Quad City Arts Partners With KWQC to Feature Local Artists
Quad City Arts has a new partnership with KWQC-TV6, to provide exposure for area artists to create logos for their new weekly show, as well as the opportunity to feature local artists – on “Quad Cities Live.”
Airing Fridays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., QC Live invites area artists to submit their work, particularly to create new versions of the show’s logo. The NBC affiliate is working with Quad City Arts to recommend artists of any age, who can also have their work featured and be personally interviewed on the air.
Bettendorf native Brian Buckles (who now lives in Waterloo, Iowa), adapted a stunning shark painting of his for the logo and was featured on the show on March 19.
“It was really a great representation of his work and the QC Live logo,” says Kevin Maynard, Quad City Arts’ executive director. “KWQC reached out to us. Part of the focus of QC Live is what’s going on in the arts and our community.”
Quad City Arts contacted Buckles, since his work is in the current exhibit at the Art at the Airport gallery (through April 28), in the Quad City
International Airport, Moline.
“We knew that outside of Brian’s artwork, he’s also a graphic designer, so he’d be a great fit with quality work and a quick turnaround,” Maynard says.
There is an open call on quadcityarts.com for any artist to submit their version of the QC Live logo, and KWQC plans to feature a different one each month.
“Obviously it showcases our artists’ work,” Maynard says. “It gives them the opportunity to get their work out there; it gives them an opportunity to talk about themselves. And for us, in addition to working with KWQC, we get to encourage people to come to our galleries, here and the Quad City International Airport, and let people know there are lot of really creative people in our region.
“We’re going to encourage our Metro Arts apprentices to create a logo as well,” he says. “This is kind of a fun opportunity to highlight especially young creatives and encourage the next generation of artists in the Quad-Cities.”
“How cool for a young artist to see their work on TV like that?”
The mission of Quad Cities Live
QC Live – co-hosted by Morgan Ottier and Jake Eastburn – launched last month, and features things to do over the weekend in the area, and also is dedicated to local nonprofits.
“Because we saw through the pandemic, the support that nonprofits needed, in our community to help serve others,” says Stephanie Hedrick, KWQC news director. “It just made sense to create, like everything we created about the show needed to belong, to show support for the community here.”
“We were talking about, why don’t we just, when we’re coming up with graphics and the look of the show, why don’t we just make that an ever-changing element and something that would be a platform for local artists,” she says. “That would be another way to show support for the community.”
They borrowed the idea from Google as well, which switches the logo on its home page often, and QC Live wanted to try that, Hedrick says.
The first person they used for a new logo was LaToya D. Lewis — an art teacher at Lincoln Resource Center in
Davenport — in honor of Black History Month in February.
“She said, this is great for high school students and other young artists,” Hedrick says. “Quad City Arts was great; they wanted to meet and help coordinate those artists for us.”
The show will also highlight those artists on air, though Lewis didn’t want to be interviewed.
“But she provided as a beautiful statement to explain how she came up with the idea,” Hedrick says. “She made a version of it for Quad Cities Live, but it also said Black Lives Matter at the bottom of it. And so we made sure to show that as well to explain where the inspiration came from.” “We hope to not just feature the artist’s work through this logo, but work they’ve done so far,” Hedrick says.
KWQC has had a natural connection with Quad City Arts with the annual Festival of Trees, and she reached out to Alex Salaverria to get suggestions for other artists to design a logo.
Great outlet for artists
“I think it’s such a cool idea,” Buckles (who was interviewed remotely for QC Live) says. “It’s obviously a great new platform to give artists of exposure. And, with Quad City Arts and what they’re doing in the Quad-Cities, they’ve been doing it for a long, long time now, but it’s just
been really cool to see just the different ways and opportunities that they open up for artists to just kind of showcase what they can do and what they’re passionate about. And I think that that obviously makes for a more lively culture in the Quad-Cities.”
Featuring new logos is a positive reflection of the variety of art and artists who are in the Quad-Cities.
“Sometimes I think that the Quad-Cities kind of has — I don’t want to say an underground art culture, but you know, maybe one that doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves,” Buckles says. “Allowing the logo to kind of change once a month to reflect someone else’s art is a pretty cool idea and concept.”
A 2002 Bettendorf High alum, with a graphic design degree from Iowa State’s College of Design, Buckles adapted one of his paintings that he had done of a tiger shark in the Bahamas for his KWQC logo.
“I have a graphic design background. That’s my degree and so I just tried to have a little bit of fun with it — marrying the imagery with the typography and having the shark swimming through the Q,” he says. “I thought it would be kind of a fun concept and give it some depth, and try to make it a little bit of an expression of who I am and what I’m about. I’m so appreciative of Quad City Arts and KWQC for that opportunity. It’s been a fun, fun process.”
Featuring new logos is a positive reflection of the variety of art and artists who are in the Quad-Cities.
“Sometimes I think that the Quad-Cities kind of has — I don’t want to say an underground art culture, but you know, maybe one that doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves,” Buckles says. “And so I think, you know, allowing the logo to kind of change once a month to reflect someone else’s art is a pretty cool idea and concept.”
Hedrick of KWQC says: “The whole idea behind this was to really be a platform for artists of any age, especially for young artists, to show them the opportunities they may want to pursue this as a career.
“We hope to not just feature the artist’s work through this logo, but work they’ve done so far,” Hedrick says, noting they will use artist’s words in explaining the work they provided.
“It’s still getting off the ground, especially as things are slowly starting back up,” she says. “It’s giving our viewers a place to discover what to do for the weekend, how to support their community in a variety of ways, see the artist exhibit or a musician that does something special — if there’s a concert that Saturday, viewers are able to find ways to find their favorite performers and artists.”
This week, QC Live is featuring Lisa Mahar, a self-taught artist in Rock Island. She paints whimsical designs on repurposed furniture and canvas. Mahar creates one-of-a-kind sculptures and mixed media designs out of found objects ranging from discarded scraps of metal to game pieces.
Mahar received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Design. She worked in the New York office of Italian architect Aldo Rossi until 1997, when she co-founded the design firm, Mahar Adjmi Partners. Her interest in product design led to the creation of Kid O, a children’s toy design company that she ran from 2004 until she sold the company in 2018. To learn more, visit lisamahar.com.
A mission through his art
Buckles uses his brightly colorful, realistic marine-life scenes to help the species he’s capturing. And he was thrilled to merge his art and
graphic design talents for “Quad Cities Live.”
“Obviously, painting in and of itself is something that I enjoy tremendously. But then kind of marrying the two disciplines of graphic design and fine art, is something that I’m kind of interested in because a lot of the motivation behind my artwork is to really bring to light and expose certain marine life that is facing some difficult challenges,” Buckles said recently.
“Maybe you don’t often enough hear about those challenges. And so, conservation and these
messages of being good stewards of our resources and things like that are really important,” he said. “And I think I can kind of I hope to use my graphic design and communication background, combined with my fine art to kind of tell that story.”
Buckles attended the College of Design at Iowa State University, graduating with a BFA in graphic design. Since graduation, he’s spent the last decade in the design field, creating award-winning branding and communications campaigns for a multitude of clients.
An artist at heart, painting brings him great fulfillment as he strives to capture aquatic life in
dramatic portraits within the context of their natural environment.
Unfortunately, many of his subjects are exploited due to poor management of their species, ultimately leading to huge population declines.
“We believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the resources we have been given,” Buckles said in his artist statement. “The goal of Brian Buckles Artwork is to use art as a catalyst to raise awareness and funding for the proper management of marine
life for generations to come.”
“The cruelty of shark finning and the unsustainable fishing practices that are threatening the survival of many species are the inspirations for my work,” he says of his aquatic paintings. “Because most people won’t see these animals in their natural habitat, I use canvas and oils to bring the sea to life for the viewer with the hope of inspiring others to learn more and engage in protecting these amazing animals.”
Buckles has seven of his paintings up at the Q-C airport gallery, the first time he’s exhibited there.
“I mean, what a great space. I’ve obviously been traveling and living in the Quad-Cities my whole life and traveling through that airport all my life. What an awesome space and an opportunity for artists,” he said. “They just get their work out there. And, you know, people, even from outside the Quad-Cities, traveling through that airport every day, to give them a chance to kinda see what the Quad-Cities has in terms of our artists.”
Buckles and his family moved to Waterloo last year, but hasn’t exhibited there yet.
“I’ve been just really focused on developing a body of work. recently, I just have so many ideas that I want to get out,” he said. “So I’m just trying to do a lot of work, and I’ve been kind of exploring the possibility of getting into the art show, developing and both and getting my artwork out there regionally. But then also nationally
traveling a little bit to some specific locations that I think would be pretty interested in what I have to offer.”
Buckles has not flown over the past year, and has been hunkered down, using this time to work on his art.
“Obviously, it’s been a difficult situation for everybody. I definitely have the itch to travel, but I’ve tried to use this time where you can’t go anywhere to really stay focused and motivated and productive. I feel pretty good about how I use my time during this pandemic to really create a body of work that I’m that I’m proud of and excited to share.”
Buckles had his marine art exhibited last August at Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy, Bettendorf. You can see more at www.brianbucklesartwork.com.
If you are an artist who wants to submit work and an updated logo for QC Live, you can send images and logo inquiries to www.quadcityarts.com/opportunities or apply directly at www.quadcityarts.com/qclive.
To see Brian Buckles’ TV segment, visit https://www.kwqc.com/2021/03/22/qc-artist-brian-buckles/. For other past episodes, visit https://www.kwqc.com/quadcitieslive/.