MidCoast Musings
Through March, MidCoast galleries are hosting two exceptionally talented painters of our region. Leslie Bell masters oils and acrylics in compositions that challenge our expectations and explore the female model. The title of his exhibition, Waiting to Go On, plays with both the thought that canvases get prepared for public exhibition, and that Bell has set up the protagonists in his paintings to be in a state of potential energy, about to launch into action.

This potential verses kinetic state is a hallmark of the characters painted and sculpted by Michelangelo: David is assessing his strategy before he hurls his slingshot. You’ll see in Bell’s painting below the young woman waits with crossed arms and bored expression, clothed in a sparkling turquoise gown with stockings of Pointillist hues. She stands in a landscape that ranges from a vaguely classical foreground column, offsetting a crisply defined white architectural set, to a background a sand-worn desert. What will she do? Such works make us consider what our next step should be.

Tom Hempel masters watercolors, mainly exploring light and color in recognizable buildings and landscapes. You might be surprised at how many of these scenes are a product of his imagination. In his retrospective exhibition, I'm particularly fascinated with his first watercolor, completed when he was about in 7th grade. He had a prodigious sensitivity to how forms can be simplified and bravely brushed. It’s the Rock River and yet it’s about the brushstrokes, laid down with joyous lack of hesitation.

Both Bell and Hempel serve up delights for the eye—just consider the uses of blue.
Set for a City by Leslie Bell
Windmills of Greece by Tom Hempel
Of course, MidCoast needs the financial support to make such exhibitions happen, and we can’t have you considering us on the sidelines any more. Either we are supported with this community’s dollars, or we can’t continue.
Folks, we have coming up a chance to support us and have an action-packed evening of Quad City Storm hockey. Purchase the tickets under their MidCoast option and a generous portion of the ticket comes back to us. They're also giving us proceeds from Chuck-a-puck sales and the raffle of an autographed hockey stick. I’m not a sports enthusiast, but they really make the games a fun family night, including a bouncy house. The team is supporting many area non-profits and we hope to be one they'll invite back. Could be the start of something good.

~ Sherry
How do we do it without your support?
MidCoast receives funding from several sources including grants, sponsorships and donations. Our largest source of funding -- operating grants -- has dried up.

We provide exhibition opportunities for approximately 300 artists per year. In addition, MidCoast runs:
  • Three exhibition galleries in Moline, Rock Island and Davenport with no admission charge! Only a $35 entry fee to the artists, with monthly receptions/programs/local music at Gallery West and Bucktown. Exhibits change every two months.
  • ArtWorks Expo High School Pastel Mural competition for area students to feel that being a visual artist matters as they earn cash awards for their art departments.
  • Riverssance Festival of Fine Art, a weekend with 90 quality visual artists, live local music, children’s activity tent and great food in beautiful Lindsay Park, Village of East Davenport.
  • Support for every level of artist at Bucktown Center for the Arts, from mentored sales spaces run by a gallery manager to suites for studios/classes/sales. 

It's up to YOU to see MidCoast continue. Only a handful of you have responded to our requests asking for financial support. For that we thank you.

More still needs to be done. Without MidCoast, what would remain of visual arts opportunities in our community?

Support the Visual Arts. Support MidCoast because we can’t continue without your support—really!
Bucktown voted 2019 Best Art Dealer
in the QC by Locals Love Us!

We bested 24 other institutions. Thank you to everyone who voted.
Eriksen Chevrolet partners with MidCoast for WQAD Three Degree Guarantee Program
What a winter we’re having! We thank Eriksen Chevrolet of Milan for their sponsorship of MidCoast as the February recipient. As the selected local charity, we'll receive $20 from Eriksen Chevrolet for each day of the month that the forecast temperature is within the three degree guarantee.
First floor
Casements are all rented, but applicants will be placed on a waiting list.  

Second floor suites
Suite 203: 966 sq. ft. $725/month or $75/day
Suite 205: 815 sq. ft. $611/month
Suites 202-206: 2,030 sq. ft., $1,523/month

Leases will run through December 2019, with the option of month-to-month rental. Access 24/7, utilities included. Suites do not have individual sinks. There's access to second floor restrooms, as well as first-floor mail delivery. Visual artists are encouraged, other activity options, including office space, will be considered.

If interested, please contact Sherry at info@midcoast.org or 563-424-1210.
Shop Amazon. Support MidCoast.
We know you love shopping on Amazon. It's ok, we do too.

Did you know when you shop through AmazonSmile ( smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to MidCoast Fine Arts.

How cool is that?!?!

We'll make it SUPER easy, just click on the AmazonSmile button or go to smile.amazon.com and search for MidCoast Fine Arts.

Happy shopping and thanks in advance for your support!
QC Storm v Roanoke Rail Yard Dogs
Saturday, March 2, 7:10 p.m.
TaxSlayer Center
Join the Quad City Storm and MidCoast for a fundraiser next weekend (March 2).

Purchase your tickets with this link and $5 of every $15 and $8 of every $20 ticket will come back to MidCoast! Thanks to the Storm for their generous donation.

It's also Jammie Night. So, get comfortable and come see the Storm take on The Roanoke Railyard Dogs!

The night of the game, MidCoast will be selling pucks for Chuck-a-puck and raffle tickets for an autographed hockey stick. Thanks to our Quad City Storm partners, sales will also support MidCoast.

If you'd like to volunteer, please contact Sherry at info@midcoast.org or 563-424-1210.

Ticket delivery
If you order by February 25, your tickets will be emailed on February 26. All orders after February 25 can be picked up at Will Call, the day of the game. If you have ticket questions, please contact Jeremy Pohl at jeremy@quadcitystorm.com or 309-277-1381.
Support the Arts. Support MidCoast.
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. 

Donations can be mailed to:
MidCoast Fine Arts
225 East 2nd Street
Davenport, IA 52801

MidCoast projects are supported by funds contributed from the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, the Regional Development Authority and the Scott County Regional Authority, and from Quad City Arts Dollars, provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, and John Deere.
MidCoast Gallery West / The ARTery
1629 2nd Avenue, Rock Island
Open: Wed. - Sat., 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Leslie Bell
February - March

Friday, March 8, 6 - 8 p.m., Closing reception

Artist statement:
When asked when a painting was finished, Andy Warhol famously said, “When the check clears”. I agree with him in one aspect: as long as I have a painting in my studio or storage racks, I can peck away at it. It’s not finished if I find anything unresolved, if I can see more in it. And paintings that I haven’t seen for a while seem to cry out for updates.

This show has new works, never shown before, and others have been around the block but have been re-worked. I like to think that as I gain new knowledge and experience, I can see more sophisticated possibilities for my work. If my interests have broadened and deepened, a “second draft” of a painting or drawing makes total sense to me.

Some of the little, one-foot square paintings have been kicking around for 5 or 10 years and yet they may have wet paint on them. If you were to ask, how long did that take to paint; I might have to say 10 years. I used to tell my students that by assigning a due date for a painting, I was in no way defining the time it takes to complete one “in real life.” 
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.; Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

This is the only art gallery in town that is open every day of the week!
Laura Vincent-Arnold
mid-March through mid-May

Of her paintings, Laura Vincent-Arnold says:
I’ve always been drawn to the softness that comes from a reflection of a face or interior space on an evening window or the way a landscape becomes one with the fog and the dance of light and shadow as things move through it. There is a quietness; I imagine how life outside these moments continues to speed along and I, for a moment, am able to push pause or a “slowmo” button on life. Much of what I create is a combination of images, emotions, and experiences that I have collected in my subconscious.
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 E. 2nd St., Davenport
Open: Wed. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Final Friday
February 22, 6-9 p.m.
Free Admission
Painting by Paula Crandell
  • Guest artist Paula Crandell demos on alcohol ink painting presented by Sunrise Galleries (suite 203)
  • Radar, the mascot for the Quad City Storm will make an appearance, 6 p.m.
  • Opening Reception for Tom Hempel Watercolors Retrospective Exhibition (suite 102b)
  • Black History Month, Youth on Broadway, Black History Production event featuring Rock Island High School Students, 7 p.m. presented by Azubuike African American Council for The Arts (suite 300)
  • Antarctic Photographs by Jack Wilhoit at Azubuike

Learn about alcohol ink with Artist Paula Crandell
This relatively new medium is known for its vibrant colors and unpredictable mixing and movements on a slick surface. From Sioux City, Paula is thrilled to bring alcohol ink to Eastern Iowa. She's on a mission to bring legitimacy to this art form. She'll also be conducting workshop classes at Sunrise Galleries in Muscatine. Workshops are $45 for each 3-hour session, or $105 for all three.
MidCoast Gallery at Bucktown

Tom Hempel Retrospective
through March
Tom Hempel's first watercolor painting
Tom Hempel’s watercolors are some of the most recognizable and well-known in the Quad Cities area today. He has painted over 1,200 originals, depicting a wide variety of subjects. Much of his images depict architecture (homes, schools, universities, public and private office buildings, and churches), in addition to water scenes and landscapes. 

Hempel’s love of painting began when he was a child and was introduced to 'paint-by-number' kits. The exhibition will include an oil he completed in 7th grade, which shows his natural talent. At age 13, he created his first watercolor painting, and his love of watercolors grew. Advanced art classes at Bettendorf High School contributed to Hempel’s interest and expertise but he was mainly self-taught after those courses. He cites his artistic role models as the late watercolorists Paul Norton of Bettendorf and John Pike of New York. Hempel made his first watercolor sale in 1975.

Some of his accomplishments include: Honorable Mention (Riverssance) 2009; People's Choice Award (Beaux Arts) 2014; Honorable Mention (CASI) 2016; and Honorable Mentions (Iowa Watercolor Society) 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he authored a book of his art, entitled Boats, Barns and Bungalows, which received 2nd Place in North America in 2015 from the National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA). He continues to evolve in his art, striving for even more vibrant and imaginative paintings.
Mark Your Calendars!
March 2, 7 p.m.
Chuck-a-Puck Fundraiser for MidCoast with Quad City Storm
TaxSlayer Center

March 29, 6-9 p.m.
Final Friday: Women's History Month

April 12, 6-9 p.m.
Opening reception for Karen Blomme & Elaine Rexdale
Gallery West

April 26, 6-9 p.m.
Final Friday: Mother's Day Wine Walk, photo booth and card making,
opening reception for Art Teachers of Davenport Schools

May 25
ArtWorks Expo High School Pastel Competition
with support from the Rock Island Art Guild
Copyright © 2019 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.org
MidCoast Fine Arts programs are partially supported by operational grants