at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9 (on Facebook and the Quad City Arts YouTube channel).
“In a typical year, we’d have every apprentice in the same room, on stage, with their friends and family, talking about the projects they’ve completed and showing some pictures,” Maynard said. “That’s not an option this year, so we’re bringing 3-4 people from each group to talk about their project. We would bring on everybody, but we are limited in how many we can have in the program we use, at one time.”
The showcase will display photos of the groups and their work, including recorded clips of the improv group that will be shared as well. It’ll be part of Quad City Arts’ newest video series, “7 with Kevin Live.”
For the showcase, the improv students will offer some puns (each from home), and not scene work. “It’s difficult to do that on multiple different screens at the same time,” Mahr said. Last year, there were nine apprentices doing improv.
This year, it’s smaller because it was harder to promote with school being out the last quarter. “There was a possibility we were going to have to teach online, and improv is very interactive and sometimes it works online, and others it’s more difficult to do online,” she said.
There is an additional Metro Arts project planned this fall in downtown Davenport.
The cultural life of the Quad-Cities is lifted in part by public art that is on permanent and temporary display throughout Davenport, Bettendorf, and Rock Island, thanks to Quad City Arts’ public sculpture program.
In June, six public sculptures in Bettendorf and four in Rock Island were replaced with new ones, featuring colorful, creative and whimsical work from artists throughout the Midwest. Each city chose to keep one sculpture from last year’s selection for another year.
Quad City Arts has facilitated the leasing and installation of public sculpture in the area since 2002, starting with the city of Davenport – which now has nine outdoor sculptures on permanent display (find the locations on our website under Public Sculpture Program). The city of Rock Island has participated in the program every year since 2007 and Bettendorf, since 2008.
For the first time, Renew Moline will join the effort, in sponsoring sculptures.
Arriving on the riverfront near 15th Street this week will be “Swans On the Marsh” by V. Skip Willits of Camanche, Iowa. “I was walking along the shore of a marsh by the river one day and spied three swans on the water. This is my rendition of that scene,” the sculptor said.
Arriving June 29 outside of the new Kone building near Bass Street Landing in Moline will be “Metamorphosis” by Hilde DeBruyne of Cumming, Iowa. She describes her piece as an “organic, contemporary, streamlined sculpture in steel. It refers to the Metamorphosis of butterflies.
“Butterflies are a symbol of transformation, because of their impressive process of metamorphosis,” she said. “By observing butterflies, we can relate to our own lives: Each of us transforms through multiple stages in our life: moments of growing pains, times of hunger and vulnerability followed by moments of tremendous energy, growth, wonder and amazement.”
All of the sculptures are for sale and can be purchased by individuals, businesses or the city for permanent installation after June of the following year.
“When people see art in a community, they know that the city leaders value culture and they take pride in their community,” Dawn Wohlford-Metallo, Quad City Arts’ visual arts director, said. “When sculpture is around, or murals, or other kids of amenities, people feel good about their surroundings and then they want to live there."
And the sculptures are very popular sites for people to take selfies, she noted.
The sculptures are leased and on public display for a one-year period (each artist gets a $1,200 stipend), at which point they may be purchased for permanent installation or be replaced with new sculpture. In 2019, we coordinated the installation of 12 sculptures with the financial support of Rock Island and Bettendorf, Rock Island Parks & Recreation, Bettendorf Library Foundation and Ascentra Credit Union, showing their commitment to the cultural and artistic vitality of our community.
Courtney Lyon of Ballet Quad Cities loves “Growing Up” – at the foot of the Centennial Bridge in Rock Island, created by Ben Pierce, 36, of Cape Girardeau. Mo. It was installed at the visitor’s center in Rock Island last year and will remain for another year.
“I see it every day when I drive into Rock Island for work,” said Lyon, artistic director of the ballet company. “Even though my mind is typically already busy with what will be happening during the day, I always notice the sculpture. I instantly recognize that my car is crossing an area where civilization abruptly meets nature. It snaps me out of my ‘work’ brain and it makes me blink and look around and come into the present.
“The sculpture stands strong and tall, circles filled with bricks, triangles filled with blue. I think about the artist and their choice of putting the blue water in the angular container, and the red bricks in the smooth container,” she said. “ It seems so simple that by switching what seems natural, something that could have been normal and expected becomes unique and unforgettable. Would I have thought to do that?
“I realize that I just crossed over the Mighty Mississippi. Even though we built a bridge to cross it, and flood walls to protect us, the river is far more powerful than we are,” Lyon said.
“Delightfully, the blue of the sculpture pops! Sometimes it is the brightest thing around as I come off the bridge if the skies are grey, the water flat, the trees bare.”
The sculpture pays homage to Pierce’s family history and lineage of bricklayers.
“My father is a 3rd-generation bricklayer and I spent a lot of time as a kid on the jobsite,” he recalled. “I would play in sand piles that were used to mix with the Portland cement and water to make the mortar. I remember climbing up on the scaffolding and watching my dad as he laid bricks. Using or mimicking a plant-like form, to show growth.
“Placing the bricks inside a circular shape on a form that is largely angular highlights the brick to showcase their value. As the form grows, the bricks are an integral part -- just like in my own growth and childhood,” Pierce said.
While there are very few Q-C artists that do large sculptures, one is featured this year – Moline’s David Zahn, whose “Time Passes” is at Build to Suit on Bettendorf’s State Street, near the Waterfront Convention Center.
“The human form has always been a major element in my work,” he said. “Integrating images of people and blending them with abstract forms has been a long-lasting direction in my art. I strive to create a feeling of timelessness and a strong emotional element in each piece.”
A 57-year-old native of Norridge, Ill. (outside Chicago), Zahn has taught pottery and sculpture at Moline High School, and has made work that is nationally known and collected publicly and privately. He’s had bronze sculptures commissioned by Deere & Company, Scott County and the North Scott School District.
His sculptures include a large bronze of John Deere -- behind John Deere Seeding in Moline, near the entrance to Sylvan Island Park -- done in 2012 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the company; and bronzes in front of the Scott County Administration Building in Davenport and North Scott High School and Junior High in Eldridge, Iowa.
“Creating a realistic portrait, or a one-of-a-kind artwork for a specific purpose is always an exciting endeavor for me,” Zahn said on his website, dzahnsculpture.com. “I also like to have a bit of mystery in my art, so don’t be surprised if you can’t figure out exactly what is going on. My work is imaginative, thought provoking, and surrealistic at times, so the viewer has to make some of their own conclusions.”
Near Zahn’s work, on the plaza at the Waterfront Convention Center (2021 State St.), you can see “Talk, Talk, Smile” by Leslie Bruning of Omaha, Neb.
The artist described it as a conversation that determines quality of life on a neighborhood street. Neighbors need to converse with each other, and they can be most effective if they do it with a smile on their face.
The perforated steel creates a translucent quality that brings the faces and words in and out of focus and allows the viewers to see each other through the sculpture. This encourages a sense of shared space on the street. The meaning of this sculpture has never been more important.
Other Bettendorf pieces include:
Rock Island public art includes:
Hampton Cranes of Bettendorf donated its time and services to install the public sculptures again, which can cost up to $30,000 each to purchase.
This year’s funders for the program are the City of Bettendorf, Bettendorf Library Foundation, City of Rock Island, Rock Island Parks and Recreation, and Renew Moline. The next call for entries from artists will be February 2021.
Quad City Arts has also launched a new video segment called "7 WITH KEVIN LIVE!", where the director, Kevin Maynard, interviews a variety of artists that are in some way connected to Quad City Arts.
Their latest episode highlights two sculpture artists whose work has been installed in the Quad Cities. Mr. Maynard also mentioned the ability to view all sculpture on their website along with driving directions on their Public Sculpture Program webpage.
On Thursday, June 11, Quad City Arts executive director Kevin Maynard introduced a new video feature, “Seven With Kevin Live.” To be streamed on the nonprofit’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, the episodes (of 30 minutes or less) get their name from Maynard’s monthly e-mail newsletter, sent on the first Monday each month.
The purpose of “Seven with Kevin Live” is to have a fun, conversational interview with artists that are in some way connected to Quad City Arts. Through all of our programs, we work with hundreds of artists throughout the year and our community is impacted by these artists through their performances, public art installations, and gallery exhibitions.
Our team has the added benefit of getting to work closer with these artists, which gives us the opportunity to learn more about them and their art. We want to share that with our audience. “Seven with Kevin Live” is meant to take a look behind the curtain and offer a deeper connection with the art being displayed and presented in our community.
We also aim to carry a bit of the flame lit by the late Bruce Carter, a local arts institution who was the longtime host of “Art Talks” on WVIK-FM.
The monthly Quad City Arts newsletter highlights seven things that are coming up, we are working on, or sometimes that Maynard just wants to talk about. “It can be random, fun, and hopefully thought-provoking,” he says. “Using that same style, we came up with seven questions that will end each interview.”
In each “Seven With Kevin” video (expected to be introduced every other Thursday night), Maynard will ask these “lightning round” questions of his guests:
The first June 11 video featured an interview with photographer Ken Urban, of Durant, Iowa, who with painter Margaret Ertz of Burlington, Iowa, are the featured artists in the Rock Island gallery through June 19. Maynard spoke with Quad City Arts visual arts director Dawn Wohlford-Metallo about Ertz’s work.
Be sure to tune in with Kevin – it’s heaven!!
The title, “Quarantine Art Exhibition,” should not be considered the theme that drives your art. It only should identify when the art was created or completed. Quad City Arts would like to encourage artists to use this time to create new art and provide an opportunity to showcase it.
Whatever artwork you have felt compelled to create during this time of uncertainty, Quad City Arts wants to share it with the public at a time when we hope to be able to gather socially again to celebrate the power of creativity. All artists residing within a 250-mile radius of the Quad Cities are invited to submit up to two artworks of any medium created during the Quarantine period which began in March 2020, for a juried, group exhibition in Quad City Arts’ Rock Island Gallery from January 29-March 19, 2021. There is NO entry fee.
Quad City Arts is a non-profit arts organization 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, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Quad Cities Cultural Trust.
Quad City Arts Gallery is located at 1715 Second Avenue in the Arts and Entertainment District of Rock Island. For more information, contact Dawn Wohlford-Metallo 309-793-1213 X108, or by email.
Arts Dollars has been granting funds to artists and nonprofits in the Quad Cities region since 1979 thanks to our generous funding partners, who believe in the power of the arts to enrich our communities. Thanks to our 2020 Arts Dollars funding partners, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency and The Hubbell-Waterman Foundation. The vision that Quad City Arts has in facilitating these grants is that individual artists and nonprofits of all sizes would be able to accomplish projects in the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, that those communities would see a long-lasting benefit from the completed projects, and that artists would be paid for their work in the process. Each year, artists and nonprofits apply for grants in one of three categories: Projects, Education, and Capacity-Building. Keep an eye out for our 2021 grant round opening in December!
The funds awarded in the Project and Education categories are an investment in the arts across the six-county region served by Quad City Arts, activating nonprofits and artists who are engaging their community through projects in visual arts, theatre, music, film and more. Our records show that since 1990 alone, Arts Dollars has funded $1.3 million in projects in our region. What an amazing legacy!
Capacity-Building grants are highly competitive and specially designed for arts-centered nonprofit organizations that are seeking support to expand their reach and impact through the arts in their community. This category was added in 2016 as Quad City Arts saw a need for small organizations to have access to funds to increase their capacity. Arts Dollars has funded important organizational infrastructure support like strategic planning, database solutions, temporary staff, and more.
Our 2020 grant awards were recommended by a panel of community members who sifted through the nearly $160,000 in requests from across the region and approved by the Quad City Arts Board of Directors. Please join us in celebrating these individuals and organizations! We are excited about the impact each one will make on our community as they advance their mission and the mission of Quad City Arts: to enrich the quality of life in the Quad City region through the arts.
Providing grant funding for local projects like this allows us to move our mission forward. Quad City Arts is a nonprofit local arts agency dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Quad City region through the arts. The Art Dollars 2021 application opens December 15 and is open through January 31, 2021. For more information and guidelines, please reference our Art Dollars program page.
This program partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and a grant from the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation.
Every year, teachers and program directors bring a world-class performing arts resource into their buildings by simply opening their doors.
The artists and ensembles who walk through the door are more traditional than technological; they aren’t trained in robotics, webcasting, or video editing. They aren’t equipped with motion cameras or 3-D printing. But they are priceless in the expertise that they bring into every gym, auditorium, and classroom.
The artists and ensembles who are selected for a residency in the Visiting Artist Series are highly accomplished and frequently recognized or awarded at a national and international level. They are selected for both their artistic talents and their ability to engage public audiences, particularly students.
Each season of the Visiting Artist Series presents high-quality examples of music, dance, and theater. The purpose of each school or community site visit isn’t solely performance; it’s about modeling the hard work, dedication, and proficiency mindset that allowed them to become top-tier professional artists. These artists have an ear for music, feet made for dancing, and a voice made to carry through an auditorium. Despite the differences in their genres and their art forms, they all have a brain for the arts.
The outreaches given by each visiting artist during a week-long residency provide an experience that builds on classroom discussion, enhances school curriculum, adds to students’ knowledge of the performing arts from around the world, and develops future audience members.
This spring, the series was forced to cancel two residencies — one planned for steel drum player John Patti in March and another in May for multi-genre quintet Jarabe Mexicano. These two artists were part of the 46th season that featured a dozen other artists and ensembles for outreach performances in the Quad City region.
John Patti’s performance moves jazz and blues to a new level by adding the unique island flare of the steel drum. Patti is well versed in various genres of music, from sophisticated jazz to island jazz and the reggae sounds of the steel pan, R&B, Motown, and blues gives his performance some groove and soul.
Jarabe Mexicano takes audiences on a joyride through a versatile songbook of Mexican Folk as well as Rock & Roll, Tex-Mex, Latin Rock, and Reggae-Cumbia. Performing on stringed folk instruments accompanied by lively percussion, Jarabe’s dramatic, harmonized vocals in Spanish and English have gained them the admiration of many audiences.
The series is all about increasing the public’s access to the performing arts. It provides low-cost opportunities for Quad City area residents to see performances that would otherwise be out of reach. It brings the same distinguished, professional artists to schools for a nominal fee, regardless of their size, location, or academic level. As a result, this access to live and engaging performances improve our schools and our residents’ lives through the arts.
To find out more about the Visiting Artist Series visit our lineup.
If you would like to attend a Visiting Artist school outreach performance, contact us via e-mail or call (309) 793-1213.
The Visiting Artist Series is able to be produced by area grants and supporters of the arts. If you would like to support programs like this, consider becoming a Quad City Arts Partner.
There are many questions and concerns about graduation and other requirements for the Class of 2020 during this extended school closure. Seniors have spent their high school years preparing for their senior year. Many of them have been anticipating this year since elementary school. The Class of 2020 has brought a new experience in learning and preparation for their generation. Seniors are looking at the world around them, analyzing and coming up with creative solutions to problems like never before. It is safe to say, this year's senior class will be known for the most adaptable generation we know. With that in mind, we dedicate our first virtual gallery show to them. Hats off to an incredible generation of creatives!
The 43rd Annual High School Art Invitational would not have been possible without the incredible commitment from the instructors in our area. In a normal year, it is a lot of work to select artwork from students and deliver it to the gallery ready to be hung. This year, we had to change how the show would function four times, ultimately adapting to a digital gallery. These instructors worked with us at every turn. It highlights their incredible passion for their students. Thank you for all that you do.
The art instructors in our region were invited to choose works by their top five students, plus one film project and one using recycled materials. This year, we have submissions from 12 schools, 97 students, and 13 teachers. Today we have the privilege of presenting over $5000 in awards to art students who have worked hard to develop their techniques while at the same time expressing their unique voice. This ability is important because businesses list creativity as a top three trait for new hires. The students and teachers represented here have much to offer the world and we would like to share it with you.
These awards come from 24 different sponsors and are chosen by twelve artists in our community. We begin by recognizing all the great instructors who dedicate their careers to nurturing young artists. This exhibit gives them a chance to display their own talents.
First Place Teacher Award: Lisa Stisser from Kewanee High School
Second Place Teacher Award: Holly Secker-Brosman from Assumption High School
Third Place Teacher Award: Pat Bereskin from Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy
Rock Island Fine Art Guild Awards:
1. Maggie Borota from Central DeWitt
2. Laila Haley from Sherrard HS
3. Ethan Kopplin from Rock Island HS
4. Daityn Duffy from Moline HS
The Left Bank Art League Awards:
1. Lauryn Ginter from Central Dewitt HS
2. Jacqualyn Richardson from Mercer County HS
3. Schroeder from Davenport Central/Creative Art Academy
Working Artist Awards:
1. Excellence in Clay Award goes to Kyle Knedler from Pleasant Valley High School
2. Cutting Edge Award goes to Laylon Baucom from Pleasant Valley High School
3. Deborah Doehler Studio Award goes to Kade Green from Pleasant Valley High School
4. Excellence in Photography goes to Cameron White from Davenport West High School
5. The Creativity Award goes to LaDella Gallagher from Davenport Central High School / Creative Arts Academy
6. The Award for Whimsey goes to Xu Yeuming from Assumption High School
7. Don Heggen Memorial Award for painting goes to Kailyn Scott from Kewanee High School
8. The Essence of Water Award goes to Noah Eis from Davenport West High School
9. The Life at Night Award goes to Nick Hendley from Davenport West High School
10. “The Natural World Award” goes to Daityn Duffy from Moline High School
11. “The Imagination Award” goes to Austin Hall from Kewanee High School
Hilltop Campus Village Award:
Aenish Porte from Central High School
Our friends at Living Lands & Waters sponsor an award each year for the student who can make the most interesting creation out of recycled materials: Laylon Baucom from Pleasant Valley HS
Dphilms is a full-service video production & photography boutique just down the street from Quad City Arts. Their crew reviewed the student film submissions and awarded: Lucas Teasdale from Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy. In addition to prize money, Lucas will receive a guided tour of Dpilms’ studio.
Juror’s Choice Awards for Exemplary Work:
1. Olivia Hucke from Mercer County High School
2. Thomas Johnson from Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy
3. Maggie Pope from Sherrard High School
4. Emma Hubbard from Bettendorf High School
5. Abigail Butcher from Kewanee High School
Best of Show Award: Michael PK from Central DeWitt High School
$1500 goes to Liam Haskill from Rock Island High School 2. $1000 goes to Lydia Bloome from Bettendorf High School
Our second scholarship winner, Lydia Bloome from Bettendorf High School received the Best of Show ribbon for our Festival of Trees High School Exhibit last fall. You can see more of Lydia’s work in our storefront window on our Rock Island Gallery Location on 2nd Avenue. Festival of Trees is our largest fundraiser and the proceeds make it possible for Quad City Arts to continue making the arts accessible to everyone in our community. That includes our Visiting Artist program which brings performing artists into the local schools.
Quad City Arts’ Staff Award:
Zakiya Bolar from Bettendorf High School
This concludes our awards. Please check out all of the outstanding artwork in the Virtual Gallery. Quad City Arts where our mission is to improve the quality of life in the Quad Cities region through the arts. We work towards that mission through programs like the Visiting Artist Series, Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship, public sculpture, Chalk Art Fest, and our gallery spaces. Thank you to everyone who supports the arts!
As the global response to COVID-19 intensifies and our world is turned upside down, many workers in the creative sector are finding it harder and harder to get by. Many are scrambling to balance their health and safety with paying the bills. Creatives are often hit hardest during uncertain times, and the recent pandemic is no exception. Thankfully, the financial difficulties artists are facing have been recognized. A rapidly growing group of organizations is mobilizing resources for artists affected by COVID-19.
Quad City Arts is dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Quad City region through the arts. We have been putting together a list of resources for regional artists.
Unemployment: The CARES Act has expanded unemployment eligibility.
Illinois Artist Relief Grant:
Illinois Artist Relief: Grants for Illinois Artists for $1,500. The application portal will close on Wednesday, April 8 at 5:00pm CST.
If you would like to add more resources to our listing, please email our staff.
This post contains information and links to resources for artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions, please contact a professional, whether that be an attorney, banker, or someone with these organizations. We at Quad City Arts are not legal experts therefore none of this should be taken as legal advice.
As the Executive Director of Quad City Arts, this probably does not come as a surprise, but in times of uncertainty, I look towards the art sector. It always reminds me of why I love the creative community.
Within 24 hours of large gatherings being cancelled putting the performing arts industry on hold, we had Broadways stars, touring musicians, and more taking to social media to provide an outlet so the show could go on or so the music didn’t die. As more time passed, we saw comprehensive lists of where we could see free concerts, free operas, art demonstrations, etc. As I said, we adapt.
This isn’t to say that industries outside of the arts are not adapting. It does however help highlight why studies done by Americans for the Arts shows that businesses list creativity as a top three trait for new hires. In these times we are seeing those creative types put forth some of their best work. Often for little more than to entertain people and help them pass some time or to teach them something new. It is truly inspiring.
So how is Quad City Arts adapting? We are using this time to tell our story like we never have before, and we are adapting our programs to fit the “new norm” whenever possible. At a time when we are asked to shelter-in-place to help flatten the curve, we are launching more digital content, like this new blog. We are also adapting our annual high school art show. In past years, we packed close to 300 people into our gallery to recognize young artists in the Quad Cities Area. This year, we are recording it for your viewing pleasure and launching the 43rd Annual High School Art Invitational entirely online.
We are also using this time to help support and enhance our arts community. By sharing the great things local artists are doing, and by encouraging everyone to use this time to create, we are helping to keep the arts alive, while maintaining appropriate social distance. To further encourage the creation of new art, we will be hosting a group show to highlight new works created during this time sometime in the future. We plan to present the show after this is all over. Stay tuned.
Adapting isn’t always easy, but we know it is necessary. I’m excited to see what other adaptations are ahead both for Quad City Arts and the arts sector as we whole.
Thank you for supporting us, supporting our team, and supporting the arts through these challenging times.
Kevin L. Maynard
Executive Director Quad City Arts