Creativity takes courage. ~ Henri Matisse
MidCoast Musings:
Introducing the Gail Ray Gallery at Bucktown
Gail of Gail Ray Gallery
Gail Ray, artist and retired architect, opens her new Bucktown gallery this month in suite 101. In addition to displaying her work in portraiture, oil, and graphics and printmaking, she plans to feature an invited artist each month. True to her professional get-it-done attitude--in a week she re-painted the walls and scoured the floor of old paint drips--she provided this helpful introduction.

~ Sherry 

Gail Ray's current series , Portraits of American Farmers, is now on display. The ongoing series has been underwritten by major art supply manufacturers including Gamblin, Dick Blick, M. Grahm & Co., d'Arches Paper, Rosemary Brushes, and Larson Juhl Frames. The selections represent farmers contributing to the local food chain, perhaps familiar faces. The portraits were painted using the old master's technique of a grisaille underpainting with more than 30 layers of transparent glazes. This is a very time consuming method, requiring each layer to dry before the next layer can be applied. The process results in color which captures light and sparkles with an intensity not found in opaque painting. 
by Terry Rathje
This month's invited artist is Terry Rathje, an art professor from Western Illinois University. The show is titled Res severa est verum gaudium, which translated from Latin means "True joy is a serious business" (borrowed from the Gewandhaus Orchetstra). Rathje's works are bright, colorful and playful. The objects are constructed collages made of vintage enameled metals and letters from old license plates, and they combine graphic design, three dimensional forms and meaningful messages.

Rathje says of his work:

It usually goes like this: you are walking along the river or road and see something underfoot that you never imagined existed--it is strange and weirdly fascinating. You look closer, unable to stop looking. There are many such arresting things to be found along the ocean, river, highway, or forest. Plus a mental junkyard of memories that may or may not be retrievable, yet which may return with amazing suddenness at an unexpected moment. There are things and people acted upon by time and imagination; technology which acts as a lever to increase our reach and thrust; strange coincidences of time and place, seemingly accidental but probably not; the world we build inside our heads and the incredibly diverse one outside; the words and work of the enlightened ones of the past, who saw beyond their time, and those of the present, many of whom are unknown and probably like it that way.

Please join us on the July Final Friday for the launching of the Gail Ray Gallery. In addition to great artwork, there also will be homemade gourmet treats!
THANK YOU! BASH! 11th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser
Bucktown Revue
at BASH! 11th Anniversary Celebration
Thank you to the many volunteers who made our June 24 event a success. Our gratitude goes as well to musicians Juliana of Juliana & A Soul Purpose, Waking Robots and to the Bucktown Revue entertainers who donated their talented time. Support also was provided by Boho Chic Gallery, Streets of Italy Pizza, River Cities Sound and Great River Brewery.

At the ArtWorks Expo reception, we acknowledged the art teachers who supported their high school teams. Top-placing schools were Rock Island (first), Central (second) and North (third). All participating schools received a cash award for their art departments. This project has been supported with Quad City Arts Dollar$ funds, provided by  Hubbell-Waterman FoundationIllinois Arts Council Agency, and  John Deere. Further support was provided by Seiffert Lumber.
Call for Riverssance Volunteers: Sept 17-18
Would you be an art angel? Or perhaps help with information or tickets? If you would be available to help with Riverssance Festival of Fine Art on Sat, Sept 17, or Sun, Sept 18, we would appreciate it! Riverssance is a premier outdoor art fair held in beautiful Lindsay Park, Davenport.

And you may know someone to recommend to help--we'd be happy to reach out to your friend or colleague if you would provide contact information. All volunteers receive a free t-shirt and entry.

Daily shifts start at 9:45 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.

If you can help, we need this information from you by Aug 10:

1. Your name
2. Your phone number and best email contact
3. Preferred day (Saturday or Sunday) and shift time

4. Your t-shirt size (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
5. Any preference in type of work: art angel (help artists with breaks), information tent, wine tent or ticketing.

To volunteer, please send the above information to Questions? Please email or call us at (563) 424-1210.
MidCoast Gallery West / The ARTery
1629 2nd Avenue, Rock Island
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Kathleen Washington's exhibition Black Lives Matter runs through August.
Black Lives Matter exhibit
by Kathleen Washington
Washington relates:

As an artist, I have a tendency to paint what I feel. The heartaches of life tend to linger longer. As an artist, the obligation to go into that dark place is part of the process.

" Black Lives Matter" is the name of a movement, and the name of my exhibit. To say black lives matter is not saying all lives don't matter; it is saying black lives don't appear to matter when it comes to the criminal justice system and police brutality.

Our modern technology era of dash cameras, cell phone cameras, body cameras, and social media sheds light on the disparity in the arrest, apprehension, and treatment for persons of color in the American criminal justice system. Too often we hear media reports of police brutality, murder by police, and police overreach when it comes to black lives. This corruption, without a doubt, has been an unreported part of our police departments and criminal systems for years. For black people in America, this un-checked system of corruptions speaks to them loudly saying their lives just don't matter.

I have incorporated my grandchildren as models in the Black Lives Matter Series. My oldest grandson portrays Trayvon Martin in the painting We Are All Trayvon Martin. I have another grandson portrayed in Wall of Shame and a granddaughter in Child at Her Desk.

Even with children and grandchildren who are persons of color, I in no way know what it is like to be a person of color, subjected to a color-discriminate criminal justice system every day. I do know that I feel their pain; I feel my children's pain. I feel my grandchildren's pain as I interpret these feelings in my paintings. These feelings, these emotions, these events have been an overwhelming experience and it has taken its toll on me. I can only imagine the toll it takes on the black lives that live it every day.

For more information, email
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.

Tom Hempel
by Tom Hempel
It started over 40 years ago when a stranger offered to buy the painting he was making of a Village of East Davenport building--somewhat surprised, Tom Hempel eventually accepted the offer and an ensuing watercolor career. Recently, he published his coffee table book, Boats, Barns and Bungalows, a compilation of his favorite subjects. His scenes also are gathered in a calendar underwritten by the City of Davenport Parks and Recreation Department.

We know many of the places he paints. Perhaps it is because, while familiar, we further see in Hempel's renditions a pleasing revelation of light and shadow on our world, that we find a satisfying more in his watercolors. A selection of his watercolors and quality Giclee reproductions will be on display.
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 East 2nd Street, Davenport
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
Bix Weekend
July 29, 6-9 p.m. - Final Friday
Opening of Gail Ray Gallery (see listing above) and Light, Lines, and Waves, an exhibition by Barry Sharp at Beréskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio (see listing below).

July 30, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Plein Air Art Fair during Bix Streetfest
Bereskin, Studio 56, Boho Chic, Dan Johnson and Tony Seabolt for the Artists' Market, and Max McInnis. If you're an area artist and would like to have one of the four remaining outdoor spots outside of Bucktown, contact Sherry at or (563) 424-1210.
REVIVE 2 Exhibition, Second Floor MidCoast Gallery
through August 27
REVIVE 2 exhibit
at Bucktown's Second Floor Gallery

REVIVE 2 is a showcase of works about art's transformational potential, presented by MidCoast Fine Arts. The juried exhibition of upcycled, recycled and assembled art at times challenges our expectations about what refuse is (or is not) and could be. Elements include common, discarded, found and recycled objects. The exhibition was open to artists residing within a 150-mile radius of the Quad Cities. We thank artist Ryan Orr of re:form Design who envisioned the exhibition's premise and helped with its sponsorship.

Entries range from the whimsical to serious social commentary. For example, Colleen Curry has added to a washboard, traditionally associated with a scrubwoman, some bright plastic accessories of feminine pride made from found objects, surrounded by a large family of altered clothes pegs. One of Alan Campbell's entries is a face shedding rainbow tears for the Orlando shooting tragedy.

Artists represented here are: Sarah Boyum, Alan Campbell, Colleen Curry, Deborah Doehler, Peggy Gratton, Kenny Kress, Debi Larson, Lori Miller, Ana Moore, Jeanne O'Melia, Terry Rathje, Kathleen Washington, Amber Williams and DeWitt Young. Pat Beréskin and Max McInnis provided additions just before the exhibition opened. The participation of these artists is appreciated.

The exhibition was juried by MidCoast staff members Sherry C. Maurer and Tony Seabolt. Two $100 awards will be presented at the public exhibition reception on Fri, Aug 26, at 7 p.m. One of the awards will be determined by the MidCoast Fine Arts board, and one is a People's Choice Award---visit to support your favorite artwork.
Beréskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio Features Photos by Barry Sharp
July 27 - August 22  
by Barry Sharp

Photographer Barry Sharp will show
Light, Lines, and Waves. An avid traveler Sharp finds inspiration in the contrasts between earth, air and water. His breathtaking work spans the wide-open spaces of Montana, the architecture of Brooklyn, and--particularly dear to his heart--the rolling hills of the Midwest and Iowa.

Save the Date: Upcoming Events

Aug 18
Third Thursday, Bucktown open until 9 p.m.
Aug 26, 6-9 p.m.
Final Friday, Bucktown. REVIVE 2 awards reception, Mississippi: Local Living Waters event, Bereskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio will feature wood turners Joe Meirhaeghe and Steve Sinner.
Sept 15, 5:15 p.m.
Third Thursday, Bucktown. Book launch for A Brief History of Bucktown: Davenport's Infamous District Transformed, (published by The History Press) written by Jonathan Turner, arts and entertainment reporter for the The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus. Turner will introduce his book.
Sept 17-18
Riverssance Festival of Fine Art, Lindsay Park in the Village of East Davenport. Over 100 artists and entertainers. Admission $4 per day or $6 for a two-day pass, sold on site. Hours: Sept 17, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sept 18, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sept 30, 6-9 p.m.
Final Friday, Bucktown. Boho Chic artists celebrate 10 years at Bucktown with a ribbon cutting; Jonathan Turner will be signing his new book (see Sept 15 event), reception for Lisa Mahar's MidCoast Gallery exhibition, and Wine Walk.

Support the Arts. Support MidCoast.
We are a non-profit community arts agency founded and run by artists. Our mission to stimulate our community's cultural and economic vitality through the support of regional visual arts and artists is accomplished by having amazing art-focused programming and events like Final Fridays, ArtWorks Expo and Riverssance Festival of Fine Art.

Copyright © 2016 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 Illinois Arts Council and the Iowa Arts Council.