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Thirty-sixth annual juried exhibition showcases QCA talent

March  23, 2012

The 36th Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, a juried competition co-sponsored by the Rock Island Art Guild and Augustana College, is on display at the Augustana College Art Museum (inside Centennial Hall, 3703 7th Ave.) through Sunday, April 22. Admission is free.

An awards reception will be held on Friday, March 30, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. At 5:40 p.m., $3,700 in awards will be presented.

Exhibition hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays April 1 and 15 (closed Easter holiday April 6-9).

"The annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition provides a professional forum of visual arts expression unlike any other in our community," said Sherry Maurer, director of the Augustana College Art Museum. "With a different outside juror each year, both accomplished professionals and budding talents take a personal risk to have their art reviewed for inclusion."

Each year the competition is open to visual artists working in any media, except video, and residing within a 150-mile radius of the Quad Cities. This year 117 artists participated, and 51 pieces were selected for the final exhibition.

The 2012 juror is Joseph Mella, who has served as director of the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, Tenn., and its collections since 1992. Prior to Vanderbilt, he served as curator of exhibitions and collections at the Rockford (Ill.) Art Museum and in a similar capacity at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont. He holds a master's in modern art history, theory and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Each year the Founder's Award is given to honor longstanding membership and contributions to the Rock Island Art Guild. This year's Founder's Award honors Art Guild member Ruth Evelyn Katz, whose involvement dates back to the mid-1950s when watercolorist Sally MacMillan began to organize a local group to support the visual arts.

Included in the exhibition are works by Augustana faculty Megan Quinn (ceramics) and Corrine Smith (mixed media paintings). Veronica Smith, an Augustana senior from Plano, Ill., majoring in studio art, art history and environmental studies, is only the third Augustana student to win an award in this competition.

During the exhibition, visitors can express their own opinions by voting on the People's Choice and Children's Choice awards. 


Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833