Renew Moline is pleased to announce the selection of Quad Cities artist Brandon Nees to complete the public art project on the city-owned Spiegel Building on River Drive in downtown Moline. Renew partnered with the City of Moline and Quad City Arts to issue a Call for Entries, resulting in twenty-eight submissions from artists around the Midwest. After culling the proposals that did not meet submission requirements, Renew Moline’s Public Art Steering Committee evaluated twenty of the proposals and chose three for further consideration.

Brandon Nees

On September 8, Mr. Nees’ proposed concept was endorsed by the Project Management Team (PMT), a public/private partnership between Renew Moline and the City to offer guidance and input on downtown projects.  Alderman David Parker, a member of the PMT said that he thought the proposal was “perfect” for the building and expressed his excitement to see the project complete. 

The purpose of the Spiegel mural project is to beautify and draw attention to the building, a City-owned asset and important piece of the historic fabric of downtown. The Spiegel building is also at the center of the redevelopment area created by the I-74 bridge project. The public art project is designed to both encourage dialogue about the future development of the area and create curiosity and interest in the building.

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p class=”yiv2449080944MsoNormal”>The Public Art Steering Committee evaluated the project based on criteria such as responsiveness of concept to the project goals and concept (beautify/draw attention to the building, encourage dialogue about the future development of the area and create curiosity/interest in the building). The group also considered the creativity and quality of proposed concept and the artist’s ability to execute the project based on experience/proposal.

Moline’s Spiegel Building

Brandon Nees describes his style as “an abstract taste of contemporary typography using mixed media”. In his bio Brandon wrote: “I believe my work commands the attention of passers-by, rewards the focus of new as well as seasoned collectors, and transforms a plain surface into work of art made to last for generations. My goal for every painting is to make a lasting impression and provoke self-reflection. I find motivation in my own journey towards being a better person and relaying that through my art to help guide others down a path of self-care and consciousness to the world around us.”

Public Art Steering Committee members were excited by the “street art” style of Brandon Nees’ proposal. Quad City Arts Executive Director and Public Art Steering Committee member Kevin Maynard stated that “This proposal is unique.  There really isn’t another public art project like it in the Quad Cities.  We are excited to see how art can elevate this building aesthetically and economically.”  Gaye Shannon Burnett, Executive Director of the Azibuike African American Council for the Arts is also a Steering Committee member and described the art as “refreshing and new”.

The project will be created by the artist in his studio and installed by the City of Moline upon completion. The contract awards the artist with a $10,000 stipend. The project is anticipated to be complete and installed in mid-October.

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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.