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QC Botanical Center Unveils New Garden Glass Exhibit

Officials from both organizations were joined by Mayor Mike Thoms to cut the ribbon.

On Thursday, a colorful art exhibit at the Quad City Botanical Center will open to the public.

The Rock Island nonprofit collaborated with Hot Glass, another nonprofit in Davenport.

Joel Ryser, the founder and executive director of Hot Glass, came up with the idea. He and other artists created and donated unique glass sculptures for five different gardens, with more planned for the upcoming Trending Garden.

Joel Ryser spoke at the ribbon cutting on Wednesday, in front of the centerpiece.
Joel Ryser spoke at the ribbon cutting on Wednesday, in front of the centerpiece.

"I think once that's done, it's on to another idea, if they want to do it. But you can't get enough glass, if you ask us."

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a large blue sculpture that hangs in the sun garden. Over 300 colorful glass orbs, squiggles, spikes, and even a fountain are on display.

"This was an opportunity for one nonprofit to help another, to bring glass art to our community, and it just lifts your spirit when you go out there and see something like this."

Mayor Mike Thoms joined Ryser at the ribbon cutting on Wednesday. His family supports Hot Glass and its mission.

The downtown Davenport glass studio sells art and offers classes, including free classes for kids and veterans.

The exhibit will open Thursday at 10 am at the Quad City Botanical Center.


Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.

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