Sherry Maurer Recognized with Riverssance Harley Award

Longtime Rock Island Art Guild member Sherry Case Maurer was the recipient of the 2021 Harley Award for Outstanding Community Art Support. This is an annual award is bestowed during the Riverssance Festival of Fine Art and honors those who’ve positively affected the visual arts and artists in the Quad Cities during their lifetimes.

Sherry devoted her career to the arts since coming to the Quad Cities from Cedar Rapids in 1983 where she worked as the director the Augustana College Centennial Hall Gallery and Museum program from fall 1983 to spring 2013. She then served as Midcoast Fine Arts’ executive director until 2020 and guided the organization through the tumultuous last years before the organization closed Bucktown Center for the Arts and closed the books on Midcoast. Her invaluable experience and involvement in the Quad Cities Art scene has helped innumerable artists and non-profit organizations.

The award was presented at a reception during Riverssance on Saturday, Sept. 18 in Lindsay Park, Davenport. The first Harley Award was given in 1988 to artist John Bloom.

Sherry Maurer

Sherry Maurer

Sherry Maurer

Riverssance Harley Award

The Harley Award

Sherry Maurer

Sherry Maurer recognized with annual Riverssance Harley Award


Art Guild Supports Downtown RI Mural Project

The Rock Island Art Guild provided financial support to a mural project in downtown Rock Island located on the 300 block of 20th street in the ally next to Leo’s Shoe Repair. The mural’s inspiration came from Rock Island High School student Riley Jones, who submitted her artwork, “Black Pride” for US Representative Cheri Bustos’ annual Congressional Art Contest. Jones’ piece was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

A ribbon cutting was held to unveil the mural on Thursday, August 19. Riley’s mural is the first of many future mural projects in downtown Rock Island as part of a new program launched by the Quad City Arts and the Quad Cities Chamber. Read more about the mural project on the QC Chamber’s website >>


Riley Jones Jeff Whitaker

Artist Riley Jones, Dr. Reginald Lawrence (Rock Island-Milan Schools Supt.) and Principal Jeff Whitaker (Rock Island High School).

downtown Rock Island

The crowd at the mural unveiling.

downtown Rock Island

Ribbon cutting for the mural.

Art Guild Supports Summer Art Program at King Center

The Rock Island Art Guild provided funding to the Azibuike program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Rock Island over the summer.
For three weeks in July of 2021, Azubuike provided art instruction for kids attending the summer program at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island. Local artist Gwen Ballard Patton taught two classes on Tuesdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for nine and ten-year-olds, and two classes on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for seven and eight-year-olds.
The kids created and customized portfolios from corrugated cardboard, then created artwork to go inside their portfolios. Their work went home with them at the end of the summer program. Read more about the project on the Rock Island Art Guild’s Facebook page >>

A summer program student works on her art project at the Azibuike session.


Students with their finished portfolio

People’s Choice and Children’s Choice Awards Announced!

The Rock Island Art Guild’s 41st Fine Arts Exhibition People’s Choice and the Children’s Choice awards were selected! Overall there were over 700 votes cast. Both winners received $50 prize for the award.

People’s Choice Award Winner: Tom Hempel, Tranquility
Children’s Choice Award Winner: Samuel Seigel, Orchid

Congratulations to both artists!

New Date for Artwork Pick Up: May 25

There are changes to the 41st Rock Island Art Guild Exhibition artwork pickup schedule at the Figge due to the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The Figge Art Museum is currently closed to the public until March 31.

When the Figge reopens, the  41st Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition at the Figge Art Museum will be extended through May 17!

Juror’s statement and other exhibition highlights >>

The Art Guild brought the voting to a close and tallied the votes for the People’s Choice Award and Children’s Choice Award. The winner of the People’s Choice award is Tom Hempel and the winner of the Children’s Choice Award is Samuel Seigel.

ARTWORK PICKUP – NEW DATE: The new pick up date for artwork is set for Monday, May 25 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Figge Loading Dock.

Artist instructions: When you arrive at the Figge Plaza parking lot, please proceed to the door at the end of the lot marked 225. Next to the door you will see an intercom box that will put you in contact with Figge security. Push the intercom button and inform them why you are at the museum and they will give access to the loading dock. The artwork will be arranged in the loading dock alphabetically by last name, and each work will have two copies of a return receipt attached to the front of the work’s packaging.

Remove the receipts and sign one and put it in the box marked “signed RIAG receipts.” The other receipt is for your records. Once you have completed this process you are free to remove your work from the museum. There will be no Figge staff or volunteers available to assist.

If there are any questions about this process please email Figge Assistant Registrar Joshua Johnson at

41st Fine Arts Exhibition Award Winners

The Rock Island Art Guild announced prize awards for the 41st Fine Arts Exhibition during the Opening Reception on Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Figge Art Museum.


First Place $1,000
Kaitlin Walsh (Pleasant Valley, IA), The Temporal Bone, 2019, Oil on canvas

Second Place $500
Michael Wilcox (Eldridge, IA), Fifty Foot Falls at Supai Arizona, 2015, Digital print
Third Place Founders Award in honor of Jean Welch Walgren $300
Gloria Burlingame (Rock Island, IL), Reflections, 2019, Oil pastel on board
Sally MacMillan Watercolor Award $500
Linda Buechting (Quincy, IL), Sunday Donuts, 2019, Watercolor on paper
Sculpture Award In Memory of Zeivel Harris $500
William Close (New Hartford, IA), Hurry Sally You’re Late For School, 2019, Wood
Honorable Mention Awards $100
Gayle Lehmkuhl (Fairbank, IA), View from the Mound, 2019, Oil on canvas

 Kaitlin walsh

Michael Wilcox

Gloria Burlingame

Linda Buechting

William Close

Gayle Lehmkuhl

Artists in the 2020 Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition

Congratulations to the artists who were juried into the 2020 Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition at the Figge Art Museum! The opening reception is on Thursday, February 6 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. 


Les Allen DIXON IL Examination of Flora
Judy Bales FAIRFIELD IA Support System
Bradford Bisbey MOLINE IL In the Garden
Wallace Bowling HARPERS FERRY IA Champion
Linda Buechting QUINCY IL Sunday Donuts
Gloria Burlingame ROCK ISLAND  IL Reflections
Maggie Capettini DOWNERS GROVE IL Gathering of Spirits
Maggie Capettini DOWNERS GROVE IL Midnight Meditations
Cathie Crawford PEORIA IL Luna Sea
Don Crouch MACOMB IL Trophy Elk
Jim Davis FAIRFIELD IA Martian Landscape
Amy Dobrian IOWA CITY IA The Kings
Frje Echeverria CEDAR FALLS IA View Across The Bay From The Delacado
Kate Goodvin IOWA CITY IA Mia and Adam
David Gregory PEORIA IL Banana Blossom
Barbara Hansen SLEEPY HOLLOW IL Give Me Your Tired Your Poor
Barbara Hansen SLEEPY HOLLOW IL Alchemy
Ronald Hansen BELLEVUE IA Wash House Hideout
Ben Harle CHICAGO IL Thixotropic Bottle Series
Tom Hempel DAVENPORT  IA Tranquility
Ralph Henry NORTH LIBERTY  IA Self Portrait
James Henry BURLINGTON IA Rumor Mill
Angie Huffman MARION IA So… what do you do?
Louise Kames DUBUQUE IA A Sacred Ginko
ML Kline CEDAR RAPIDS IA Still Life Remembering
Dean Kugler DAVENPORT IA Coronation: The Crown Prince
Gayle Lehmkuhl FAIRBANK IA View from the Mound
Kimberly Machovec-Smith CEDAR RAPIDS IA Sprouting Blue Corn 1
Makenzie Mackovich DAVENPORT IA Atopic Dermatitis
Julie Malake DAVENPORT IA Awhoo Whoo Baby
Ioan Marcu DAVENPORT IA Four Little Immigrants
John McGlinn IOWA CITY IA Fence 2019-1
Ed Nellis IOWA CITY IA Strome
Tim Olson DUBUQUE IA The Hospitality of the Abams Amusement Company
David Otto DAVENPORT IA The Bad Samaritan
Terry Rathje LONG GROVE IA Kiwi Canoe
Gail Ray BETTENDORF IA Sandiego 4
Susan Reinier CEDAR RAPIDS IA Nature’s Playground
Elizabeth Rhoads Read CEDAR RAPIDS IA Nesting
Lori Roderick ROCK ISLAND IL Ides
Spencer Sauter NORMAL IL Autumnal Dance
Dave Schaeffer BLUE GRASS IA How Do We Balance Trust In Our Roots
Kevin Schafer DAVENPORT IA City Cemetery Spring 2019
Alex Schmiechen CEDAR RAPIDS IA Centering
Katie Schutte PLATTEVILLE WI Memory IV
Rowen Schussheim-Anderson DAVENPORT IA Light Reflections
Samuel Seigel HOMESTEAD IA Orchid
John Sheppard DECORAH IA The All-American
Steve Sinner BETTENDORF IA #284
Diane Spielbauer IOWA CITY IA Stoplights in the Snow
Mark Szemkus DAVENPORT IA Cheyenna’s First Pregnancy
Jac Tilton DUBUQUE IA The Book Club
Dale Tulk ASHTON IL Brass Band
Greg Van Dusseldorp IOWA CITY IA Timorous
Bella Vine IOWA CITY IA The Redwoods
Kaitlin Walsh PLEASANT VALLEY IA The Temporal Bone
Margaret Whiting WATERLOO IA Commentaries on American Law
John Whitlock MUSCATINE IA Cedar River
Michael Wilcox ELDRIDGE IA Fifty Foot Falls at Supai Arizona
Hailey Williams PERU IL Williams_001
William Wohlford BETTENDORF IA Wedding Vows 1
Andrew Wroble HARPERS FERRY IA Reaching Province

Fine Arts Exhibition Awards Ceremony Feb. 6

The Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition at the Figge Art Museum will have the awards ceremony on February 6 >> 

41st Fine Arts Exhibition Call for Entries Open Sept. 1

The Rock Island Art Guild is celebrating its 41st Fine Arts Exhibition in 2020! Once again the exhibition is at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, from January 18 to April 19, 2020.

Artists within a 150-mile radius of Rock Island are encouraged to enter up to 2 original works of art (per entry fee) that have been created in the last 5 years. Sculpture may include one additional detail image.

More information and call for entries >>

Picasso Rocks Summer Art At the Library!

The Rock Island Art Guild provided funding and supplies for the summer art program at the Rock Island Public Library again this year. The theme for the summer was Picasso Rocks!






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