The Quad City Arts team is growing and we are happy to welcome to our group a new Gallery Assistant, Abi Kongkousonh! Abi is a hidden jewel, she's an incredible illustrator and artist, she blew us away with her portfolio. Not only is she a talented artist, she in an experienced data entry processor and will be helping us with some pretty large projects this summer. You will be seeing Abi greet you at the front desk of the gallery, so don't be shy and say hello!
Are you a Quad Cities native? What brought you to the Quad Cities?
Yes! I was born in Davenport, and I have lived in East Moline my whole life. My mom is also a QC native, and my dad and his family have lived here since the 80s after they immigrated from Laos.
What is your biggest achievement/goal/moment of success to date – personal or professional?
I think it was getting into the Lockdown show here at QC Arts this past fall. That was the first show I applied for by myself, and I was so proud to be a part of such a great show.
How did you first learn about Quad City Arts?
In 2019 I saw someone on Facebook share a post about Chalkfest, which I entered just for fun. Then I just kept up with Quad City Arts news. I was in the Lockdown show in 2021 and have attended Riverssance and Festival of Trees. When a job position opened up, I felt like I would be a good fit.
What are you most excited for in your role at Quad City Arts?
I am most excited to see the talent we have locally up and close!
What is your favorite arts experience in the Quad Cities?
I love musical theater, and the QC has quite a few community theaters. I think my favorite show was Mary Poppins at the Music Guild a few years ago, but I try to go to as many shows as I can.
What is your favorite arts experience outside of the Quad Cities?
I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art a few years back. At the time they were hosting a traveling exhibit of Impressionist artworks so I got to see several Monet and Degas pieces. I think I was pissing off the security team off--I was standing so close to the artwork trying to take it all in.
Who is your favorite artist? (This can be any artist – visual, performing, etc.)
Just one? Greta Gerwig is an artist I look up to. Her work in Frances Ha was incredibly impactful on me, and her directorial roles in Lady Bird and Little Women were extraordinary.
What is one thing that might surprise people about you?
I have never been on a roller coaster, and I don't really like amusement parks. It's too hot. I don't like the food. I get sick on the rides. I like to say I was born to be mild.
This wouldn't be a true questionnaire without throwing a few questions in from our Seven With Kevin Series! What are you currently watching on Netflix or TV?
I just finished re-watching the Umbrella Academy and now I'm starting Shtisel, a show about an ultra Orthodox Jewish community.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
I don't want my nerd card revoked, but I don't love either. When it comes to epic space sci-fi, I'm almost exclusively a Doctor Who girl. In terms of nostalgia, I could go with Star Wars though. My brother and I used to hit each other with plastic lightsabers in our backyard and play Lego Star Wars the video game on the Wii.
Where is the best pizza in the Quad Cities (or where you are from)?
Fields of Pizza is my go-to, but honestly is there such a thing as bad pizza??
What is your favorite book?
I'm a huge reader so this is impossible. Today, I'll go with Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Where is your go-to place for inspiration?
I have a huge box of old magazines, receipts, and collage paper in a spare room at home. Whenever I need inspiration I like making something nonsensical with those junk supplies.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I'd be a super good librarian.
If you could have a drink with any artist living or dead who would it be?
Makoto Fujimura is an American artist with a Swedish and Japanese ethnic background, which is similar to mine. He believes in slow living and culture care through art. I'd love to pick his brain.
When you see Abi around, make sure to say hello! We're so lucky to have such a talented new artist on our team!