Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. — Seneca
MidCoast Musings

November is a month of thanks in many forms, including Veteran’s Day. The next time you are in Bucktown, take a look for a small sketch of a soldier on one of the painted posts. One of the hallway posts has a sketch of a soldier wearing a helmet, cheeks puffed up to pull on a stumpy cigar. His helmet has a bullet hole. The head is described with assured lines of hatching, as is the lithe line of smoke that rises from the cigar. Although unsigned, the sketch is identified as one by Homer Holmes (1918-1981), a great uncle of Bucktown Gallery Manager, Tony Seabolt.

Raised in Davenport, Holmes lived his adult life in Rock Island. He served during W.W. II as a Commander of the 40th Combat Engineers Battalion. His corps helped to “liberate” the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany. Holmes told Seabolt it was the most traumatic experience of his life. Years later, the former soldier went outside and burned up everything he had that was associated with the concentration camp. However, it led to some good in that he helped people escape to the Quad Cities and he, a Catholic, developed a strong circle of friends among the Jewish community here.

As a child, Seabolt enjoyed hearing Holmes’ tales of seeing Europe as part of serving during W.W. II. Holmes sketched these sights and drew his colleagues, such as a view of a soldier shaving. Back in the Quad Cities after the war, he married his high school sweetheart and worked for Oscar Mayer. While making deliveries, he would sketch during his lunch breaks.

At family parties, young Seabolt would sit in his great uncle’s lap and watch Holmes sketch. “That’s where my love for art started” states Seabolt. Eventually, Holmes provided art supplies and lessons for his great nephew.

Seabolt was familiar with Holmes sign-off of a caricature of a soldier. After some time spent at Bucktown, Seabolt recognized the sketch. Perhaps his great uncle drew it while waiting for his delivery to be checked in at the time when Bucktown’s first floor housed a grocery store. Seabolt concludes, “When I saw it, I knew I belonged here.”

~ Sherry
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a community to support MidCoast, and for that we're extremely grateful.

MidCoast Donors, Sponsors & Partners
Dr. Kurt Christoffel, Costco, Steve Couch, Michele Darland in honor of Sarah and Rachel Mullins, dphilms, Front Street Brewery, Great River Brewery, Shellie Moore Guy, William Hannan, Hanson Watson Associates, the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, Carolyn Krueger, KWQC, Pam Kaufman, Terre Klipsch, Stephen Baldridge Louck, Mix96, NAMI, Alta L. Price, Quad City Arts Dollar$ provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, and John Deere, Quad City Bank and Trust, the Regional Development Authority, River Cities Reader, Rivermont Collegiate, RME, the Scott County Regional Authority, Mark Stegmaier, Tabor Home Winery, Zaiga Minka Thorson and Whitey’s Ice Cream.

And a special shout out to Dee Schricker who painted and prepared HUNDREDS of wine glasses for Riverssance and Bucktown fundraisers!

MidCoast Board of Directors
Amy Orr (president), Kyle Carter (vice president), Eileen Roethler (treasurer), Kathy Betcher (secretary), Andrew Arnold, William Hannan, Paul Lange, Ryan Orr, Harry Walker; ex officio: Sherry Maurer and Tony Seabolt.

Riverssance Festival of Fine Art Committee
Alan Campbell (chair), Elizabeth Avenia (wine tent and food vendors), Kathy Betcher (design), Jim Cronk (park relations and infrastructure), Dan Darland (logistics), Michele Darland (marketing), Phillip Dunbridge (Children's Tent), Sherry Maurer (staff), Jodean Meleski (artists’ liaison, assisted by Mark Meleski), Sarah Mullins (artists’ breakfast), Amy Orr (board rep), Ryan Orr (video), Eileen Roethler (finance, assisted by Sienna Roethler), Jenni Swanson (volunteers), and Jack Wilhoit (photography and equipment).

Rohan Abernathy-Wee, Saeed Ajideh, Rebecca Arnold, Ben Bergfeld, Cindy Betcher, Dale Blair, Ingrid Bogdanowicz, Gary and Gloria Burlingame, Jon Burns, Roger Carlson, Miguel Castaneda, Yesenia Castaneda, Lisa Cleve, Claire Coughlin, Leticia Diaz, Melaine Diep, Susan Doran, Jane Doty, Lucia Dryanski, Leslie Dupree, Christian Elliott, Rocio Enriquez, Danielle Frey, Carol Garcia, Peggy Gratton, Austin Griffin, Laura Hopkins, Tracey Howell, Kathy and Michael John, Chad Johnson, Vera Johnson, Heat Jones, Felista Kasimu, Charlet and Alex Key, Carolyn Krueger, Kayley Larson, Mike and Summer Lawrence, Ethan Leader, Keniya Lewis, Morgan Litwiler, Devon MacCall, Sarah Martin, Katrina and Kayla Masakowski, Tim Mathes, Jo Ellen Maurus, Brock McConchie, Constance Melby, Marla Moore, Richard McFadden, Pat Mahar, Andrew Osborn, Alexis Pallen, Savanna Peterson, Margaret Ramos, Magal Rodriguez, Amanda Schar, Leigh Ann, Lauren and Olivia Schroeder, Francesco Scribano, Tony Seabolt, Clara Stamer, Chris Stevens, Amy Stockwell, Vince Thomas, Zaiga Thorson, Barbara Toner, Angie Villarreal, Laura Vincent-Arnold, Colleen Vollman, Elizabeth Wakita, Jan Welch, Amber Weeks, April White, Vicki Wilcox and Taylor Zimmerman.
MidCoast + NAMI + That Dam Shopping Trip + Shop Small Saturday = Winning Combination
November 23-24
Bucktown and Gallery West
This holiday season, shop Bucktown Center for the Arts and Gallery West for unique, artist-made gifts and help support an important community family education system on mental health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Starting Friday, November 23, a percentage of artwork sales displayed at Bucktown and Gallery West will be donated to NAMI. Look for the "Shop for NAMI" sign. The partnership runs through mid-December.

If that's not enough, That Dam Shopping Trip is back. If you're not familiar, That Dam Shopping Trip is a shopping contest November 23-24 among shops located around the Mississippi roller dam with a $1,000 prize.

Don't forget, November 24 is Shop Small Saturday—everything we sell is from artists of our community.

Shop local, support our visual artists and a great cause!
Friday, December 7, 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, December 8, 12-3 p.m.
Entry Deadline: November 24, 6 p.m.
Rock the Arts will take place in a focused trio of Rock Island venues: the Desoto Building, MidCoast Gallery West/The ARTery and Quad City Arts.

Demonstrations include the Quad City Wood Turners (wood turning), Joel Knanishu (raku firing) and Amber Williams (collage) at Desoto. Kids can experiment with clay.

Artists may register to show their art works at booths or tables: $35 for an indoor space and table. All fees will be pooled to market Rock the Arts.

For registration, send a sample of four images of your art with description of media to Sherry at or 563-424-1210.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: Winter Ornament Contest at Bucktown
Entry Deadline: November 30, 9 p.m.
Top prize is $100, with several additional awards. Submissions are due 9 p.m. on November 30, and will be on display at Bucktown through Final Friday (December 14).

Ornaments will be for sale, with proceeds going to support public art programs at Bucktown.

Download the Winter Ornament entry form today!

Additional questions? Contact Sherry at or 563-424-1210.
CALL FOR ARTISTS: 32nd Riverssance Festival of Fine Art
September 21-22, 2019
Entry Deadline: February 9, 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 $2,600.

Entry Deadline: February 9, 2019, late entry add $10

Submissions accepted December 10, 2018 - February 9, 2019. Late entries add $10. Apply via Juried Art Services or by mail and CD to:

Jodean Meleski
MidCoast Fine Arts/Riverssance
1112 30th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201

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

Second floor suites
Suite 200: 454 sq. ft., $340/month
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 know the holidays are right around the corner. Why not spread twice the cheer? And 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!
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 in 2017 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.
Lori Miller and David Hast
through November

Jeanne O'Melia, Erica Parrott and David Turner
December - January

Friday, December 7, 6-9 p.m., Opening Reception
Meet the artists while enjoying snacks, drinks, and live music!

Jeanne O’Melia states, ”For me, art is like breath itself.” She studied art at Iowa State University, Augustana College, and The Clearing in Wisconsin. Traveling extensively throughout the world, she makes ink line drawings or paints watercolors on location. Her drawings from travels and at home are the inspiration for cyanotype prints, acrylic paintings and found-object sculptures.

Additionally, she has been fascinated by the use of papier mâché in art and festivals around the world, and she creates large figures in the medium. Growing up on a farm near Princeton, she knew about welding. About 20 years ago, O’Melia began making sculptural figures from found objects, brazing metals together. She notes, “I employ a variety of media to express my feelings and reactions to the world we live in.”

Erica Parrott's figurative paintings and drawings are informed by strong guiding principles about body politics and traditional standards of beauty. A graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, she believes that mass-media pressure distorts our sense of beauty.

“What's real is the most beautiful…. Specific noses and chins that are passed from great-great immigrant uncles; bodies the sight of which ground us, clearing a space to step out of the marketers' projection and back into our lived reality.”

Parrott is teaming up her works with photography by David Turner, a recent transplant from Sioux City by way of Iowa City. She describes how her watercolors and his analog large-format photography work together, “vulnerable, unconventional’ portraits, elevated plants, earthy babies... we even use the same models!”
Bodice cyanotype and fibers by Jeanne O'Melia
Erica Parrott watercolor and
David Turner photography juxtaposed
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!
Glen Lowry
through November

Glenn Boyles
December - February

Glenn Boyles is the Education Coordinator for the Family Museum. He graduated with a BA from the former Marycrest University.

“I was making things from day one, and I was encouraged by my family and kept well-supplied with art materials and family trips to the art gallery.” He enjoys seeing children thrilled by art discoveries as part of his job.

“Many of my recent subjects are of natural objects and landscapes from my immediate surrounding. I use these same subjects when I teach art lessons and I continue an attempt to master the methods that I am teaching, through my personal efforts.”
Painting by Glenn Boyles
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 E. 2nd St., Davenport
Open: Wed. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Holiday Wine Walk
Final Friday, November 30, 6-9 p.m.
Free Admission
Purchase a little work of art for $20, an artist-decorated wine glass with five tickets for wine tasting as you stroll various artists’ suites.

The event is part of our “Shop for NAMI” fundraiser and allows for evening shopping along with festive music from the Black Hawk College Chorale led by Jon Palomaki.

This evening event is supported by a Gift from Dr. Kurt Christoffel.
MidCoast Gallery at Bucktown
Emma Farber Cunningham &
Barbara Toner
through December 1

Kathleen Washington
December - January
Artwork by Kathleen Washington
“I am inspired by the human form, as the possibilities are endless” says Kathleen Washington, known to us as Casey.

For this exhibition, she has prepared three different approaches: The Essence of Picasso, Specialized Portraits and Art Designed Furniture

Her first approach takes inspiration from Picasso’s paintings of Marie-Therese Walter, his mistress and model from 1927 to 1935. Washington explores the aspects of the voluptuous woman Picasso portrayed in assemblages of cut wood and acrylic paint.

In the second approach, she paints her model with exacting facial features, but changes hairstyles, clothing and background settings to tell a story that reflects the facial features and expressions the model displays.

Thirdly, she transforms vintage furniture with colorful prints, faux painted tile, wood, tortoiseshell and the like to bring excitement, fun and color to ordinarily dull furniture.

She quips, “I like to think of the result as your grandmother’s furniture on steroids.”

As a student at Black Hawk College, Washington studied art under Jean Tamesia.
Mark Your Calendars!
December 14
Winter ornament competition awards,
music by Classical Moods Quartet including Bucktown artist Gwen Patton &
opening reception for Kathleen (Casey) Washington
Bucktown Center for the Arts

January 11, 6-9 p.m.
Closing reception for Jeanne O'Melia, Erica Parrott and David Turner
Gallery West

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 © 2018 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