The Riverssance Festival of Fine Art is back in force in 2021! In its 33rd year, this outdoor event featured over 70 quality visual artists drawn from a national call for entries, live local music, food vendors, wine tastings and an activity tent. arts and crafts for children. The event took place in picturesque Lindsay Park in the village of East Davenport (Davenport, Iowa). As one of Iowa’s premier arts festivals, Riverssance is designed to
showcase and support visual artists in our region while strengthening the cultural dynamism of our community.
Sherry Case Maurer is the recipient of the 2021 Harley Award for Outstanding Community Art Support. This is an annual award given at the Riverssance Festival of Fine Art which was presented at a 5:30 p.m. reception on Saturday September 18 at Lindsay Park, Davenport. The event is hosted by Quad City Arts and the reception is sponsored by Medix Dental.
Although born in the Midwest, Maurer grew up in New Albany, Indiana and in the suburbs of Montreal and Toronto, Canada. Still drawing as a child, her mother expressed concern when these drawings began to fill several cardboard boxes. Maurer notes: “It made it clear that art had to count. She received a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Miami, Ohio and participated in the prestigious Blossom Summer Program at Kent State University with guest instructors Elmer Bischoff, Duane Hanson, Harvey Littleton and Lowell Nesbitt. Graduate degrees of an MA in Art History and an MA in Painting were obtained simultaneously at the University of Iowa. There she was introduced to museum work through an assistant position at the University of Iowa Art Museum.
Maurer began a career in museum work at the Cedar Rapids Art Center (1979-1982) as it became the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, followed by positions at Augustana College (1983-2013), first as as gallery curator, then becoming the first director of the Augustana College Art Museum (now Augustana Teaching Museum of Art). In 1988, she was recognized as the outstanding administrator of the college with
the Harold T. and Violet M. Jaeke Award. She brought the Quad Cities to the nation’s attention as a Board Member of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (2008-2013).
In June 2014, she joined the staff of MidCoast Fine Arts, becoming Director in 2015. MidCoast has served the Quad Cities region with three gallery sites, studios and galleries, as well as exhibitions and visual art programs. , including Riverssance. MidCoast disbanded in 2020, in the face of Covid-19 closures, and Quad City Arts took over the event.
Currently, Maurer teaches Art Appreciation and Art History at Black Hawk Community College. “I like giving local students this first step in higher education.” She is a long-time member of the Rock Island Art Guild, a community group known for hosting the Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, a regional juryed art competition that is now held every two years at the Figge Art Museum. She was an early board member of the Rock Island Broadway Neighborhood Association and vice chair of the mayor’s committee of a public swimming pool in Longview Park. Over the years, in addition to lecturing extensively on local art and participating in area art exhibitions, she has been a guest artist at Rock Island elementary schools and taught art at the North High School in Davenport and Eastern Iowa Community College, Belmont Campus.
Maurer said of this Harley Award: “It’s a bit surprising to receive an award that was first given in 1988 to an artist of such caliber, John Bloom. The award, in every sense of the word, also goes to the MidCoast Board of Directors and staff members who have given so much to the vitality of art in our community. “
Additional winners include:
Best in Show: Cliff Logan, wood (Booth # 53)
People’s Choice: Anna Repke, fiber (Stand # 11)
Bill Robbins, ceramic (Booth # 9)
Stuart Roddy, oil (Stand # 14)
John VandeWalle, mixed media (Booth n ° 20)
David Zahn, ceramic (Booth # 26)
Devin Johnson, jewelry (Booth # 37)
Josh Meier, photography (Booth # 41)
Stephen Steininger, acrylic (Booth # 48)
Liz Robertson, ceramic (Booth # 60)
Steve Nowatzki, mixed media (Booth # 62)
Jay Stratton, wood (Booth # 72)
The Riverssance Festival Committee and Quad City Arts would like to thank the artists who participated for making this year the best arts event to date. It’s been a year full of unknowns and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of creatives to be a part of the show. We would also like to thank our wonderful patrons who came this weekend to support more than 70 artists.
Quad City Arts events would not be possible without the support of our many generous sponsors: Twin States Technical Services, Medix Dental, IMEG, dphilms, KWQC-TV6, Zimmerman Honda, Fireside Winery, iHeart Media, Iowa Arts Council, Illinois Arts Council, Town of Davenport and Village of East Davenport.
Quad City Arts is a nonprofit arts organization serving an area of six counties in eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. We are dedicated to the growth and vitality of the Quad City area through the presentation, development and celebration of the arts by providing the community with artistic opportunities, programming and community events. For more information, visit www.quadcityarts.com, contact [email protected]
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has written professionally since his debut at the age of 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. A graduate with honors from the University of Southern California’s master’s program, he has written more than 50 books, including best-selling books The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone, and We Are All Characters.