Art is the daughter of freedom. ~ Friedrich Schiller
MidCoast Musings
Artists Market and MidCoast Gallery
Happy 2017! It'll be a big year for Bucktown Center for the Arts, where MidCoast will consolidate to the first floor, and has arranged to continue leasing there until 2026. MidCoast sold its 60% portion of Bucktown in 2015 in order to concentrate more on visual arts support rather than property management. When the building was purchased in 2005, the Bucktown neighborhood was at an economic nadir. Now the area has filled with unique shops, from Chocolate Manor to Abernathy's vintage clothing. MidCoast has been a keystone in the development of a prosperous corner of downtown Davenport. If you haven't visited Bucktown lately, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the variety of places to eat and shop.

Bottle cap pins by Linda Hardin
The Bucktown building will be renovated to historic architectural standards. The three top floors will become apartments, creating a novel combination of living places situated above ground floor suites that serve as art galleries, classrooms and studios. We look forward to invigorating suite 103 as the MidCoast Gallery and Artists Market. Gallery manager Tony Seabolt has been building Artists Market activity: 2016 sales were $24,455 and approximate attendance in the shop exceeded 5,800. Tony and I anticipate even greater community outreach with this move.

Built into my job is the fun of seeing new sprouts of creativity. This bears repeating: If you love a cat or a dog, do not miss the photographs of Lisa Francescon at Gallery West through February. She brings amazing light to every adorable expression, whisker and fluff of pet-able fur, with an elegance that's not cliché. Also new and interesting at the Bucktown Artists Market, Linda Hardin has new, fun pins made of filled-in bottle caps. You can pick a few up for a song and add a unique flair to any outfit.

Finally, at Final Friday this month, I'll deliver a one-of-a-kind presentation on Images of Love throughout Art History (see below). When I teach Art Appreciation, I sometimes feel bummed out by all the images of war and Biblical strife, but then turn to that warm glowing image of an Etruscan couple lounging on a bench in each other's arms, modeled in clay for posterity. Join me to share the love! 
~ Sherry
Support the Arts. Support MidCoast.

Support high school students participating in ArtWorks Expo, our annual pastel competition.

Support Bucktown Center for the Arts that houses exhibition spaces for more than 45 artists at any one time, including unique shops and studios featuring creative, unusual, and usable works of art for sale.

Support our galleries -- Gallery West/The ARTery, Centre Station or Gallery at Bucktown -- that have a no-commission policy for artists allowing them to keep 100% of what they earn from their art.

Support Riverssance Festival of Fine Art. An amazing weekend of fine art, fantastic music, food, and wine with a picturesque view overlooking the mighty Mississippi.

Support the arts. Support MidCoast.
CFE Deadline Extended: Riverssance Festival of Fine Art
September 16-17, 2017 | Lindsay Park, Davenport
Submission deadline: January 31, 2017

MidCoast invites artists to participate in Riverssance Festival of Fine Art's 30th year as the premier fine arts festival of the Quad Cities, showcasing more than 100 of the top artists throughout North America--artists like you!

We're proud of our reputation of treating artists like friends. We provide easy access onto the park for booth set up, "art angels" for booth breaks, lunch order delivery, complimentary water, commemorative festival t-shirt, AND we buy ART!

Organized and run by art enthusiasts, Riverssance continues to be recognized for its careful attention to artists' success, community partnerships, great buyers, beautiful location, and a fun weekend.

Your artwork sales will be complemented by regional stage entertainment, a children's art tent, quality food vendors and regional wine tasting. Artists' awards include:
  • one $500 Best of Show award
  • ten $200 merit awards
  • one $150 People's Choice award
  • one $100 Student's Choice award
Questions can be directed to Jodean Meleski, 309-737-8910 or
Call for Artists: Exhibition at MidCoast Galleries 2017-2018
Submission deadline: January 28, 2017

We live in a community infused with artistic vitality and MidCoast wants to show it! This Call for Entries will slot exhibitions for mid- 2017 through mid-2018. Our exhibition spaces are open to all Iowa and Illinois artists living within 90 miles of the Quad Cities. Entered works must be original or prints in a limited edition. Half of exhibited art should have been completed within the last five years. Works must be of high quality, framed and/or display ready. Due to the high visibility of our galleries, artists should enter work that's appropriate to all audiences.

Questions can be directed to Sherry Maurer, 563-424-1210 or
For Sale

Dean Schroeder has generously donated his creation of a craftily interpreted wood croquet set for MidCoast to sell to raise funds as we look to building a new gallery space for the Quad Cities at Bucktown.

As well, MidCoast is divesting furniture items pictured below. For purchase information, contact Sherry Maurer,, 563-424-1210.

Wood croquet set by Dean Schroeder
Set of 3 retro chairs
Glass desk and 2 shelves

MidCoast Gallery West / The ARTery
1629 2nd Avenue, Rock Island
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Lisa Francescon, photography
Barbara Toner, glass
January - February

If you love a cat or a dog, do not miss the photographs of Lisa Francescon, who brings amazing light to every adorable expression, whisker and fluff of fur! Barbara Toner's glass bowls are confections of color.

Photography by Lisa Francescon
Glass bowl by Barbara Toner

The ARTery is Eight! Celebration
February 10, 6-9 p.m.

Join us in celebrating at our Birthday pARTy! Meet many of your favorite local artists while enjoying live music by our talented friends, T&C. We'll have cake, snacks and drinks to share as always. Thanks for the love QC! We think eight is great!
Moline Centre Station
1200 River Drive, Moline
Open: Mon -Fri, 6 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.; Sat, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; and Sun, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  
Jeanne O'Melia
through January

Jeanne O'Melia infuses charm into her watercolors, drawings, paintings, cyanotypes and mixed media works. 

Sunrise Following Me by Scott Swanson 
Scott Swanson
February - March

Scott Swanson's photography focuses on the captured moment in nature: a nanosecond of outstretched bird's wings, sunrise in a rearview mirror or the fleeting light transitions at dusk. Enjoy the twist on standard perceptions.  
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 East 2nd Street, Davenport
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
I Heart Art Final Friday
January 27, 6-9 p.m.
7:30 p.m., Images of Love throughout Art History (Suite 103)
Images of Love throughout Art History 

Hosted by the artists of Bucktown, get on your Valentine's Day groove to enjoy sweet treats at each suite. Arrive between 6-7:30 p.m., and register to win a special door prize: two dinner and show tickets for any performance of Snapshots at Circa '21 (May 27 - July 9, 2017).

Sherry Maurer will present Images of Love throughout Art History (PG13), from cuddling Etruscan couples to the most mysterious kissing couple of modern times in V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Put a little love in your heart!

Beréskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio Presents Silence and Song, the latest paintings by Leslie Bell
through February 21
Artwork by Leslie Bell 

Leslie Bell, St. Ambrose art professor emeritus, hasn't let retirement slow down his artistic endeavors. Gallery owner Pat Bereskin states, "The newest collection of Les' work dissects the layers of challenges young women face during peaks of their development."

Bell stated, "My subjects, girls, are being observed and noted at moments of personal growth and discovery. Growing up female has never been more complicated than it is today and my work paints a positive image of girls at a time of vulnerability and potential."

For many, the quiet reflections of January have been a time for making resolutions. Many new and experienced artists have wanted to revive or renew their direction and enhance careers. In addition to all of the art classes the gallery offers for all ages and abilities, this March Leslie Bell will be offering a course for artists to assist them in reaching the next level of art making.

Born in Washington D.C., Bell came to Iowa to study art at St. Ambrose with Father Catich, a world-renowned calligrapher. Bell's MFA in painting is from Northern Illinois University. His awards include an NEA fellowship, and grants from the Iowa Arts Council and Quad City Arts. He's represented by the Moberg and Hudson River Galleries.

Bell's work tells stories of love, education, longing and nature. Jerry Cullum, a critic for Art in America, has said, "His recent paintings ... are a rare combination of vision, skill and wit. The stories are enacted in brilliantly composed landscapes amid stunning effects of light."

Stop in and talk with the Leslie Bell at the exhibition opening reception. For additional information on the show or classes, contact
2017 Calendar: Save the Date

January 27, 6-9 p.m.

I Heart Art Final Friday
Sherry Maurer will discuss Images of Love in Art at 7:30 p.m.
February 24, 6-9 p.m.

Black History Month Observation Final Friday
May 5

Gallery HOP!
May 27

ArtWorks Expo High School Pastel Competition
September 16-17

Riverssance Festival of Fine Art

Copyright © 2017 MidCoast Fine Arts. All rights reserved.

  MidCoast Fine Arts
PO Box 4142 Rock Island, IL 61204-4142
225 East 2nd Street Davenport, IA 52801
(563) 424-1210 |
MidCoast Fine Arts programs are partially supported by operational grants
from the Riverboat Development Authority and the Illinois Arts Council.