The first artwork that could truly be described as "American" grew up in a highly charged age of efficiency, modernization, innovation, and invention. America was a newly emerging world power with a fresh understanding of and appreciation for industry, along with the possibilities of technology, wealth, and a new aesthetic toward art.
If you have not made the time to see 41°/90° at the Figge Museum yet, you have until this weekend to catch an enjoyably diverse group of artists, their explorations with the landscape, and our relationships with it.
Art that incorporates found objects is a tricky path to navigate. Any of us can find a shovel. Most of us can find a shovel and put it on our wall. Where it crosses that line and shifts toward becoming art is in the act of declaring it to be art.
Corrine Smith strikes me as being a very centered person. I say this because the overall theme I see in her current show - at the MidCoast Fine Arts' Bucktown gallery until September 30 with sculptor Matt Moyer - is balance, even though she never uses this word in her artist statement.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the eastern part of Davenport’s downtown was called Bucktown and known for its vibrant nightlife – including more than three dozen brothels. It will soon be home to a different – and perfectly legal – sort of commerce: the work of roughly two dozen artists.
Area artists agree that the Bucktown Center on Second Street in downtown Davenport – which rents studio and gallery spaces to local artists – is a wonderful way to combine their vision and talent with the sophistication and tourist draw of the Figge Art Museum up the street.
Artist Adrian Tio Diaz produces museum-quality work. His skillfully-executed linocut block prints are bold and forceful, with images of a primal nature - symbolic and often disturbing. His current exhibit at the Quad City Arts Center features prints from books he has illustrated.
If you like the simplicity of form and function, with the added panache of vivid color, you should make your way to the Iowa Welcome Center in LeClaire to see Bob Brehmer's ceramics at the MidCoast Fine Arts Gallery's most recent exhibit.
Jon Stuckenschneider's silver gelatin prints are tranquil, almost hypnotic to gaze upon. They show the blur between fantasy and reality. In his print entitled Cedar River the trees are indistinct and hazy, while the sky and water have a grainy texture.
Artist Peter Xiao grew up in Beijing, China, which he describes in his artist statement as "congested" and filled with "political upheavals." For this reason he is more interested in painting "humans and their conditions" rather than the classic Chinese subject, nature.