In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
MidCoast Musings:
Focus on Amy Orr, President, MidCoast Fine Arts
Amy Orr 
Amy Orr exudes the element of "cool" as in "making the Quad Cities a cool place to live." As board president of MidCoast Fine Arts, her bright and feisty leadership has steered the organization through some major challenges. With the board, she has seen MidCoast through a strategic planning session that recommended some consolidation, which put the organization budget back in the black for 2016. Along with board meetings, staff supervision and activities, she produces the monthly digital newsletter, the web site, and the Go Fund Me and Facebook pages. The board is responsible for an array of art-focused programming and events like Final Fridays, ArtWorks Expo, Gallery HOP! and Riverssance Festival of Fine Art. 

"I'm continually amazed by the talent in the region and am honored to be part of an organization that helps aspiring and established artists find the resources they need to grow their craft," says Orr.
For MidCoast, Orr oversees five staff members: Gallery West Manager Carolyn Krueger, Bucktown and Centre Station Galleries Manager Tony Seabolt, Riverssance coordinators Michelle Darland and Jodean Meleski, and Executive Director Sherry Maurer, inspiring increased activities at The ARTery/Gallery West and Bucktown Center for the Arts. MidCoast supports the art studio spaces in Bucktown, a center which currently hosts 20 entrepreneurial suite leasers and 20 more renting artists. Additional artists are represented at Gallery West and the exhibition kiosk at Moline Centre Station. MidCoast supports these artists in a sustained way and also encourages participants in the changing exhibitions at three different venues.
Orr started her career in 1999 as marketing coordinator with Genesis Health System. She joined the management team of IH Misssissippi Valley Credit Union (IHMVCU) in 2009 and is VP of Marketing.

Orr's current involvement in MidCoast Fine Arts, and past involvement on the leadership board of Young Professionals of the Quad Cities (YPQC) and other community organizations, has enabled her to foster progressive growth in our area, as well as influence other future leaders. She was voted one of YPQC's "40 Under 40" in 2013.

We're grateful for her contributions of time and energy to MidCoast's community betterment.

~ Sherry
Riverssance Festival of Fine Art: Thank You!
The weather was fine for viewing art and enjoying the music, food, children's tent and wine at the 2016 Riverssance. Bucktown's Artist Market will continue to sell the official t-shirt, with the design based on the work Earth Changes by Scot Schmidt (Oshkosh, WI).
Wine Tent presented by
Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery

Thank you to the generous support of the following organizations for this year's event.

Major Sponsors: Mimzi Art and Frame, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., The Sedona Group, Smart Toyota, and  IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union.

In-kind sponsors:  Rivermont Collegiatedphilms, and  Hanson Watson Associates.

Media sponsors:  iheartradioKWQC TV6, and River Cities Reader.

We thank Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery for their continued support and for providing the wine for our very popular wine tasting booth.  
Children's Tent presented by 
Rivermont Collegiate 

We thank our Riverssance committee members led by the vivacious Michele Darland: Elizabeth Avenia, Kathy Betcher, Jim Cronk, Dan Darland, Sherry Maurer, Jodean and Mark Meleski, Sarah Mullins, Amy and Ryan Orr, Eileen Roethler, Jenni Swanson and Jack Wilhoit.

Colleen Tomlinson, art teacher at Rivermont Collegiate, ran fun children's art activities and a Rivermont crew of volunteers.

We thank many more volunteers who helped to make the weekend a success: Andrew Arnold, Laylon Baucom, Cindy Betcher, Dale Blair, Linda Brammer, Alan Campbell, Teresa Clark, Lisa Cleve, Steve Couch, Lin Davis, Pat Dilla, Lucia Dryanski, Phillip Dunbridge, Randi Freeborn, Tresha Hoffman, Laura Hopkins, Garrett Jahns, Dean Jordan, Katie Kiley, Nancy Kime, Mike Lawrence, Carolyn Livingston, Lisa Lockheart, Richard McFadden, Lisa and Pat Mahar, Phylicia Manley, Connie Melby, Lisa Miller, Marla Moore, Scott Morschhauser, Rosemary Ocar, Jan Pinnow, Gail Ray, Pam Roeder, Siena Roethler, Maxine Russman, Sue Sambdman, Tony Seabolt, Colleen Vollman, Mary Warren and Jan Welch.
Mary Ellen Chamberlin receiving the 
2016 Harley Award 

Black Hawk College students who helped included Anabel Alva, Bernardo Awoudi, Marilyn Herrera, Abe Jasso, Johanna Lonsdale, Kirsten Robinson, Ariana Sanchez and Alexis Whipple.

A special thank you to the  Riverboat Development Authority for the generous support throughout the years. The 2016 Harley Award was presented to Mary Ellen Chamberlin, who steered the RDA for 25 years. 
Call for Artists - Gallery HOP!
Friday, December 9, 6-9 p.m.
Deadline for submission: November 4, 2016

In partnership with The District of Rock Island, MidCoast is coordinating booth spaces for visual artists at Gallery HOP! The District will host local artists at a multitude of different venues.

A map will guide 'Hoppers' to each site. If possible, artist demonstrations encourage interactive participation between artists and art lovers.
Spaces (all indoors) are approximately 10 x 10'. Artists may need to provide tables and extra lights.

Deadline to register and be included in the Gallery HOP! map is Friday, November 4. To register, or for questions, please contact Sherry Maurer at or call (563) 424-1210.

When registering, please provide the following:
Please let us know if you need a larger load-in space and close vehicle access.

Artists will receive a confirmation email. A final email with set-up details, locations, etc. will be sent by November 15. 
Call for Entries - 2017 MidCoast Exhibitions

The MidCoast Call for Entries application for 2017 is coming!

Artists will be able to submit a digital portfolio and application to be considered for exhibitions at three possible sites: Bucktown's MidCoast Gallery, Gallery West and Moline Centre Station.

If you're uncertain if you're on our artist mailing list and would like to be included, please contact Sherry Maurer at
MidCoast Gallery West / The ARTery
1629 2nd Avenue, Rock Island
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Gallery West presents the newest works of Cory Peak and Dan Johnson through October. Join us for the closing reception on Friday, October 14 from 6-9 p.m.

by Cory Peak
by Dan Johnson
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.
Prairie Gold by Iyla Thill Ferguson
Iyla Thill Ferguson
October - November
Iyla Thill Ferguson is a self-taught artist who turned to pastels during the last several summers of her 25-year career in teaching. To hone her skills, she attended workshops of nationally-recognized pastelists, including Margaret Dyer, Christine Debroskiy, Liz Haywood Sullivan, Elizabeth Mowry, Terri Ford, Albert Handell and Maggie Price. Ferguson took "nuggets" of information from each workshop she attended, and is evolving an impressionistic personal style.

She hopes, "When you gaze upon my work, you feel the healing energies of nature's landscape" as the source of her inspiration.

Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 East 2nd Street, Davenport
Open: Wed - Sat, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
Indian Summer by Gene Brack
Final Friday
September 30, 6-9 p.m.

This month's Final Friday includes numerous events not to be missed! At 5:30 p.m., Boho Chic will begin celebration of their tenth anniversary at Bucktown with a ribbon cutting followed by an open house.

Jonathan Turner will be signing his new book A Brief History of Bucktown: Davenport's Infamous District Transformed, published by The History Press. Turner is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus.

Bucktown will present a Wine Walk; artist-decorated glasses sell for $20 and include five wine tastings of varying types presented by Dimitri Wine & Spirits, Inc.
Colleen Curry and her fiber work

Receptions will be held for exhibitions of works by Lisa Mahar (MidCoast Gallery), Karen Blomme (Gail Ray Gallery) and for Gene Brack and Colleen Curry ( Bereskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio).

Beréskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio
through October 23

The fall opens with glowing abstractions of painter Gene Brack and lively mixed-media fiber works by Colleen Curry.

Lisa Mahar, MidCoast Bucktown Gallery
through October 29

Lisa Mahar's mixed media works are a kaleidoscope of color. Quirky combinations of found objects and painted furniture delight the eye. An artist's reception will take place on Final Friday. September 30, 6-9 p.m.
Silkscreen painting by Karen Blomme

Retro at Gail Ray Gallery
Gail Ray Gallery features invited artist Karen Theres Blomme and her exciting new show Retro of silkscreen (serigraphy) paintings. Graffiti (graffio) is an Italian expression for writings or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, sprayed or, in this case, printed onto a wall or surface, often in a public place.

Blomme's images, colors, patterns and subject matter are repeatedly printed over and over. The significant deep visual creations connect through common aspects and life experiences. The subject matter and content represent the " Sense of Place" at the time the art is being made.

Karen holds an MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa and the University of New Orleans. She taught art at Bettendorf High School from 1986-2016 and continues to teach part-time.

New Pop-up Holiday Card by Gwen Ballard Patton of Seven Orchids
Gwen Ballard Patton is designing a series of handmade popup cards depicting different rooms, which you can color with markers and color pencils. Color your Nest cards of pop-up interiors are for sale in Seven Orchids, suite 201B.
Halloween-esque Color Your Nest
pop-up card by Gwen Ballard

Second Floor Casement Hosts Davenport Handicapped Development Center Art Club
The Bucktown second floor casement is displaying works by the Art Club of the Davenport Handicapped Development Center, including a remarkable collage led by Amber Williams.
Bucktown Casement for Rent

This first floor locked casement is available at $40 per month for fine art display and sales are handled through the MidCoast Gallery Manager.

For details, please contact Sherry Maurer at
Save the Date: Upcoming Events

October 28, 6-9 p.m.
Artoberfest at Bucktown
Bucktown is partnering with Front Street Brewery, the oldest brew pub in Iowa, to present six different craft beers and a chili cook-off. Thanks go to  Bereskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio for arranging the beer sampling donation.

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.