New QC Programs Feature Priceless Public Art and Blown Glass Pieces

In the Quad Cities, you can go out and enjoy the public art and find priceless mouth-blown glass pieces, all for free.

At a joint press conference on Thursday, Visit Quad Cities, Quad City Arts and Hot Glass announced the online launch of a QC Public Art Trail and a QC Glass Hunt.

The first uses a mobile platform to create a year-round trail that features temporary and permanent sculptures, murals, and galleries where you can buy art in QC.

The public art trail homepage is based on the Visit Quad Cities website.

The trail aims to introduce Quad Citizens and visitors to the wide range of public art projects that are essential to the QC experience. The trail will also be a repository for a comprehensive list of public art in the area.

This is an ongoing project; locations will be updated and added throughout the year. Additionally, the trail leads to the River Music Experience One Sound Project website, where you can follow their path to beautifully painted pianos by local artists. Each piano is functional, and you are welcome to tickle the ivories.

“Public art and its activation in the region to amplify our distinct characteristics and values ​​is a strategic driver for Visit Quad Cities,” said Dave Herrell, President and CEO of Visit Quad Cities. “The Public Art Trail is another opportunity to create a tourism product in our regional destination and showcase our creativity.

Visit Quad Cities CEO Dave Herrell speaks at the September 1, 2022 press conference (Photo by Jonathan Turner)

“We have an exciting opportunity here to think about our destination, our tourism products, the things we’re trying to do to make our destination a dynamic and creative place,” he said.

Cell phone trail

You can register for the QC Public Art Trail for free at qcarttrail.com. Once saved, the course will be instantly delivered to your smartphone via SMS and email and ready to use immediately from your mobile device. You can also save the route to your phone’s home screen for easy one-click access. There is no app to download.

By visiting various locations on the trail, you will gain access to specific registration codes associated with the sculpture, mural or gallery you are visiting. You must be there for the code to be revealed on your QC Public Art Trail platform.

You then enter the code on your phone. It will automatically save the recording and be saved in a database specific to your account. Those with the most registrations will be entered into a draw for a $500 Visa gift card to be awarded on September 1, 2023. There is no time limit to complete the course.

Visit Quad Cities used the same technology platform for the QC Family Pass and the QC Coffee Trail.

Kevin Maynard, Executive Director of Quad City Arts (photo by Jonathan Turner).

“The Quad Cities is full of public art and there’s more being added all the time,” said Kevin Maynard, executive director of Quad City Arts. “The QC Public Art Trail helps celebrate the incredible works of art that can be found in our community and gives everyone a starting point to really experience what QC has to offer. Quad City Arts is thrilled to continue showcasing the arts in Quebec. »

There are over 90 places you can visit, including places where you can buy art, like Quad City Arts Gallery (1715 2n/a Ave., Rock Island) and Hot Glass (104 Western Ave., Davenport).

“There’s reason to visit the trail often, as our collection continues to grow,” Maynard said. “You will see that some of these sculptures are marked as temporary, as they are on loan and will be replaced.”

Public art helps “create civic pride and a sense of place, and draws visitors to businesses and more,” he said. So having one place to access information is critical, Maynard said.

“I also think it’s really exciting that we’re launching the QC Glass Hunt,” he said. “We want people to interact with the sculptures in our community and give everyone the opportunity to start or grow their art collection.”

Look for the precious glass

Joel Ryser, owner of Hot Glass, was inspired by a CBS Sunday Morning segment about a similar hunt in Block Island, RI He called Hot Glass board member Charlotte Doehler-Morrison (who is vice president Visit Quad Cities Marketing and Communications) and suggested a QC to her.

“It’s the same way I started Hot Glass, seeing something where kids were involved and veterans were involved,” Ryser said Thursday. “Thanks to the help of our community, we were able to launch Hot Glass. We are very lucky.

Joel Ryser owns Hot Glass, Inc., which is located at 104 Western Ave., Davenport (photo by Jonathan Turner).

The Glass Hunt takes place in 10 parks in Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline and Rock Island. People have already found 74 of the 250 round glass floats.

“When you hide glass, it’s like hiding a little gem,” Ryser said. “It’s a great opportunity to help spread the word about Hot Glass and get more people there. We’re kind of hidden behind Davenport Printing.

Normally, these glass floats would sell for $45, he said. People who find them can keep them. Full details can be found at qcglasshunt.com.

A sample of glass floats made by Hot Glass at Quad City Arts, September 1, 2022 (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Each float has a glass cap with a QC emblem and a QR Code sticker. Scan the QR code with your mobile device and you will be redirected to the qcglasshunt.com website, where you will report your find. You will then enter your name, the park where you found the tank and the number engraved on your tank. Each float has an individual engraved number (eg 5/250) to identify it. You can also post your QC Glass Hunt experience and photos on Facebook at QC Glass Hunt.

A running count of discovered tanks will be posted on the website. People can collect as many tanks as they can find. The treasure hunt does not end until all tanks have been found. It is planned to repeat this project every year.

The fisherman used these floats

“Fishermen once used glass floats to keep their fishing nets and longlines or drop lines afloat,” Ryser said. “People found these glass floats when they washed up on shore. The QC Great Glass Hunt captures the spirit of finding treasure.

“You will discover clear tanks and colorful tanks on your treasure hunt journey. The research is part of the fun,” he said. “We are thrilled to partner with Visit Quad Cities on this one-of-a-kind project in the Quad Cities.”

According to Visit Quad Cities, similar float glass hunts have been popular in Lincoln City, Oregon, and Westport, Wash.

Charlotte Doehler-Morrison is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Visit Quad Cities and a member of the Board of Directors for Hot Glass (photo by Jonathan Turner).

“The creative energy of the Quad Cities is exemplified by the artists who bring their creations to life through paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, murals and blown glass,” said Doehler-Morrison. “We are thrilled to partner with Quad City Arts and Hot Glass to bring these new experiences to Quad Citizens and our visitors. We also look forward to promoting these new destination experiences through social media and advertising. »

“I call them orbs,” Herrell said. “Each float has the regional QC brand QC on it, which is part of the artwork, which is a good thing for us.”

“The database is constantly being updated,” Doehler-Morrison said of the website. “People are out there looking for them, so I strongly suggest you go there and start looking, and find a beautiful piece of mouth-blown glass.”

One of the QC glasses floats outside.

Once all 250 are found, Hot Glass will initiate another Glass Hunt.

“It’s also about getting people into parks in our area and walking,” Doehler-Morrison said, noting that the public art trail is a mobile site.

“It introduces people to the incredible array of public art,” she said. “The arts really add to the culture of the Quad Cities. There are very talented artists here. We need to celebrate this, be aware of it and go out and enjoy it.

For more information on Quad City Arts, click HERE. To learn more about Hot Glass, click HERE.

Luz W. German