To celebrate the Figge Art Museum’s 15th anniversary on Aug. 6, the museum at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, will have 15 days of virtual events from Aug. 6 to 21 including performances, classes, behind-the-scenes tours, artist demonstrations and more. Museum admission will be free during this period.

“Over the past 15 years, the museum has become a centerpiece of downtown Davenport,” Figge executive director and CEO Michelle Hargrave said in a Tuesday press release.

Michelle Hargrave

“The Figge offers world-class exhibitions, engaging interactions with art, as well as innovative programs and brings our community together to build relationships, foster dialogue, and enhance well-being,” she said. “As we move forward, we will continue to build upon the foundation of the past and grow our offerings in creative ways, particularly during this challenging and unprecedented time, and we look forward to our next period of growth and adventure with you.”

The public is invited to support the museum and celebrate by registering for 15th anniversary events at figgeartmuseum.org. Events for all ages and interests are available and the museum is urging everyone in the Quad-Cities to take part in this unique celebration designed to bring art and people together in fun and innovative ways. All proceeds support the Figge’s art and education programs, enabling the museum to bring art and people together at a time when our community needs it most, according to the museum release.

With the museum successfully paying off the $3-million building debt this year, the 15 days of events will culminate with a live mortgage burning ceremony. The elimination of the mortgage was made possible thanks to the support of donors and community partners, including the Regional Development Authority, Scott County Regional Authority, Bechtel Trusts, John Deere Foundation and Quad City Bank & Trust.

The $47-million Figge Art Museum opened on Aug. 6, 2005.

The Figge opened its doors on Aug. 6, 2005, as the renamed successor to the Davenport Museum of Art, which opened in 1928 as the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery. The new building was designed by British architect David Chipperfield and is one of his first architectural commissions in the United States. The Figge Art Museum gets its name from the V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Foundation, which donated $13 million towards its $47-million construction.

In 2019, the Figge served over 86,000 people, including visitors from all 50 states and many foreign countries. Its exhibitions feature world-renowned artists, both traditional and contemporary, and its education programs serve 3,400 Q-C students who come for tours with their classes, and nearly 17,000 students who participate in the Big Picture Outreach Program in their classrooms.

In conjunction with the 15th anniversary events, an online auction of art pieces and experiences will be taking place at: https://figgeartmuseum.betterworld.org/auctions/15th-anniversary-auction. Art pieces by Ellen Wagner, Tim Schiffer, Hot Glass, Rob Lipnick, George Olson, Steve

On Aug. 20, you can enjoy beers from 5ive Cities Brewing Company while learning about the artful process of its origins from hops to bottle at the Figge, featuring local musician Bobby Ray Bunch.

Sinner and Didier William will be open for online bidding with all proceeds benefitting the Figge Art Museum.

Experiences – including a membership to the Outing Club, a half-hour performance by pianist Julian Gargiulo, the opportunity to adopt a portrait in the Figge’s For America major exhibition, an in-home dinner with Chef Stu from Zeke’s Island Café, a party at Up at the Current Iowa, a private art session and a birthday party at the Figge – will also be available for bidding.

“We cannot wait to not only celebrate 15 years of the Figge, but also the community and local partners who support our efforts and make it all possible,” said Figge development director Sara Volz. “We are excited to be able to continue our mission and celebrate this magnificent milestone through virtual events and are so grateful for all the community support us as we ring in 15 years and many more to come.”

“As the Figge continues to navigate these uncertain times and work to recover the significant financial loss due to the temporary closure and cancellation of in-person events, the museum is excited to announce a 15th anniversary match challenge to coincide with the celebration,” the Tuesday release said.

Thanks to the support of Tom and Jennifer Figge, any donation made between August 6-21 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000. You can donate at mightycause.com/organization/Figge.

In addition to all of the virtual offerings to celebrate the 15th anniversary, the museum also has a Virtual Museum that offers ways to connect to the museum from the comfort of home, including virtual art exhibitions, educational art videos,  audio tours and art prompts.

15th Anniversary Event List:

  • 6-21: Virtual Yoga
  • 7: Beyond the Galleries – In Person
  • 8: Art Scavenger Hunt – In Person
  • 8: Performance by Pianist Julian Gargiulo – VIRTUAL
  • 9: Illustrations for Kids with Chuck Morris – VIRTUAL
  • 10: Monster Mosaics Class – VIRTUAL
  • 11 & 25: Quilt Block Class – VIRTUAL
  • 12: Steve Sinner – Wood Turning Demo and Q&A – VIRTUAL
  • 13: Tour of William Louis Dreyfus Collection – VIRTUAL
  • 14: Hot Glass – In Person
  • 14: Hot Glass – VIRTUAL
  • 15: Beyond the Galleries – VIRTUAL
  • 16: Edouard Duval-Carrié Studio Tour and Q&A – VIRTUAL
  • 18: John Deere Art Collection Tour and Discussion – VIRTUAL
  • 19: Caribbean Cooking Class – VIP (FOOD INCLUDED) –
  • 19: Caribbean Cooking Class with Chef Stu – VIRTUAL
  • 20: The Art of Beer
  • 21: Finale
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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.