Local artists inspired by the Figge Museum

Katherine Hogan

The Quad City Arts Gallery in Rock Island, IL currently has an exhibit showing over 80 works of art by more than 50 different artists took inspiration from the Figge’s recently closed “French Moderns: Monet to Matisse” exhibit.
An honorable mention at the exhibit was awarded to Lee Kimball. Kimball entered several of his pieces in the show after talking with his daughter, who also entered her own pieces as well.
Kimball talked about what inspired his pieces of art as he entered into the exhibit.
“A lot of my work has been inspired by impressionism,” Kimball said. The focus is on “common ordinary subject matter” for Kimball which can be seen in his piece that won honorable mention—a painting of a drainage pipe off of a cornfield.
Kimball commented that he was pleasantly surprised by the piece that was awarded honorable mention because he did not think many people would notice it—but the piece has a moodiness and directness that many must have enjoyed.
Overall, Kimball said that he tries to be uplifting with his work because “when things seem bleak, artwork can present a view that is uplifting and positive.”
“Impressionism is probably one of the movements of art that has been accepted by people in general—not during the artist’s time, but later and that people are drawn to the freshness, the vibrant color of impressionist artwork.” Kimball said, gazing at a community members’ piece.
In general, Kimball thinks that “exposure to artwork is very important for people of all ages”.
Best Sculptor was awarded to David Smith, owner of an art gallery in Geneseo, IL.
Smith thought that Quad City Art Gallery exhibit, which collaborated with both the Quad City art community and the Figge was a great idea and decided to make a specific piece for the exhibit.
He based his sculpture off of Monet’s woman with parasol painting. Smith said that it was a problem “working from a painting and trying to make it 3 dimensional” but that it turned out nice.
Smith also commented that it was “unusual to make a sculpture that size in only 1 month—usually it takes 6 months”! Smith thought that, “to get that many artists together in one room is great.”
Smith, himself, visited the French Moderns exhibit at the Figge twice, and commented that the show depicted “the change of art in a very important time in history,” and can appreciate and understand the Figge is bringing joy and education to the Quad Cities through art.