For most of her young life, art has been a private refuge for Riley Jones – a hobby she kept to herself. But after the Rock Island teenager’s artwork took first place in the 2021 Congressional Art Competition and was chosen to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol, she was recruited to share her talents in a new mural program in Downtown Rock Island.
The 16-year-old Riley, whose originally titled “Black Pride” piece was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, was asked to create a large-scale mural in Downtown Rock Island for the new program launched by Quad City Arts and the Quad Cities Chamber through its partnership with the City of Rock Island.
Collaborating with professional muralists Dana Harrison (Limone) and Brandon Warner (ASPHATE), Riley transformed a blank brick wall into a beautiful and thought-provoking mural. The new mural will be unveiled at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, during a ceremony that also kicks off the Alternating Currents festival, planned for Aug. 19-22 at more than 30 downtown venues in the Quad Cities.
Painted on the southern wall of 313 20th St. – across the alley from Leo’s Shoe Repair, Riley’s mural is part of a larger revitalization project on the edge of the downtown core. Property owner Matt Stern and his team plan to renovate an adjacent vacant lot and multiple storefronts, two of which are for lease.
“This is a prime example of creative placemaking in Downtown Rock Island,” said Jack Cullen, the Chamber’s Downtown Rock Island Director. “In addition to generating positive buzz and foot traffic in the area, professional, well-thought-out murals can help brighten, clean up and encourage better investment in areas we want to see improved.”
How the mural began
“I just wanted to draw something for the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Riley, whose own feelings about her work’s message have evolved. The original piece included the words “Black Pride” repeated in the background, which she omitted from the mural. She now sees the movement and the broader racial injustice issue as “something that has caused a lot of pain for black people.”
Riley was contacted about the new mural program by the Chamber and Quad City Arts after her “Black Pride” piece was competitively selected by U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos as the first-place winner in the Illinois 17th Congressional District’s contest. Riley is no stranger to Quad City Arts, having participated in its Annual High School Art Invitational and displaying some of her work at its gallery.
“Every year, I’m impressed by the incredible talent on display during the Congressional Art Competition and Riley’s submission was exceptional,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “I’m thrilled that Riley’s artwork will not only hang in the halls of the Capitol, but also on the walls of Downtown Rock Island for all residents and visitors to see. I can think of no better way to display such a talented hometown artist’s work, and I am so proud of Riley.”
Riley, a Rock Island High School junior, is the daughter of Jerry and Kathy Jones. As a winning prize, Riley received two free airline tickets to Washington, D.C. But thanks to an anonymous donor’s gift of two more tickets, she now can bring along her parents and older brother, Peyton.
“Her art is very personal to her,” said Kathy Jones. “She doesn’t allow a lot of viewing for her parents.” In fact, if not for the encouragement of Riley’s former junior high teacher, her mother said Riley might not have entered the art contest.
Riley’s hope is the new mural showcases how Black Lives Matter “comes from a place of pain and grief and the unjust murder of black people.” While it resembles her original piece, she said the new rendition “is more about the suffering being caused and people hurting.”
Riley first became aware of racial oppression when she was in 5th or 6th grade and learned about the brutal murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American, who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955. “It hurt so much to learn about that,” Riley said.
“It was different than Dr. King being assassinated,” her father and Martin Luther King, Jr. Center Executive Director, Jerry Jones said. “Dr. King knew of the repercussions. Emmett Till was just being a young man living his life.”
Riley channeled her interest in civil rights and her feelings about racial injustice into her art. “It’s not just political. A lot of people see this as an issue of black people being mad at white people,” she said. “I wish they’d see it as a civil rights issue.”
Message of peace
Working with the muralists – both members of the nationally-recognized Scarce Elementz Crew, a graffiti paint crew, the trio completed the mural in about a week. Previously, Riley gained mural experience through Quad City Arts’ Metro Arts apprenticeship program. She was part of team of apprentices paid to paint an indoor mural at the new TBK Bank Building in downtown Bettendorf.
But her latest project was her first time using spray paint as a medium. As he watched her blend colors on the wall, muralist ASPHATE said “She’s killing it. To do that type of blending this early on is amazing.”
The muralists first met Riley weeks earlier, via Zoom, to plan the project. “In our first Zoom call, things got emotional,” ASPHATE said. “You could see the issue was a deep one. You could see it hit her hard. That spoke to me more than any conversation we could have had,” he said.
ASPHATE, who teaches graffiti workshops to youth in the Des Moines area, helped to suggest that Riley add a hummingbird to her mural. “It’s a sign of freedom,” he said, adding it also symbolizes “the light at the end of the tunnel: peace.”
The artwork marks the beginning of the Chamber and Quad City Arts’ new mural program. “This is a dream project for Quad City Arts as it not only adds great public art to our community, but it also provides an opportunity to mentor, encourage and celebrate a young artist,” said Kevin Maynard, Quad City Arts Executive Director.
The celebratory start to the mural program was funded by generous support from the Doris & Victor Day Foundation, City of Rock Island, Moline Foundation, Rock Island Art Guild, Rock Island Community Foundation, YWCA, Rausch Family Foundation, Holiday Inn Rock Island, MidAmerican Energy Company, Matt Stern, Theo’s Java Club and the Black business community in Downtown Rock Island, specifically Ms. BriMani’s Hair & Beauty Supply, Orr’s Mortuary, Roosters Sports Bar & Grill, Aja Styles Fashion & Accessories Boutique, By Design Fashion and Sumthin Different Barber & Beauty.
With Downtown Rock Island as the canvas, the addition of new creations will raise awareness of the art and cultural amenities it offers. Efforts are underway to identify more potential mural sites.
“This first mural supports the development of a talented young artist of color in our community and furthers the conversation around racial equity,” Downtown Rock Island Director Cullen said. “It’s a winning project for the entire Quad Cities region as we work to create a more creative, welcoming and vibrant destination.”
In the true “spirit” of Christmas in July, Quad City Arts announces that the trees will be returning for the holidays this year! Following a year off from its traditional presentation, the 36th Annual Kwik Star Festival of Trees, will be held at the River Center, November 20-28, including all ticketed special events and the free, televised holiday parade scheduled for Saturday, November 20th in downtown Davenport.
Showcasing over 150 designer displays, fun-filled attractions, live performances, 5 special events and the largest helium balloon parade in the Midwest, Festival of Trees is the Quad Cities premier holiday event and fundraiser for Quad City Arts. All proceeds help support arts education and programs that enrich the quality of life in the Quad Cities region through the arts.
“Last year, many families were apart and didn’t have the chance to celebrate the traditions that make the holiday season so special, so our goal for this year is to bring back the event bigger and better than ever before,” said Festival of Trees Administrator, Kaleigh Trammell.
The event promises to showcase all the familiar attractions and events that many have come to know and love with some new twists! Be on the look-out for designer selfie stations throughout the event and a NEW Mad-Hatter style Sunday brunch! Other special events include the Premiere Party, Teddy Bear Tea, SugarPlum Ball and Celebrity Lunch. Special event tickets will go on sale October 8th.
With a theme this year of “Oh What Fun!”, the steering committee is excited to bring everyone back for the fun and excitement of the in-person Festival experience. To build on the excitement for the coming year, Quad City Arts is running a Christmas in July promotion, where anyone who signs up to be a designer before August 1 will be entered to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!
For more information or to register as a designer visit: www.qcfestivaloftrees.com/design
If you are interested in supporting the event through sponsorship, please contact Karie Gilson at 309.793.1213 x104 or email@example.com.
Superman is hardly the only “Man of Steel.” That moniker could apply to Steven Maeck of Decorah, Iowa, a sculptor who works in welded and assembled steel.
The 64-year-old Vermont native is among 10 Midwest artists chosen this year to have their sculptures leased and placed throughout the Quad-Cities last month, in Quad City Arts’ public sculpture program. The pieces will be on display through June 5, 2022.
Maeck’s work, “Muso’s Thought,” is near the Channel Cat dock on the Mississippi River in downtown Moline near the Radisson hotel. Since 2002, he has designed and fabricated sculptural work either fully or partially composed of iron and steel.
“The focus of my recent work has been almost exclusively in the utilization of industrial detritus which I alter and/or recombine in such a manner as to create work that is not only resonant and original, but manifests the aura of having been created from base raw material,” he says, noting he has applied to Moline before to be part of the public art effort, but this is his first piece accepted.
“Public art is one of the true behaviors or actions of a civilized society,” Maeck says. “The increasing emphasis and popularity of public art nationwide is a very good sign in the face of all the horrendous stuff that has been occurring recently.
“From my brief experience with this program, I can say that Quad City Arts is staffed by dedicated, competent, professional and friendly people,” he says. “That fact, and the fabulous site that ‘Muso's Thought’ is currently occupying by the river, are the best things I am enjoying about this program.”
The quirky title represents “whatever occurs in the consciousness of the person who encounters the work,” the artist notes. This is just the second year the city of Moline has participated in the longstanding program, and each city has its own selection committee that picks the art.
Moline added two more sculptures this year, for four total; Bettendorf added seven and the Geneseo Public Library leased a sculpture for the first time. Rock Island elected to re-lease four of the sculptures from last year’s group, and to buy the sculpture “Reaching to the Moon” by Tim Frye for its permanent collection.
The other Moline sculptures placed in June are:
Geoff Manis, manager for the Moline Centre Main Street program, says his group (working with Renew Moline) had nearly 60 sculptures to pick from, facilitated by Quad City Arts.
“We had two more than last year; Bass Street has a sculpture pad that’s never been used,” he says. “And Mercado is such a wonderful community event. My role at Moline Centre is to do anything to help complement what they have going on -- to their vibrancy. They have a really high traffic count, and it’s very much a front door to Moline, heading from the west into downtown Moline.”
Quad City Arts has led the leasing and installation of public sculpture in the Quad-Cities since 2002. The City of Rock Island has participated in the program yearly since 2007 and Bettendorf since 2008.
Six sculptures have become part of Rock Island’s permanent collection, while Bettendorf has added seven. Davenport purchased nine sculptures while involved with the program. Sculptures are chosen by appointed committees and leased for one year. All sculptures are for sale and can be purchased by individuals, businesses, or a city for permanent installation after June of the following year.
“Each city has its own selection committee and that's because they're familiar with their city, they're familiar with the locations,” says Dawn Wohlford-Metallo, Quad City Arts visual arts director. “Certain spots need something big and bright and other spots need something smaller, and they're thinking about each location as far as what is going to show up best and be the best for that spot.”
One of the former sculptures in Bettendorf (from Ascentra Credit Union, 2019 Grant St.) – “Just Visiting” by Don Horstman, Easton, Mo. -- was selected by the Geneseo library this year.
“That was sort of unexpected. They just saw the program and they were like, well, we want one,” Wohlford-Metallo says. “They didn't even know that they could pick from all these new sculptures. So they just thought, well, these are leaving -- we want this one. We're always trying to expand to other cities.”
“There are programs similar to ours all over the Midwest and what artists do is to enter their available sculptures in multiple competitions,” Wohlford-Metallo says. “And then the ones that are about to be freed up from wherever they were last year are available to move somewhere else.
“So, some of the ones that were in our program in 2020 are going to go somewhere else, and some of them will go home with the artist,” she says. “Sometimes they repaint them or they freshen them up, and then they wait to be selected by another program or purchased. Many public sculptors have mini sculpture parks on their property.”
Bettendorf has been pretty aggressive in purchasing pieces. “Purchasing is part of the goal, I think, so they can have some permanent sculptures,” Wohlford-Metallo says. This year’s new ones in Bettendorf are:
Last November, Ascentra lost their beloved president and CEO, to pancreatic cancer at 52. The credit union looked to replace its sculpture and found a bit of divine intervention.
“As I looked through the sculptures, one stood out,” Naeve says of “Flame of Remembrance.” The artist’s statement on designing the piece said: “Traditionally, we have annual remembrances for those long passed. However, in 2020 we were thrust into a reality where we have many to remember for their sacrifices NOW, not later. So please think of them as you look at this Flame of Remembrance.”
“Ascentra selected this sculpture for our plaza because it seemed fitting,” Naeve says. “Not only did we lose our dear friend and mentor, but it was a year of loss for many as our nation endured a pandemic and a social awakening. The sculpture is there for each employee, member and community member to see and reflect upon those who have made a difference in their life and those they’ve lost. May their flames forever burn inside each of us.”
She encourages other organizations to participate in the public sculpture program “as it brings art and vitality to the community. The Quad City Arts makes it so easy to be a part of this program,” Naeve adds.
Wohlford-Metallo says the most exciting part of the process is “watching a Hampton Crane operator use their boom to lift a sculpture from an artist’s vehicle, hoist it high in the air and skillfully bring it down gently onto a concrete pad, as directed by the artist who created it.”
The artist will then drill holes into the concrete and secure the sculpture. Bettendorf-based Hampton Cranes generously donates their services each year to Quad City Arts.
Since the Covid pandemic inspired many people to seek stress relief and relaxation outdoors, the area’s public art may have been appreciated differently and more widely over the past 16 months.
“We had people contact us and say that, and ask about maps, which we are going to be putting on our website,” Wohlford-Metallo says. “So yes, we did have a lot of feedback from the public that they wanted to get out and go see them.”
All sculptures currently on exhibit, along with permanent sculptures, will be able to be viewed at www.quadcityarts.com/public-sculpture.html, as well as the websites of the cities that sponsor them.
Quad City Arts is nearing completion of another round of exciting new projects in the annual Metro Arts youth apprenticeship program.
Since the summer of 2000, Metro Arts has provided area youth 15-21 years old with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines. The program provides opportunities for youth and enhances the community through the arts.
For five weeks, area youth work together in groups to complete art projects under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Participants learn the artistic techniques and applications of their particular genre, while developing personally and professionally.
Throughout 2020, Quad City Arts was constantly evaluating our mission and how we were serving our community. Accessibility became a focal point due to the pandemic, forcing arts organizations to reevaluate how we were delivering programs.
“In recent years, Metro Arts has had an increase in requests for murals, which is great, but the mural program can be inaccessible to many students,” says Quad City Arts executive director Kevin Maynard. “Some students do not have access to arts classes in their schools and not all of them can afford private lessons.
“In 2021, we wanted to focus on programs that were designed from the ground up to be more accessible programs,” he says. With that in mind, we created the following programs:
Poetry (Lead Artist Aubrey Barnes). Apprentices are learning how to write and present poetry, as well as its connection to hip-hop and pop culture. The final project will be multiple “pop-up poetry” events (basically an open-mic for the apprentices).
Film (Lead Artist Jonathon Burnett), with Senior Apprentice Cooper Harrison. Apprentices are learning the concepts of writing a script, casting, filming, and editing. The final project will be a short film.
Graphic Design (Lead Artist Annie Oldenburg), with Senior Apprentice Casey Rassmussen in partnership with Black Hawk College. Apprentices are learning the basic concepts of the Adobe Creative Cloud. The final project is a storefront vinyl project in Downtown Rock Island where apprentices are creating designs to go on windows of vacant storefronts. This will help draw attention to these great spaces. Black Hawk College provided the use of their facilities as well as the use of their equipment highlighting their support for the arts, education, and the community.
Public Mural (Lead Artist Sarah Robb), with Senior Apprentice Liam Haskill, sponsored by Moline Centre. This mural is located along the bike path in Moline, under the Arsenal bridge, between the Channel Cat and Kone Centre. This area was in need of a new mural and Moline Centre/Geoff Manis asked Quad City Arts to make that happen.
This year may not be the most apprentices hired in a single year, but it is a big year for Metro Arts! Creating more programs that are accessible from day one is an important step to creating more young creatives in our community. We are excited to see the final projects!
Lead artists are also learning and growing by helping local students.
“Metro Arts is a very important program for youth in the community,” says Oldenburg, an art and design instructor at Black Hawk College, in her first year with the program. “What a great opportunity to work with the younger generation and inspire art culture!”
Working with eight graphic-design apprentices in Adobe Illustrator, her project is to create large-format posters that will be printed and hung in windows of empty commercial spaces in downtown Rock Island. These posters are the apprentice's visions of what these spaces could be filled with.
“We brainstormed important concepts – like accessibility, diversity, etc. -- and places that would help build and support members of our community,” Oldenburg says. “Some examples of the spaces being created are a smoothie bar, bookstore, community center, and art studio. These are both literal and abstract representations.”
“I have a talented bunch of apprentices, each with their own unique style that is really showing through,” she says.
Jonathan Burnett, a Rock Island-based independent filmmaker and executive director of Azubuike African American Council for the Arts, also is in his first year leading Metro Arts.
Their finished product will be a five-to-eight-minute short film -- and each summer, he also leads the Urban Exposure Summer Independent Film Program, which has been supported by Quad City Arts.
“I felt that working with Quad City Arts to help develop their own was a natural collaboration,” Burnett said.
“Anytime I work with young filmmakers, I’m always excited about their growth. They come in knowing almost nothing but have great creative potential and are very aware of the world around them. But when they learn at least the basics of filmmaking, that gives them a new voice to express themselves through visual storytelling.” View the finished short film below titled "Ego".
Aubrey Barnes – a writer, poet, performer and founder of Roaring Rhetoric, a Q-C based open mic showcase – also is doing Metro Arts for the first time. He’s a teaching artist, and has been teaching poetry/spoken word for the last six years nationally and internationally.
“Quad City Arts decided to do this as a new program for the Metro Arts, and I thought it'd be a good program to do,” Barnes says, noting he’s most excited about giving “the students a platform to share their voice, and giving the community an opportunity to experience it.”
Sarah Robb of Davenport is leading a Metro Arts mural group for her 15th summer – this year with 10 apprentices total. They are painting a new mural under the Arsenal Bridge along the bike path in Moline. Its title is “Retro Electric,” which is a nod to the history of the Arsenal infused with ‘80s shapes and colors, she says.
“I am most excited about the location this year!” Robb says. “Lots of people frequent the bike path and we are surrounded by the beauty of the river.”
Maynard also is excited about a recently completed mural project she led as a unique spring Metro Arts.
Apprentices were asked to design and paint a mural on the 2nd and 3rd floor just off of the elevators of the new TBK Bank building in downtown Bettendorf, at 1521 Grant St.
“Quad City Arts is thrilled to have the arts prominently represented at the new TBK Bank building and thankful to have a community partner like TBK Bank that understands the value of the arts and providing opportunities to our local youth,” Maynard says.
There were 14 local apprentices, chosen in the same way as the annual summer Metro Arts program. Robb was the lead artist and supervisor of the high-school students who created the TBK Bank murals in May, finishing June 2. The new bank (and TBK Midwest division headquarters) opened June 21.
View the Metro Arts Showcase for 2021 to learn more about the instructors and lead apprentices! To learn more about the Metro Arts program, visit www.quadcityarts.com/metro-arts.html.
Through Facebook and our website, Quad City Arts announced the winners of the 44th Annual High School Art Invitational and presented $6,000 in cash prizes and scholarships to area high school students and teachers for excellence in fine art.
The awards are as follows:
Senior Scholarship sponsored by Morency Family Foundation and Quad City Arts’ board members
Sophia Utsinger, Bettendorf High School
Senior Scholarship sponsored by Deere Employee Credit Union and Quad City Arts’ board members
Jaide Logsdon, Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy
Best of Show sponsored by Butterworth Center/Deere Wiman House
Laurel Hynes, Davenport Central/Creative Art Academy
Juror’s Choice Awards for Artistic Excellence
Kaden Green, Pleasant Valley High School
Lexi Redmond, Pleasant Valley High School
Derek Coulter, Mercer County High School
Quad City Arts' Staff Student Award:
Lola Johannsen, Pleasant Valley High School
Don Heggen Memorial Award for outstanding watercolor:
Dana Cabrera, Assumption High School
The Creativity Award sponsored by Joel & Diane Franken:
Sophia Utsinger, Bettendorf High School
Elaine & Larry Sneath Award for painting:
Mya Diabira, Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy
“The Most Whimsical Award” sponsored by Charles White:
Isabella Cuellar, Mercer County High School
Living Lands & Waters Award for use of recycled materials:
1st place: Simon Showalter, Mercer County High School
2nd place: Bethany Witt, Central DeWitt High School
The Cutting-Edge Award sponsored by Cutting Edge Productions:
Alexsys Scheeper, Central Dewitt High School
Cassie Higgs, United Township High School
Madelyn Janke, Davenport West High School
Excellence in Clay sponsored by Marilyn Davis:
Bailey Mattioli, Pleasant Valley High School
Deborah Doehler Studio Award for jewelry/metal working:
LaDella Gallagher, Davenport Central High School
Excellence in Photography Award sponsored by Jack Wilhoit:
Marissa Cope, Bettendorf High School
Works made of Paper Awards sponsored by Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy
1st place: Molly Schroeder, Davenport Central/Creative Art Academy
2nd place: Jason Weng, Davenport Central/Creative Art Academy
3rd place: Olivia Hucke, Mercer County High School
3rd Place: Avery Behnke, Pleasant Valley High School
The Natural World award sponsored by Ralph Iaccarino:
Avery Conger, Davenport West High School
The Life at Night Award for Beauty, sponsored by Life at Night Productions:
Damian Nickell, Moline West High School
Carlo Centore Award for Mastery of Technique
Ethan Hancock, Davenport West High School
Lilly Meder, Davenport Central High School/Creative Arts Academy
Zimmerman Honda Award for Excellence
Abigail Butcher, Kewanee High School
Olivia Koehler, Bettendorf High School
Hilltop Campus Village Award
Omina Jaugsah, Davenport Central High School
Award for excellence in film sponsored by Dphilms:
Riley Ellis, Rock Island High School
The Mississippi Valley Woodcarvers Award for woodworking:
Madison Carlson, Pleasant Valley High School
Left Bank Art League Awards:
Malia Shinbori, Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy
Madison Carlson, Pleasant Valley High School
Alondra Gomez, Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy
The Rock Island Art Guild Members’ Awards:
Malia Shinbori, Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy
Kennedy Maombi, Rock Island High School
Kristina Snowdon, Mercer County High School
Eric Eastland, Bettendorf High School
1st place: Cassie Dunlavey, Central DeWitt High School
2nd place: Alexandria Medenciy, Pleasant Valley High School
3rd place: Dave Schaeffer, Davenport West High School
Quad City Arts' Staff Teacher Award:
Lisa Stisser, Kewanee High School
The exhibition can be seen in person at the Rock Island Gallery Monday-Friday 10-5 and Saturday 11-5, with extended hours on the final day: April 29, 10am-8pm.
Quad City Arts is excited about a new partnership with KWQC-TV6, to provide exposure for area artists to create logos for their new weekly show, as well as the opportunity to feature local artists – the segment is called “Quad Cities Live.”
Airing Fridays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., QC Live invites area artists to submit their work, particularly to create new versions of the show’s logo. The NBC affiliate is working with Quad City Arts to recommend artists of any age, who can also have their work featured and be personally interviewed on the air.
Bettendorf native Brian Buckles (who now lives in Waterloo, Iowa), adapted a stunning shark painting of his for the logo and was featured on the show on March 19.
“It was really a great representation of his work and the QC Live logo,” says Kevin Maynard, Quad City Arts’ executive director. “KWQC reached out to us. Part of the focus of QC Live is what’s going on in the arts and our community.”
Quad City Arts contacted Buckles, since his work is in the current exhibit at the Art at the Airport gallery (through April 28), in the Quad City International Airport, Moline.
“We knew that outside of Brian’s artwork, he’s also a graphic designer, so he’d be a great fit with quality work and a quick turnaround,” Maynard says.
There is an open call on our website for any artist to submit their version of the QC Live logo, and KWQC plans to feature a different one each month.
“Obviously it showcases our artists’ work,” Maynard says. “It gives them the opportunity to get their work out there; it gives them an opportunity to talk about themselves. And for us, in addition to working with KWQC, we get to encourage people to come to our galleries, here and the Quad City International Airport, and let people know there are lot of really creative people in our region.
“We’re going to encourage our Metro Arts apprentices to create a logo as well,” he says. “This is kind of a fun opportunity to highlight especially young creatives and encourage the next generation of artists in the Quad-Cities.”
“How cool for a young artist to see their work on TV like that?”
The mission of Quad Cities Live
QC Live – co-hosted by Morgan Ottier and Jake Eastburn – launched last month, and features things to do over the weekend in the area, and also is dedicated to local nonprofits.
“Because we saw through the pandemic, the support that nonprofits needed, in our community to help serve others,” says Stephanie Hedrick, KWQC news director. “It just made sense to create, like everything we created about the show needed to belong, to show support for the community here.”
“We were talking about, why don't we just, when we're coming up with graphics and the look of the show, why don't we just make that an ever-changing element and something that would be a platform for local artists,” she says. “That would be another way to show support for the community.”
They borrowed the idea from Google as well, which switches the logo on its home page often, and QC Live wanted to try that, Hedrick says.
The first person they used for a new logo was LaToya D. Lewis -- an art teacher at Lincoln Resource Center in Davenport -- in honor of Black History Month in February.
“She said, this is great for high school students and other young artists,” Hedrick says. “Quad City Arts was great; they wanted to meet and help coordinate those artists for us.”
The show will also highlight those artists on air, though Lewis didn’t want to be interviewed.
“But she provided as a beautiful statement to explain how she came up with the idea,” Hedrick says. “She made a version of it for Quad Cities Live, but it also said Black Lives Matter at the bottom of it. And so we made sure to show that as well to explain where the inspiration came from.”
“We hope to not just feature the artist’s work through this logo, but work they’ve done so far,” Hedrick says.
KWQC has had a natural connection with Quad City Arts with the annual Festival of Trees, and she reached out to Alex Salaverria to get suggestions for other artists to design a logo.
Great outlet for artists
“I think it's such a cool idea,” Buckles (who was interviewed remotely for QC Live) says. “It’s obviously a great new platform to give artists of exposure. And, with Quad City Arts and what they're doing in the Quad-Cities, they've been doing it for a long, long time now, but it's just been really cool to see just the different ways and opportunities that they open up for artists to just kind of showcase what they can do and what they're passionate about. And I think that that obviously makes for a more lively culture in the Quad-Cities.”
Featuring new logos is a positive reflection of the variety of art and artists who are in the Quad-Cities.
“Sometimes I think that the Quad-Cities kind of has -- I don't want to say an underground art culture, but you know, maybe one that doesn't get as much recognition as it deserves,” Buckles says. “Allowing the logo to kind of change once a month to reflect someone else's art is a pretty cool idea and concept.”
A 2002 Bettendorf High alum, with a graphic design degree from Iowa State’s College of Design, Buckles adapted one of his paintings that he had done of a tiger shark in the Bahamas for his KWQC logo.
“I have a graphic design background. That's my degree and so I just tried to have a little bit of fun with it -- marrying the imagery with the typography and having the shark swimming through the Q,” he says.
“I thought it would be kind of a fun concept and give it some depth, and try to make it a little bit of an expression of who I am and what I'm about. I’m so appreciative of Quad City Arts and KWQC for that opportunity. It's been a fun, fun process.”
If you are an artist who wants to submit work and an updated logo, you can send images and logo inquiries to our website: www.quadcityarts.com/opportunities or apply directly: www.quadcityarts.com/qclive.
To see Brian Buckles’ segment, visit https://www.kwqc.com/2021/03/22/qc-artist-brian-buckles/. For other past episodes, visit https://www.kwqc.com/quadcitieslive/.
Quad City Arts is excited to be able to provide over $84,000 in funding for 25 organizations, arts-centered programs, and individual artists in 2021.
The goal of the Arts Dollars Project and Education Grants is to provide funding for a variety of organizations and projects that have strong community impact and feature unique and interesting artistic ideas and to ensure that artists are being paid in the process.
Capacity-Building Grants are highly competitive and specially designed for arts-centered nonprofit organizations who are seeking support to expand their reach and impact through the arts in their community.
Glenview Middle School is paying artists to design a mural for their school which reflects the “beauty and diversity of [their] student population”. Not only will this artistic creation live on in the halls of Glenview Middle School for years to come, but students, teachers, faculty, and parents will be involved in bringing this piece of art to life. Arts Dollars funding helps make projects like this one possible!
The Project of the Quad Cities recognizes the benefits of art therapy, and Quad City Arts is proud to fund projects like this one because of the profound and deep effect this project will have on our community. The Project of the Quad Cities will provide art therapy sessions to their clients living with HIV/AIDS which furthers their mission and fits squarely within the mission of Arts Dollars to impact the community through the arts.
Quad City Music Guild is seeking to strengthen its organization by strategically building inclusivity through outreach, restructuring, and training. Strategic Planning and the implementation of these plans is something that Quad City Arts continues to support through Arts Dollars and looks forward to continuing this type of funding in the future.
Joshua Graves is leading a project called “QC Collabs” that is bringing together hip-hop artists from around the Quad Cities to create and produce an album dropping this summer. Not only will their voices be amplified, but Joshua is also using this platform to provide industry-specific education and tips. This project features more than 15 artists, all of whom are being compensated for their work. Quad City Arts is excited to fund this project through Arts Dollars!
Our 2021 grant awards were recommended by a panel of community members who sifted through the nearly $140,000 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!
Capacity Building Grants
Our 2021 grant awards were recommended by a panel of community members who sifted through the nearly $140,000 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.
Thanks to our 2020 Arts Dollars funding partners, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency and The Hubbell-Waterman Foundation.
The 2021 Quad City Arts Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program is accepting applications through Wednesday, March 31.
Since the summer of 2000, Metro Arts has provided area youth 15-21 years old with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines. The program provides opportunities for youth and enhances the community through the arts. For five weeks, area youth work together in groups to complete art projects under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Participants learn the creative techniques and applications of their genre while developing personally and professionally.
As Quad City Arts continues to focus on equity and accessibility, it became clear that the Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship needed options that did not require pre-existing artistic talents, like those required to design and paint a mural in five-weeks. The program will still offer mural painting, but also include projects that are designed to be accessible to more entry-level artists, including graphic design, poetry, and film.
“We are excited to offer more accessible options for our paid arts apprenticeship program,” says Executive Director, Kevin Maynard.
This year’s Metro Arts program will start on Monday, June 7, and end on Thursday, July 8. Apprentices will meet for up to four hours Monday through Thursday. Apprentices receive a stipend of $500, and Senior Apprentices (project leaders) receive a stipend of $750.
The program is highly rewarding for apprentices as expressed by a 2020 Metro Arts Apprentice, Maggie Pope:
More project details will be available closer to the start of Metro Arts, but we are excited to share more information on some of our talented Lead Artists:
Aubrey Barnes, Poetry Lead Artist
Aubrey Barnes is an emcee, poet, educator, and author of "Unfin-" and "I'm Not Anti-Love, I Swear." With six years and hundreds of poems and songs under his belt, Aubrey's work encapsulates his unique experience as a black male living in a small region in the Midwest called the Quad Cities; from being a product of rap, to social divides that played a part in shaping his worldview. Aubrey has performed and taught workshops all over; from Chicago, Atlanta, to regions outside the country such as Haiti. He was also ranked number three best slam poet in the state of Iowa in June of 2019 by the Iowa Writers Organization. His poetry workshops consist of teaching the art from the context of rap and battle rap, exposing students to the lyrical and social richness that is within these arts. Being an individual who wears many creative hats, Aubrey aims to provoke ears with his lyrical, battle rap-influenced penmanship, as well as provoke thought, with content that reflects all that he has journeyed through or is journeying through.
Jonathan Burnett, Film Lead Artist
Independent filmmaker and Educator Jonathan Burnett is a native of Rock Island, Illinois. Jonathan studied and received his training in film production and visual media, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA, and a Master of Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University. He has written, directed, produced, and filmed several projects during his tenure. Jonathan worked on professional films in France, Algeria, and Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the Creator, Director, and Lead Instructor of the Urban Exposure Independent Film Program, a ten-week intensive program that teaches the basics of filmmaking to youth in the Midwest. Jonathan’s thesis film “Smoke & Mirrors” completed its festival tour. It has been shown in nine different festivals across the United States and has won 2 awards for Best Short Film and Best Student Film at the Alternating Currents Film Festival in Davenport, Iowa. Jonathan is now an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University and is also working with his father, Honorary Oscar Recipient, Charles Burnett to produce feature films and television content.
Sarah Robb, Mural Design Lead Artist
Sarah Jean Robb was raised in Davenport, Iowa. She received her BFA in Illustration with a minor in Graphic Design from Laguna College of Art & Design in Laguna Beach, CA. Sarah devoted nine years to her art career in California entering a variety of exhibits, creating murals, and commissioned jobs. Still, the desire to rediscover her roots resulted in moving back to Davenport, fifteen years ago where she continues to pursue her passion and career as an artist.
Since returning in 2006, she has been the Lead Artist for Mural Design with the QC Arts Metro Arts Summer Youth Program, a position she has been proud to occupy since 2007. Her love for large scale public art murals and working with the community has led to commissioned projects with The City of Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Child Abuse Council, Augustana College, Dress for Success, Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley, Schuetzen Park with German Heritage, and many more.
Quad City Arts' Metro Arts Apprenticeship 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. Let's encourage the next generation of creatives!
The 47th season of Visiting Artist Series continues online with content from 12 new artists presenting a broad selection of music, dance, and theatre genres. Collectively, these videos and residency materials are called the Visiting Artist Series Educational Resources Project.
We asked artists, including a North Carolina rapper and banjo player, a war refugee turned former NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” contestant, and an emerging Chicago dance studio, to provide materials. These resources that students would otherwise not have access to, such as videos on building mobiles, an introduction to Celtic music, and a string quartet program celebrating the life and legacy of Madam C. J. Walker, the first female African-American self-made millionaire in America.
The content is only accessible through our gateway and will be available until June 1, 2021.
Access to Educational Resources is FREE and open to teachers, parents, and other educators looking for supplementary arts materials and content.
It just takes a few clicks to view and use the exclusive materials from these artists. First, sign up for access at https://www.quadcityarts.com/vas-educational-resources. Then log in to the Educational Resources site. Select an artist to view the posted videos and documents. Click the link to watch the video or download the written materials. It’s that easy!
The entire season of artists in residence is available when you sign up, from musicians to actors, dancers to storytellers. Teachers, students, and parents can access performing artists' resources on any device connected to the internet, anytime, anywhere.
If you are interested in additional, live performances, such as a Zoom concert or a live-streamed workshop for students, please reach out! Margot is happy to coordinate experiences for students that will enrich their learning experience and expand access to the performing arts.
Ailie Robertson is a multi-award winning composer, performer and creative curator whose work crosses the boundaries of traditional and contemporary music. She is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s leading traditional musicians and Celtic harpists. She is a five-time National Mod Gold Medalist and a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist.
Folk musician Demeanor from Greensboro, North Carolina, merges hip hop and folk elements like banjo, bridging the gap between contemporary and traditional cultural music, celebrating folk music as an African American art form.
Ephraim Bugumba, a singer who spent his childhood as a war refugee from his homeland of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was a contestant on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and “American Idol”. His second single, “Stormz,” has been viewed over 1.7 million times on Bugumba’s TikTok.
Invoke is a multi-instrumental band whose encompasses traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism. Invoke has shared the stage with diverse and acclaimed ensembles ranging from the Ensō Quartet to the U.S. Army Field Band and has also appeared with musicians in greatly varying genres - from chamber rock powerhouse San Fermin to DC beatboxer/rapper/spoons virtuoso Christylez Bacon.
Jacob D’Eustachio, a juggler/storyteller who performed throughout the U.S. for two seasons with the Zoppe Family Circus. He spent three years at the prestigious Ecole de Cirque de Quebec, Canada and performed at the renowned Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Jaerv is a described by Jeffrey De Hart, a Billboard Sweden Correspondent, as “an innovative Swedish folk quintet with jazz and pop leanings who flawlessly blend original songs with stellar takes on captivating Scandinavian folk songs, some dating back 700 years. The combined talent, humor, and professionalism these impressive men exude is unparalleled. Musicians. Vocalists. Songwriters. See them. Feel them. Experience them.”
John Driskell Hopkins is most well-known as a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter of the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band. John became a founding member of the Zac Brown Band (ZBB) in 2005 as a bass player and has enjoyed engineering and songwriting credits on hit songs including “Toes,” “It’s Not OK,” and “Sic Em On A Chicken,” from the triple-platinum selling record “The Foundation”, as well as “Nothing,” “I Play The Road,” and “Settle Me Down,” from the platinum selling record, “You Get What You Give”.
PUBLIQuartet is a string quartet that was described by The Washington Post as “a perfect encapsulation of today’s trends in chamber music.” The quartet has held residencies with American Composers Orchestra and Deer Valley Music Festival’s “Emerging Quartets and Composers” program. In 2019, the group received their first Grammy nomination for their sophomore album, “Freedom & Faith”.
SchoolSculptures with Kevin Reese is a residency program where he works with school and civic communities to create large permanent moving sculptures inspired by the participants’ designs. Kevin was selected in 2013 as the Residence Teaching Artist at the National Gallery of Art. In the past 20 years, SchoolSculptures with Kevin Reese has created over 190 installations in 30 states throughout the country.
Skerryvore represent the best in contemporary Scottish traditional music with their mix of fiddle, accordions, pipes, and whistles, alongside guitar and vocals, underpinned by bass, drums and keys. Their six studio albums demonstrate their unique fusion of folk, traditional, rock, and Americana, even jazz. Skerryvore is two-time winners of Scotland's Traditional Music Awards coveted “Live Act of the Year” (2011 and 2016).
South Chicago Dance Theatre is a multicultural organization aiming to preserve the art of dance through quality performances and educational opportunities. The diverse repertoire of the company fuses classical and contemporary dance styles as well as preserves historic dance works.
Symbio is a Swedish duo is regarded as one of the most interesting new bands from the Swedish Folk & World music scene thanks to the interplay of hurdy-gurdy and accordion. They were awarded as the Best New Artist of the Year at the Swedish Folk & World Music Awards in 2016.
We will keep you informed on upcoming event details, as we look forward to ease in to more in-person events.