Nest Tower and Suspended Nest HouseThere is a delicious communication between an artist and an audience through the created works. The movement of ideas into art gives off meanings that we, the audience, can then discover from our own understanding.

Adding the energies and sensibilities of two artists to this mix can be like two cooks in the same kitchen, bumping into each other, working separately but inspiring each other, or blending into a new persona.

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

Margret O'Reilly There is always some experience that acts as starting point inspiring an artist to begin a work. It could be the light on a surface, a gathering of forms, or the mood of a face. It might be the work of another artist, or a memory. There are thousands of sources. The best beginnings are those that, when filtered through the artist, turn the eye inward, causing discovery in and communication with the viewer.



Meg Matthews & Rhonda FlorescuIf you were one of the 1,200 or so people who squeezed into the Bucktown Center of the Arts for Venus Envy either of the past two years, here's some good news: The celebration of women and the arts will be expanding outdoors this year.

(Weather permitting, of course. If the weather's bad, prepare to get squished again.)

The event runs from 6 to 11 p.m. at 225 East Second Street in Davenport. Admission is free.

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

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

Reader issue #627 Each year, our regional artists have the opportunity to showcase their work in the premier juried art exhibit in the Quad Cities area: the annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition in the Centennial Hall gallery at Augustana College. Area artists know that this is an important show not only for the regional recognition and the respect of fellow artists, but also for their résumés and possible sales.

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

Can this really be the same exhibit?

Angel Top and Rooster Bottom Sixty works to represent any artist's life would usually be a major retrospective, but for the late Father Edward M. Catich, it's only a glimpse. Catich (1906-1979) was an artist, a scholar, a bookmaker and printer, a master calligrapher, a stone carver, a sign painter, a creator of fonts, a great teacher, a stained-glass window maker, a musician on many instruments, a coin collector, a painter, a traveler, an orphan, a child of the Depression, and a parish priest.

Deborah Butterfield's famous horse sculptures - 16 of which are currently being exhibited at the Figge Art Museum - are created from gathered steel or bronze or wood and formed into horses of great beauty and spirit. There is an elemental surprise that her horses are made this way - abstract and yet real, freely formed and yet completely descriptive. Her sculptures become living, breathing creatures before our senses, expressing the horses' strength and power and also their delicacy and silence. They will remain on the third and fourth floors of the Figge through May 27.