Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
Shel Silverstein
MidCoast Musings
Spotlight on Dawn Bird
“I’ve always made art” says Dawn Bird, who has rented Bucktown suite 200. She paints, creates mosaics, repurposes furniture and more. Bird has that quality of enduring inquisitiveness that marks so many visual artists.

A Davenport native, she began her art career by painting windows for the holidays all over the Quad Cities, as well as wall murals for people’s homes and day care centers. She also created signs and logos, for example for Carver Aero at the Davenport Municipal Airport.

Her suite is called B.R.A.T. Design—the alphabet letters stand for the names of her children. In fact, her commercial art commissions “paid for extra things for my children.” Now, with her three children grown, she can concentrate on making her own artwork, along with selling antiques and vintage objects.

Bird’s art is inspired by different objects to pursue a “theme,” such as retro Art Deco, Country or 1950s. Some of her current work plays off of objects from occupied Japan, as seen in the art works surrounding her in this photo. She incorporates all kinds of found objects into her art, and is excited “to get busy!”
A HeARTfelt Appeal
In the past MidCoast has subsidized the cost of running Bucktown's first two floors and galleries with operational grants, which have been phased out in favor of program grants. Program grants do not cover much of day-to-day expenses, including utilities and staffing.

If you know of any source that might be willing to fund MidCoast at any level, I'd be happy to help or to independently contact that source. Please think broadly and let me know. We need all of you to be an emissary for public support of MidCoast.

As part of that appeal, we're asking for small (or large) cash donations at the January Final Friday and the opening reception for Les Bell at Gallery West on February 8. We must raise operating funds in 2019 to continue.
Thank Yous
We thank our later 2018 corporate contributors: Adolph’s Mexican Foods, Quad City Bank & Trust, Ryan and Associates, as well as the Hotel Blackhawk for the December gift certificate. If you have an opportunity to thank them as a patron, please do.

We're grateful to artists who donated handmade ornaments for sale to raise funds for MidCoast: Marilyn Davis, Jane Doty, Peggy Gratton, Linda Hardin, Karen Klingborg, Carolyn Krueger, Lori Miller, Diane L. Murtha, Debra Rexroth and Liz Wakita.

Eriksen Chevrolet partners with MidCoast for WQAD's Three Degree Guarantee Program
We’ll hope for predictable February weather and 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.

~ 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!
CALL FOR ARTISTS: 32rd Annual Riverssance Festival of Fine Art
September 21-22, 2019
Submission Deadline: February 4, 2019
Notifications: March 4, 2019
Organized by MidCoast, this premiere fine arts festival is located in a scenic park overlooking the Mississippi River in the historic village of East Davenport. The Quad Cities metropolitan region population is over 250,000. Free children's art tent, wine tasting, gourmet food, and live music.

Breakfast and Saturday evening pizza reception for artists included. Volunteer “art angels” sit booths for breaks, provide water and bring lunches ordered from food vendors so you don’t have to worry about leaving your booth.

Twelve monetary awards are given to winning artists during the festival totaling $3,000.

Questions? Contact Jodean at or 563-424-1210.
First floor
Casements are all rented, but applicants will be placed on a waiting list.  

Second floor suites
Suite 201b: 749 sq. ft. $562/month or $70/day
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 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 (, 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 and search for MidCoast Fine Arts.

Happy shopping and thanks in advance for your support!
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: QC Storm partners with MidCoast
Saturday, March 2
TaxSlayer Center
When we say hockey, the first thing that comes to mind isn't art. That's ok, it wasn't for us either. That being said, MidCoast will be the beneficiary for the March 2 Chuck-a-Puck event at the QC Storm game against Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs at the TaxSlayer Center (or The MARK, we know, we say it too).

We'd love for you to join us supporting a local sports team AND supporting your favorite arts organization -- US! To make it happen we need volunteers to help stuff pucks from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. (March 2), and at the game that night selling pucks. Volunteers will receive free admission.

If you can help, please contact Sherry at or 563-424-1210.

We'll share more details next month on how to purchase tickets and pucks!
CALL FOR ENTRIES: Photography Contest
Submission deadline: February 15
Sunrise River Gallery East (Bucktown suite 101) is holding a juried photo contest of sunrise and sunset images in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Full details can be found here.
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.
Jeanne O'Melia, Erica Parrott and David Turner
through January

Leslie Bell
February - March

Friday, February 8, 6 - 8 p.m., Opening reception and the ARTery's 10th Birthday

Leslie Bell is highly regarded for his many years teaching at St. Ambrose, where he now is an emeritus professor of art. He came to Iowa in 1965 to study art at St. Ambrose with renowned calligrapher Father Edward Catich. Bell completed his MFA in painting at Northern Illinois University. He has exhibited across America, with shows in Chicago, Atlanta and Tampa. His awards include an Arts Midwest/NEA fellowship, the Special Recognition Award—Best in Painting—from the Des Moines Art Center and grants from the Iowa Arts Council and Quad City Arts. He's represented by the Moberg (Des Moines) and Hudson River Galleries (Iowa City).

For over fifteen years, Bell’s figurative paintings have explored images of love, education, longing and nature. Jerry Cullum, editor of Art Paper and 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. Bell ‘s imagination has created not just magical realism, but real magic.”
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!
Glenn Boyles
through February
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 E. 2nd St., Davenport
Open: Wed. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Congratulation to last month's holiday ornament contest winners Marilyn Davis (first place), Lori Miller (second), and Carolyn Krueger (third). We thank all the artists who contributed to this fund raiser.
Vintage Valentine's Final Friday
January 25, 6-9 p.m.
Free Admission
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!
Start your evening off with a display of vintage Valentines, courtesy of Karolyn Williams and Estate of Grace. Stroll among the galleries for demos and do-it-yourself Valentines. Activities include:
  • Seven Orchids Gallery (Ste. 100) "make and take" Valentine’s card paper folding activity
  • Sunrise River Gallery East (Ste. 101): “Paint your Heart Out” small painted canvases
  • Scott Swanson "photo booth" (Ste. 203)
  • Linda Hardin, ceramic Valentines (Ste. 203): choose a bisque clay blank and apply your choice of glaze color to create a pin or pendent. All pieces will later be fired to “melt” the glaze and can be picked up at the Artists’ Market after Feb. 1. Pieces will be finished with a pin back or quality necklace cording, $10 each.
  • Karen Klingborg (Ste. 203) Valentines demo with special stamps, powders and inks, make and take for $5.
  • Lori Miller (Ste. 203) Valentines needlework and felting
Antarctic Photographs by Jack Wilhoit at Azubuike
We welcome back Jack Wilhoit, “the Door Guy”, who previously had a studio, Worldly Views, at Bucktown. Through February 16, his photos taken at McMurdo Station, Antarctica will be displayed at Azubuike Studio, suite 106 and in the hallways at Bucktown.

Wilhoit, who has travelled to different parts of the world either with his employment or for pleasure, has always photographed his visits. One of his goals is to visit all seven continents. Antarctica is not a place accessible to most people. He had the opportunity, through the United Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation, to travel to McMurdo Station to assist in an environmental study for six weeks last February.

Wilhoit will be available to talk about his travels during the January Final Friday. Don’t miss some amazing panoramas!
MidCoast Gallery at Bucktown

Kathleen Washington
through January

Tom Hempel Retrospective
February - March
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. Many 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 from there. 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 Second 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!
February 22, 6-9 p.m.
Guest artist Paula Crandell demonstrates alcohol ink painting

March 2
Chuck-a-Puck Fundraiser for MidCoast with Quad City Storm
TaxSlayer Center

May 25
ArtWorks Expo High School Pastel Competition
with support from the Rock Island Art Guild
Bucktown Center for the Arts
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 Fine Arts programs are partially supported by operational grants