The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure. ~ Dale Carnegie
MidCoast Musings
Late November is a time for thankfulness and, because of the impact of the shopping season, it's also a busy and crucial time for sales. So my comments veer in two directions. 

More than a few days were spent this month decorating Bucktown and installing the vintage train display. The experience brought about some deep thinking on my part about what really distinguishes MidCoast 's role in our community. MidCoast is a key supporter of regional visual arts and artists through its exhibition and rental outlets-it's estimated in the past year we've served over 275 practicing visual artists. This figure is increased by adding the 45 high school students who participated in ArtWorks Expo, and 40 clients of Goodwill and the Davenport Handicapped Development Center Art Club who exhibited their works at Bucktown. What's most unique are the sites, Bucktown and Gallery West, where you can purchase original art and count on being able to converse with artists during business hours. How often do you meet the person who made what you purchase? I encourage you to try it if you're shopping this season. 

This month's newsletter annually thanks recent supporters and volunteers. Many deserve more recognition than their name in the newsletter. We hope we have included all who should be acknowledged. Thank you!

We thank volunteers Andrew Arnold, Elizabeth Avenia, Laylon Baucom, Greg and Pat Beréskin, Cindy Betcher, Kathy Betcher, Dale Blair, Linda Brammer, Heidi Brandt, Gary Burlingame, Gaye Shannon Burnett, Linda Brown, Alan Campbell, Kyle Carter, Teresa Clark, Lisa Cleve, Steve Couch, Jim Cronk, Michele and Dan Darland, Lin Davis, Pat Dilla, Deborah Doehler, Lucia Dryanski, Phillip Dunbridge, Steve, Laurie and Christian Elliott, Randi Freeborn, Mary Hammer, Tresha Hoffman, Laura Hopkins, Garrett Jahns, Heat Jones, Dean Jordan, Katie Kiley, Nancy Kime, Sharon Larson, Mike Lawrence, Summer Lawrence, Carolyn Livingston, Lisa Lockheart, Richard McFadden, Lisa and Pat Mahar, Phylicia Manley, Jodean and Mark Meleski, Connie Melby, Lisa Miller, Marla Moore, Scott Morschhauser,Sarah Mullins, Rosemary Ocar, Amy and Ryan Orr, Cory Peak, Jan Pinnow, Gail Ray, Pam Roeder, Eileen Roethler, Sienna Roethler, Maxine Russman, Sue Sambdman, Stella Schneekloth, Dee Schricker, Tony Seabolt, Mark Stock, Joanie Stockdale, Jenni Swanson, Vince Thomas, Colleen Tomlinson and a Rivermont Collegiate crew of volunteers, Barbara Toner, Colleen Vollman, Mary Warren, Kathleen Washington, Jan Welch. Jack Wilhoit, Samuel Weets, and Black Hawk College students Anabel Alva, Bernardo Awoudi, Marilyn Herrera, Abe Jasso, Johanna Lonsdale, Kirsten Robinson, Ariana Sanchez and Alexis Whipple. 

We thank you all for your continued support. 
~ Sherry
Support the Arts. Support MidCoast.
Giving Tuesday, November 29  

Please consider donating to MidCoast this holiday season.

We're 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.
December Gallery HOP!
Friday, December 9, 6-10 p.m.
The District of Rock Island

MidCoast, in partnership with The District of Rock Island, presents a variety of visual artists hosted at different venues for its annual winter Gallery HOP!

A map will guide "Hoppers" to each site. Participants can fill their HOP! sheet for a chance to win a basket of treats and art. Visit with a body artist, painters, jewelers, woodworkers, potters, photographers, a printmaker, sculptors, a glass artist, a graphic artist, and mixed media artists, all who have a spot at no charge.

MidCoast's Gallery West/The ARTery, as well as Quad City Arts will be open.

Registered artists are Shelby Ashlyn Brown, Anthony Burton, Uriel Cerqueda, David Cronk, Phil Force, Lisa Francescon, Margery Franklin, David Genac, Linda Hardin, Reagan Hatfield, Judy Heath, Nancy Herrin, Janelle Kerns, Timothy Kerofsky "Tyman," Joel Knanishu, Terri Luke, Bill Marsoun, Kimberly Miller, Erica Parrott, Quad Cities Wood Turners Chris Snyder, Barbara Toner, John VandeWalle, Ryan Veach and Amber Williams.  
MidCoast Gallery West / The ARTery
1629 2nd Avenue, Rock Island
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
Photograph by Margery Franklin

Gallery HOP!
Dec 9, 6-10 p.m. 
Gallery West/ The ARTery (two galleries in one) are your first stop for Gallery HOP! Pick up your map and don't miss another stop. Have a snack and a drink while you peruse over 50 local artists' works under our roof.

This year our featured Gallery West ARTist, Margery Franklin, will be bringing in even more work for the HOP! to compliment her already amazing exhibit of photos from South Africa.

Heidi Brandt of Boho Chic, Barbara Toner, and Mary Talbert of Crafted QC will also be hanging out at The ARTery with their work and nifty gifts. We're lucky to have great live music by our friend, Roger Carlson!
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.

Iyla Thill Ferguson
through November
Mixed media by Jeanne O'Melia
Jeanne O'Melia
December - January

Yes, that's Jeanne O'Melia a month ago in her fabulous hand sewn Halloween costume tribute to Nick Cave's Soundsuits. She's standing in front of her Bucktown gallery space, called Imagine That! O'Melia has had a suite at Bucktown since the beginning, in 2005. One glance tells you that she has a wondrous creative spirit. Her sculptures include whimsical foot-high figures made of found metal scraps, as well as puppet-like life-size figures with giant papier-mâché heads. In addition, she creates watercolors, oil paintings, cyanotypes and drawings.

O'Melia was born on a farm in Ohio, Illinois, established by her great grandfather, a farm where her father and grandfather also were born. At age ten, she took private lessons from muralist Ladd Yuhash, followed by private lessons in high school from her art teacher, Mary Winfred Walter. She studied Applied Art at Iowa State University, where she fell in love with watercolor painting. She lived in Milan for 39 years with her husband, Dave O'Melia, who worked at the Rock Island Arsenal. She has moved back to the Illinois family farm but still entertains us with frequent visits and she brings new art to delight the imagination. 
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 East 2nd Street, Davenport
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Special hours through 2016: Saturdays open at 10 a.m.; Festival of Trees Nov 27, noon to 4 p.m.
(closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, closing at 4 p.m. on New Year's Eve) 

The vintage train display has returned for the holiday season
Suite 103

To augment the wonders of the season, Bucktown offers a winter train display generously built and provided by Bucktown's Mrs. B. of  Bereskin's Fine Art Gallery & Studio and "gandy dancer" Dr. B. The train display consists of two separate systems. Notes Dr. B. "A winter village is set in a mountain environment sure to delight the young at heart. The inner rail system uses 1950s vintage American Flyer rolling stock on Hi-Rail track. This layout consists of three ovals, two are visible and the third is hidden under a mountain town so that the train seems to 'disappear' into the tunnel under the town and later come out again."

Dr. B concludes "These are modern scale models with a high level of detail." Thank you Dr. B. for this fun holiday addition!

Small Business Saturday
November 26

The Halls are Decked and the galleries stocked and decorated for the season. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts made by local artists while selections are at their best! Bucktown Galleries are participating in the That Dam Shopping Trip Contest, too. The prize is $1,000 in gift certificates.
2017 Art Meets the River calendar

QC Calendar makes the perfect gift 
Get the 2017 Art Meets the River calendar today. The calendar features river-themed art by six Bucktown artists. It's available in the Boho Chic and Bereskin Galleries. Purchase online at Proceeds benefit River Action.
An Enchanted Second Floor Casement for the Holidays
through December

The Bucktown second floor casement holiday season installation by Deborah Rexroth features Mythical Creatures and Legends.

Final Friday
November 25, 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition receptions happen for Alexander Iaccarino and Raphael Iaccarino, and Larry Jon Davis, Join us for a post-Thanksgiving art fest (more below).

Third Thursday
December 15, 6-9 p.m.

For the best holiday window contest for downtown Davenport, vote for Bucktown's vintage train display!

Final Friday and Wine Walk
December 16, 6-9 p.m.

Enjoy seasonal music sung by The Black Hawk College Community Chorale, directed by Jon Palomaki. Purchase a wine glass hand-decorated by a Bucktown artist and sample wine from all of Bucktown's galleries. There will be an artist reception focusing on the work of Lee Kimball, whose pastels have been exhibited widely and received many awards. A percentage of participating gallery sales from the evening will be donated to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 
Alexander Iaccarino and Raphael Iaccarino at Bucktown
Through December 31, Second Floor

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
by Alex Iaccarino  
A Quad Cities dynamic duo of art, Ralph (Raphael) Iaccarino has been a Quad Cities watercolor leader for over 40 years and his grandson, Alex (Alexander) Iaccarino, is getting national attention for his limited edition posters. "For as long as I can remember, I have had a palpable sense of the magical, a strong intuition that there is more than what we see" states Ralph about his watercolors. In turn, his grandson, Alex says "It was my grandfather who invested the time to teach me his techniques and beliefs, most of which are still the foundations of who I am as an artist today."

The MidCoast Gallery hosts Alex's dazzling limited edition silkscreens and posters. His work has gained national attention from publishers such as Vahalla Studios in Kansas City, and New York-based Grey Matter Art, a limited edition, studio licensed film and entertainment poster company. Alex worked with Grey Matter Art for Marvel's 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Alex is a champion of the art of screen print and he draws on the tradition of the film poster as an art form. He understands the handwork and the color layering that are attributes of a fine original screen print, also known as serigraphy or silkscreen. The printing method creates an image on paper, fabric or some other object by pressing ink through a screen with areas blocked off by a stencil. There's more of a tactile impact in an original screen print than an offset lithograph. Alex also pushes art elements for drama and composition impact--more than simple digital interpretation. His original screenprints and digital copies are available to view and purchase.
by Ralph Iaccarino

The second floor casement features a selection of Ralph's botanical giclees and  a new original watercolor series he calls Abstract Exstencilism--a play of words on the stencil-like matrices of each design. Of the series, Ralph notes: "What started out as an exercise to play with design became a year-long exploration of using several stencils to create as many different variations of symmetry as possible...After years of painting interpretive realism, this artistic approach is refreshing. From beginning to end, everything created is from inside my head."

Ralph has a Master's degree in educational psychology and a Bachelor's degree in philosophy/art. He's taught art at Scott Community College, the Figge Art Museum, Family Museum of Bettendorf, and Marycrest International University, in addition to private lessons for 32 years. His interests include past involvement with art videos, such as the WQPT Television series Art with Mr. I, The Creators, and The Life at Night series for schools.

The watercolor artist's participation in national competitive and group shows ranges from The American Artists Professional League Grand National Exhibition (New York, New York), and Watercolor USA (Springfield Art Museum, Missouri),  to the New Orleans Biennial National (Louisiana) and exhibitions sponsored by the RJ Reynolds Corporation (Hanover, New Jersey) and The Pillsbury Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota). He looks for positive experiences in art, "The more an individual participates in creating, the more possibilities there are for interrelatedness and harmony. My paintings are intended to elevate the human condition on physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual levels."
Beréskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio Presents All About Color-Abstracts in Oil and Wax
Through December 10
Dancer #2 by Larry Jon Davis

Beréskin Gallery will feature an exhibition of Larry Jon Davis' never before seen paintings. "I want to get up every morning and see something different in the work. I don't want it to be a story with one page to it" says Davis. "I am excited to share these 40 works with the Quad City Community."

Over his 50-year career, Davis has been exploring various degrees of abstraction, but his work often hints at recognizable forms. Sometimes that form is human, but more often it portrays a vividly-colored, geometrically-enriched landscape, with the horizon line high in the vertical frame and hints of what could be a cross-section of the earth below.

Gallery owner Pat Beréskin notes, "The push and pull of color and texture in his [Davis'] work provides the viewer with a sort of performance art--by that I mean the experience of its movement is almost live." An opening reception is planned for Black Friday, Nov. 25 from 6-9 p.m.

In conjunction with the Davis exhibition, a one day seminar will be offered on Sat., Dec. 3 from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. The artist will demonstrate his approach to abstract composition, color theory and use of cold wax painting techniques and we will see some of the unique textural and layering properties that the cold wax adds to traditional painting approaches. Participants will have the chance to explore alternative composition methods with oil/ cold wax blends applied with brushes and palette knife to canvas or panel. Material list available upon request. The cost is $125. Contact the gallery at (563) 508-4630.
Bucktown Suite 101 for Rent

This suite will be leased to a visual artist (or artists) who can add a congenial, professional approach to the Bucktown community. The lessee is required to keep Bucktown business hours.

The 351 square-foot space has valuable Second Street frontage. The optimum tenant will be able to manage a successful blend of on-site studio practice and gallery display, although there may be other possibilities.

For details, please contact Sherry Maurer at

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 Riverboat Development Authority and the Illinois Arts Council.