40th Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition

This biennial exhibition is on display at the Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport, Iowa, through May 20. The competition is open to artists living and working within 150 miles of Rock Island, Illinois.  Patricia McDonnell of Wichita, Kansas, was this year’s juror. She stated that she was looking for works that both demonstrated technical skill and made a statement. She chose nine award winners in disparate styles. This was her first-place ($1,000) winner, Grey Matter, by Glenn Bodish of Dixon, Illinois, oil on panel.

Glenn Bodish, Grey Matter

Stacey and I viewed the exhibit yesterday. Although Grey Matter was OK, showing some interesting scraping techniques, I came up with a largely different set of winners, focused on landscapes, mechanical objects, and a turtle. But my first-prize award would have gone to the fantastic and disturbing The Arrow Head Motel Triptych.

Tim Olson, The Arrowhead Motel Triptych, oil on panel

The Arrowhead Motel Triptych, detail

A group of high school students visiting the Quad Cities from Blue Earth, Minnesota, gave us the background on the inspiration for the modern piece, Robert Campin’s Annuciation Triptych. In the right panel of the original, Mary’s Joseph is working with his carpentry tools. Above, his counterpart is making meth (I think). Sheesh.

Here are my other winners:

Dick Dahlstrom, Coal Car, paint, wood, and plaster

Coal Car, another view

Jessica Gondek, Enterprising Machines, charcoal and pastel on print

Thomas Monahan, The Crossing, rosewood and stainless steel

Zaiga Thorson, Leelanau Cathedral, oil on panel

Fred Easker, Valley Afternoon, oil on canvas

Ellen Mueller Neil, Camouflaged Turtle, watercolor on paper



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