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Airport Art Exhibit at the Airport

Quad City Arts

Art and aviation make a perfect connection at the new Quad City Arts Art at the Airport exhibit with “A Trip Back in Time” at the Quad City International Airport in Moline.

The new exhibit – on display through March 1 – features Drew Morton’s digital drawings of airport runways around the world, Peter Mauney’s time-lapse photographs of airplane arrivals and departures, along with a selection of mid-century modern artifacts on loan from Fred and Ethel’s antiques store in Rock Island, the Putnam Museum in Davenport, and private collections.

Drew Morton of Iowa City – who created art from runway maps, in mid-century design style – was chosen from their annual call for entries, according to Dawn Wohlford-Metallo, visual arts director for Quad City Arts.

Credit Quad City Arts
by Peter Mauney

“What we do is, one of our board members works with me to take the artist that scored the highest during our annual call, which is juried by committee, we pair everybody to come up with usually a 2D artist and a 3D artist. And there wasn’t another artist that stood out as complementing Drew’s work, but I had just seen this artist Pete Mauney on a national website, and I just thought it would be very exciting to have his photography of planes landing and departing next to Drew’s designed digital drawings of airports.”

Pete Mauney lives and works in Tivoli, N.Y. He studied film at New York University, eventually receiving his BA and then MFA in photography from Bard College. Always a night person, he’s been photographing in the dark since his first serious roll of film. For this series, he camped out in select locations for hours at a time with his camera aperture open to capture the light emitted from airplanes and stars as they moved through the night sky.

Credit Quad City Arts
how luggage used to look.

There are 12 photos displayed, and to match the vintage look of Morton’s 40-some drawings, Wohlford-Metallo sought mid-century modern artifacts for the exhibit, especially travel-related – such as luggage and hats. The one item from the Putnam is a 1950s lamp on loan from former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach.

She says Morton’s art evokes the ‘50 and ‘60s style in use of color and line. This isn’t the first time she’s curated a travel-themed exhibit in the airport gallery, which opened in 2001 and is just across from the gift shop and restaurant and before the security checkpoint. In 2010, Quad City Arts volunteer Chris Rayburn enlarged and reproduced 100 photos of local aviation history, from the 1910s to the ‘50s. That 2010 exhibit was called "Pioneers of Aviation: From Franing Field to the Quad City International Airport." Franing Field was the 120-acre property that's now the site of the current airport; it was first used by planes in 1919.

“That was our first one and this is our second one, and we are thinking about doing another one when they get done renovating the airport.”

Wohlford-Metallo says the archival Q-C airport photos are on permanent display near the airport offices on the right end of the terminal, as you face the ticketing counters. They include photos of the 1950s terminal, before the last remodeling. The Moline airport gallery never closes, and the works from both artists can be seen and purchased online, under Art at the Airport, at www.quadcityarts.com/.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.