Coming to DeSoto Studio in Rock Island for the month of August 2019 is”QC Icons and Landmarks The Art Of Jon Burns,”A collection of new work from Moline, Illinois native Jon Burns. The opening reception at the gallery, 2324 3rd Ave Rock Island (Enter through alley), is 6-10 p.m. Friday, August 2, and the closing reception will be Friday, August 30.
Jon Burns is an artist and musician living and working in the Quad Cities IA/IL region. He has shown art at several galleries around the Q.C. including The Artery, Bucktown, Rozz Tox, Midcoast Gallery West, Peanut Gallery, Mode Art Gallery, Ragged Records, and more. Burns creates art in a vibrant colorful pop style with a variety of subject matter. He has described some of his fine art works as “Drawings on top of paintings and paintings on top of drawings… if that makes sense.” Burns is also an accomplished musician who has toured around the country several times playing music. He has worked as a graphic designer and a videographer producing music videos. He fancies himself a bit of an archivist as can be shown in this current show. A proud Quad Citizen much of his work has been made to archive parts of his hometown’s history. Including the “Signs” photograph series which documented the many “hand-made” business signs of his hometown. To archive the hand-made visual history of a city before it goes extinct. In this current show Burns archives through his art some of the most iconic figures in Quad Cities history.
If even just within the artist’s mind the QC Icons series was originally conceptualized as a mural to replace the dilapidated one that artist Loren Shaw-Hellige designed which now sits tattered across the street from the Rock Island Public Library. Originally located on the broad side of Steve’s Old Time Tap. The first version painted in 1989 was resurrected in it’s new location in 2006 as per suggestion from the city council. Both versions of the mural include positive depictions of Confederate Army leaders Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.
In reference to a 2006 article about the new version of the mural the reason given for these depictions are that Jefferson Davis a “future head of the Confederate states” also fought against other marginalized people in the Black Hawk War while his counterpart Robert E. Lee is noted as being a commander in the Confederate army who also happened to prepare “early maps of the Mississippi River.” Both being completely ridiculous reasons for a community so far north of the Mason-Dixon line to be commemorating such old-world icons it is the goal of the artist to have this ‘two-times over’ dilapidated mural removed from plain view of the public library which should stand as a pillar for both truth and justice in it’s teaching of history.
The QC Icons series is an exploration of a more modern group of influential people with origins in the Quad Cities. They are for the most part a collection of persons involved in the arts and entertainment business, and those who have achieved great success in the world of sport.” From the athletic accomplishments of Madison Keys, and Chasson Randle, to the musical talent of Margo Price, Lissie, and Jesse Johnson, on to the fine acting performances of Ken Berry, Lara Flynn Boyle, and more…
Along with individual hand-painted original versions these portraits there will also be a large sized canvas version of these done in the :”mural” style previously mentioned. Along with that there will also be coloring books for sale depicting these QC Icons. 25% of all proceeds from the QC Icons series will be donated to Family Resources of The Quad Cities.
A study on buildings and structures some already lost and some soon to be lost to the passing of time and development. Medium to large sized mixed media paintings on canvas depicting some of the most iconic Quad Cities buildings and structures lost in the name of progress.
PORTRAITS FOR CHOICE
: A black and white panel installation of the portraits series. An interactive installation where guests of the reception will be encouraged to use markers, crayons, and colored pencils to color in portions of the installation.
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
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