DAVENPORT – The Figge Art Museum will celebrate Quad-Cities Pride starting Saturday with its first dual virtual/gallery exhibition.

Works by Cedar Rapids-based photojournalist Andy Abeyta will be in the Figge’s second-floor Lewis Gallery once the museum reopens, but will also be available Saturday, May 2, for online viewing at figgeartmuseum.org.

Andy Abeyta

The exhibit features 11 of Abeyta’s joyous and vibrant images of the 2019 QC Pridefest, part of the QC Pride’s Unity Pride Week, which is being postponed this year.

“QC Pride is dedicated to promoting awareness and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in the Quad-Cities region,” said Tee LeShoure, president of Q-C Pride. “Since 2017, our organization has put a spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community, showcasing their talents, stories and lives.”

“At the Figge, we want to celebrate the rich array of voices that make us proud to be a part of the Quad Cities,” said Vanessa Sage, museum assistant curator. ”Through this exhibition, I hope that everyone will think about what brings us together as human beings and to celebrate what makes us unique.”

“June is Pride month, which is a natural tie-in for this exhibition,” Figge executive director Michelle Hargrave said. “With the uncertainty surrounding Pride celebrations this June, this exhibition serves as a reminder of what Pride month is all about and the sense of unity it fosters.”

As a photojournalist, Andy Abeyta is invested in documenting and sharing the stories of others, according to a museum release. “The dissemination of images via photojournalism can have a powerful influence on public perception. Whether it is social protest, celebrations, or the story of individuals within a community, images can serve to humanize social issues and Abeyta’s powerful portraits of pride in the Quad-Cities do just that.

Morgan Brinson of Davenport at Pridefest in downtown Davenport, Saturday, June 29, 2019.

He is originally from Portland, Oregon, and received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 2015. The suite of Pride photographs was taken by Abeyta for the Quad-City Times in 2019. He is currently a photojournalist for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids.

This will be the Figge’s first virtual exhibition in the museum’s history, according to Hargrave.

“Now more than ever, it’s important we bring the power of art to our audiences,” she said. “Online exhibitions are one way we can share works of art with everyone everywhere, allowing them to experience what’s in our galleries from the safety of their homes.

“We are thrilled that through our virtual offerings we can continue to engage people with the objects, the artists, and each other and, by doing so, inspire, connect, soothe and spark creativity in those in our community and beyond,” Hargrave said.

The new exhibit will be on display through Aug. 2, 2020. Unity Pride Week was to start May 31, with a Unity Pride Parade June 6, but events have been postponed. QuadCities.com is a proud sponsor of QC Pride Week.

Visit qcunitypride.org/ for updates on this year’s Pride Week (new dates TBA). To learn more about Abeyta, visit andyabeyta.com/

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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.