I attended my first Gallery Hop! Hosted by the Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District, held on December 11 from 6-10pm. This art walk had 24 different “Hop Stops” between 16th and 25th streets and 1st and 5th Avenues in Rock Island. Each stop was a different District business or organization that showcased up to five different artists.
We began our journey at the Blue Cat Brew Pub on 18th Street, where we enjoyed paintings and wire wrapped pendants created by Anthony Burton.
Our second stop was right across the street, at ICONS Martini, also on 18th Street, where we enjoyed a fabulous martini alongside so beautiful stained glass creations by Janelle Kern with Asyouwish Custom Designs.
For those in attendance there was a map provided to all the stops as well as a “BINGO” card. Each stop was listed on the card where you received a signature from one of the artists at the venue. Once you made a straight line, you turned your card in for a drawing of a District-themed basket containing gift certificates and treasures from different local businesses. (I’m still waiting to hear if I’ve won.)
Next stop was Hickey Brothers Cigar Store & Hookah Lounge where I enjoyed paintings and sculptures by Phillip Force.
I managed to hit 12 of the 24 stops on the map and saw so many different, beautiful pieces and got to talk to a lot of interesting people. The weather that night was beautiful and warm for a December evening; there were a lot of people out enjoying the event, socializing and doing some unique holiday shopping.
One of my favorite Hop Stops along the way was Quad City Arts on 2nd Avenue. I always enjoy stopping in and seeing what local artists have been up to, but this evening I was absolutely blown away by the photographer, Zora Murff. His work was stunning, check out his story and more of his work here.
Another highlight of the evening was stopping at The ARTery & Midcoast Gallery West. There was live music playing, refreshments offered to those who stopped in, and three beautiful women showcasing some breathtaking art; Carolyn Jane Krueger, Laura Weinberg, and Lisa Mahar.
There were also several other events organized in conjunction with the Gallery Hop!–The Speakeasy and Rock Island Brewing Co. both offered live music; and Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse and The District Theatre had holiday productions. Overall the evening was filled with culture and community support. I was happy I went; it was nice to see so many friends out and about enjoying some beautiful creations that come from our Quad Cities.