Over the past several years I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Carolyn Krueger, local artist and owner of The ARTery, located at 1629 2nd Ave in Downtown Rock Island, Illinois. The ARTery is an artist co-op, allowing artists to display and sell their works in exchange for a small rental free with the option to volunteer and run the space. There are about a dozen artists running the space currently.
Alongside the ARTery, there are many other ways that Carolyn has contributed to the growth of the art community in the Quad Cities Area. She attended Augustana College specifically for their clay department, her favorite medium to work with, but got to try out so many different others which led to a degree in Studio Art.
Soon after graduation Carolyn was appointed to the Arts Advisory Committee by then Rock Island Mayor Schweibert. It connected her with other active, like-minded individuals who were interested in growing options out there for local artists. This led to a collaboration with Rock Island and The Skeleton Key Art and Antiques, located at 520 18th Street in Rock Island, Illinois.
Through this connection came the Rock Island Artists’ Market, a seasonal, monthly art market that is held in the Skeleton Key parking lot. This is the third year of the market and it’s growing in popularity, from number of vendors to number of shoppers. This year brings the addition of food and live music each month, and is held the second Sunday of every month.
All the while fostering the art community of the Quad Cities, Carolyn also teaches classes, specializing in pottery and knitting. You can find her at the QC Co-Lab, a cool makerspace at the foot of the Centennial Bridge in downtown Davenport, where artists have the ability to rent out space if they may not have their own studio. Carolyn also teaches classes out at Crafted Quad Cities, located at 217 East Second Street in Davenport.
To follow all her classes offered, visit the Pottery with Miss Carolyn Facebook page to connect. You can also currently find her work at MidCoast Fine Arts’ Bucktown Center for the Arts, Crafted QC, ArtsWorks in LeClaire, and Escape Goat Soaps in the Village of East Davenport.
It is inspiring to see an artist flourish in the area and to see the support from so many other artists. Show your support by visiting the Artery and going to the Rock Island Artists’ Market, or book a class and make some of your own creations. It is possible here in your own backyard.