Originally Posted Online: March 24, 2012, 3:10 pm
Last Updated: March 25, 2012, 11:55 am

St. Ambrose art professor wins R.I. fine arts contest

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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

'Flyway' by Kristin Quinn of Davenport was the first-place winner of the 36th annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition.
'Growing Roots' by Mary Beth Koszut of Peoria, Ill., won second place in the 36th annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition.

Kristin Quinn, chair of the St. Ambrose University art department, has been named the first-place winner of the 36th annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, an annual juried competition co-sponsored by the Rock Island Art Guild and Augustana College.

The exhibit, which features 51 pieces by 40 artists, will be displayed through April 22 at the Augustana Art Museum in Centennial Hall, 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island.

The competition was open to visual artists working in any media except video who live within a 150-mile radius of the Quad-Cities. There were 117 participating artists. Awards totaling $3,700 will be presented at a reception scheduled for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, in Centennial Hall.

Ms. Quinn of Davenport -- who has been an art professor at St. Ambrose since 1989 -- won the $1,000 first prize for her oil painting "Flyway."

"The annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition provides a professional forum of visual-arts expression unlike any other in our community," said Sherry Maurer, director of the Augustana College Art Museum. "With a different outside juror each year, both accomplished professionals and budding talents take a personal risk to have their art reviewed for inclusion. An experienced juror compiles an exhibition that helps us to better know and celebrate a focused selection of area talent."

During the exhibit, visitors can express their own opinions by voting on the People's Choice and Children's Choice awards of $50 each.

This year's juror was Joseph Mella, who has served as director of the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, Tenn., since 1992. Before that, he served as curator of exhibitions and collections at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Ill.

Ms. Quinn holds a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University-Bloomington, and a bachelor's degree from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia.

This year's Founder's Award honors Art Guild member Shirley Harris, whose involvement dates back to the mid-1950s, when watercolorist Sally MacMillan began to organize a local group to support the visual arts.

The awards include:

-- Second prize ($500): Mary Beth Koszut, Peoria, Ill., for "Growing Roots," oil and graphite on panel.

-- Founder's Award ($300) for 2011 in honor of Shirley Harris: Amber O'Harrow, Wellman, Iowa, for "Victoria Amizonica," intaglio print on paper.

-- Sally MacMillan Watercolor Award ($500): George Olson, Woodhull, Ill., for "Compass Plant (Winter)," watercolor.

-- Two-dimensional-entry award in memory of Bernice and Stanley Harris ($500): Dean Kugler, Davenport, for "Marking Time 2012," charcoal.

-- Three-dimensional-entry award in memory of Zeivel Harris ($500): Jessica Teckemeyer, Dubuque, Iowa, for "Fawn or Foe," porcelain sculpture.

-- Four honorable mentions (each $100):

-- Dana Densberger, Moline, for Cinque Terra: Il Muse," oil on canvas.

-- Samantha Haring, DeKalb, Ill., for "Inaccessible Pathways (Triptych)," oil on canvas.

-- Julie S. Mahoney, Macomb, Ill., for "Self Portrait," oil on canvas panel.

-- Veronica Smith, Rock Island, for "Wayfinding (Diptych)" consisting of London and Accra, mixed media.

Exhibit hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through April 22 and Sundays, April 1, 15 and 22. For more information, visit augustana.edu/x2780.xml.