40th Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition


Since 1955, the Rock Island Art Guild, a volunteer-run organization, has supported the arts in the Quad-City region through exhibitions, educational programs and scholarships. This year, the guild’s 40th juried exhibition will be installed in the Figge’s third floor gallery. 

The exhibition is open to artists within a 150-mile radius of the Quad Cities, and is juried from online submissions. 

“The Rock Island Art Guild began with a single purpose of bringing artists and the public together ‘to cultivate an active interest in local art talent,’” said Holly Sparkman, president. “The first juried fine arts exhibition in 1977 was a big undertaking for the guild. It set the tone for the health and wellbeing of the arts in the community and gave local artists a needed showcase. 

“Now, 39 fine arts exhibitions later, the guild is still made up of dedicated longtime volunteers, and the same integrity and dedication to helping artists achieve their potential remain intact. The guild is proud to be connected with the Figge Art Museum for this benchmark exhibition and looks forward to many more fine arts exhibitions to come.” 

This year’s exhibition juror is Dr. Patricia McDonnell, director of the Wichita Art Museum. Prior to joining the Wichita Museum in 2012, Dr. McDonnell served as director of the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University. She was chief curator at the Tacoma Art Museum, and worked as a curator at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Brown University, with a focus on 20th-century American art and the painter Marsden Hartley, about whom she has published numerous books and articles. 

Dr. McDonnell selected the artworks for the exhibition from online entries, and selected the award-winners after seeing the works in person.

Sponsored by the Rock Island Art Guild

On view January 27-May 20, 2018


Companion Events

Thursday, February 1
5:30 p.m. Opening Reception
7 p.m. Exhibition Remarks
Celebrate the opening of the 40th Annual Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition alongside many of the included artists, who have been selected for participation from throughout the region. 

Thursday, March 22
5:30 p.m. Performance: Jazz Combo, Western Illinois University
6:30 p.m. Artist Talks
Featured artists from the Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition as
they speak about their artworks.

Thursday, April 12
5:30 p.m. Brand Boeshaar Scholarship Reception   
6:30 p.m. Artist Talks
Join in the celebration of high school art student scholarship winners and view their portfolios before heading up to the Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition to hear from exhibiting artists about their works on display.