The Quad City Arts 43rd Annual High School Art Invitational might not be able to have a live showing due to coronavirus concerns, but Quad City Arts isn’t letting them get them down! QCA has set up the artists’ works online in a Virtual Gallery Live NOW at this link.

Each spring, Quad City Arts shows works from top Quad City high school visual artists and their art teachers. The exhibit fills the walls of Quad City Arts’ downtown Rock Island gallery, the opening ceremony is attended by hundreds of Quad Citians supporting young artistic talent, and students receive thousands of dollars in awards from exhibition sponsors.  The 43rd Annual High School Art Invitational is getting an unexpected update to the traditional gallery exhibit, because of COVID-19 precautions and Illinois’ stay-at-home order.  

Even though our gallery is currently closed, Quad City Arts is committed to making this show happen, so the artwork will be available for public viewing through an online gallery, allowing students to show their artwork in a formal gallery setting and to compete for over $5,000 in scholarships and prizes. 

High school art teachers in the greater Quad City region were invited to choose works by their top five students, plus one film project, one piece made of wood, and one using recycled materials. This year, we have submissions from 12 schools, 96 students, and 13 teachers.  

 For many students, this will be the first time they receive formal recognition for their creative talents. This can inspire them to pursue careers in the arts and find out how their talents can be applied. In addition to the opportunity to show their work publicly, this exhibition is important to show students the process of competing for gallery shows. As professional artists know, getting into exhibitions can be discouraging, but there is value in seeing which pieces were selected.

This exhibition is important for the public because it shows the incredible creativity of our young people and our future work force. Creative people have the ability to problem-solve which is a trait sought after by numerous professions.

Later this week QCA will announce the start time for their first ever online awards ceremony recognizing these talented young artists! For more information, keep an eye on your site for fun, free, local entertainment,!



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.