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The original item was published from 11/16/2021 11:58:24 AM to 11/16/2021 3:31:28 PM.

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Posted on: November 16, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Meet the Quad Cities' First Public Art Commission

Brandon Ness standing before the new Spiegel building mural

With assistance from Renew Moline and The Moline Foundation, the plan aims to elevate the role art plays in promoting quality life and driving economic development across the city. 

The commission is tasked with creating strategy for the installation of public art as well as overseeing a public arts financing system to pay for new installations both on private and public properties. Funding will come from grants, required investment from developers and the city budget.

Renew has been working on the plan for around two years, and City Council formalized the plan and the commission via adoption of an ordinance last August. 

The ordinance states: ““The City, understanding the importance that public art plays in promoting a higher quality of life, defining space, and place making, thereby promoting broader City-wide economic development goals and objectives, desired to establish a more formal public arts program, with systems and policies to provide a financing mechanism and overall coordinating plan to promote and facilitate public art installation on public and private properties in key areas of the City.”

The commission is a seven-member volunteer board selected by the mayor and approved with the consent of City Council, including one who is a member of Moline’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Here are the current members:

Chair Chris Mathias

Formerly Moline’s land development manager, Chris is now planning and development director for Scott County, Iowa. He believes that “public art is place making, and place making is economic development. When investors are looking at an area, they are not only looking for a place where people live and work, but they also want a place that people will visit because it’s cool or memorable.”

Jeff Dismer

An architect and principal of Studio 483 Architects, which has offices in Rock Island and Davenport, Jeff has long been a promoter of historic preservation, adaptive-reuse of historic structures and a supporter of the arts. He is also a board member of Renew Moline and serves on the Historic Preservation Commission. His goal on the commission is to “help shape the promotion of public art installation, while working in concert with preservation or our historic architectural structures in Moline.”

Ann Hartley

Ann, who holds an MFA in fine art from the University of Illinois, moved to Moline where her husband grew up and runs a small business designing and making jewelry while raising two teenagers. She believes bringing art to public spaces will make Moline more enjoyable and vibrant. 

Brandon Nees

A self-taught artist, designer and entrepreneur, Brian has already contributed to the public arts scene in Moline as the artist behind the new mural painted on the Spiegel Building near the new Interstate 74 bridge. A Moline High School graduate, Brian is committed to connecting people to opportunities, particularly young artists. 

Daniel Otten

A fourth-generation business owner at the Quad Cities’ beloved Lagomarcino’s Confectionary, Daniel has also taught drawing, 3D design and jewelry design and fabrication at Northern Illinois University. He still works in the jewelry industry, teaching computer-aided design and manufacturing processes. 

Sean Moeller

An entrepreneur, musician and promoter, Sean has put his stamp on the greater Quad Cities music scene first with the founding of Daytrotter Studios, the creation of The Rust Belt and now the newly refurbished Raccoon Motel. Sean has said his goal is to make sure the Quad Cities gets the credit it deserves for being a home to great artists and creative people. 

Lucie VanHecke

Lucie is a graduate of Augustana College and currently serves as District Director for U.S. House Rep. Cheri Bustos.  

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