Metro Arts Graduation

July  11, 2014

      Several intersections in downtown Rock Island are now a lot more colorful, and perhaps a bit distracting, thanks to some local young people. As part of this year's Metro Arts Program, one group of students "decorated" five intersections along 3rd Avenue.

      Jessi Black, community arts director for Quad City Arts, says they were divided into three groups for the five-week program - pavement painting, a mosaic, and dance. 

      "They learn about painting, they learn about being productive, having a good work ethic, following through on projects, working with others, receiving constructive criticism - all kinds of things."

      The mosaic group created an addition to a sculpture in Schwiebert Riverfront Park, using glass and ceramics. And the dance group worked with Ballet Quad Cities.

      "They created their own choreography, then they took workshops out to community sites that work with youth. They worked with the Boys and Girls Club for a total of 12 hours with those students, and those students came to our showcase and performed."

      Black says Metro Arts began 15 years ago, and each summer provides young people with paid summer apprenticeships in the arts, with the supervision of professional artists. And each year they leave behind some public art for local residents to enjoy. 


(photo: the street mural at the dead end of 3rd Avenue in Rock Island near 23rd Street.)