Loft 112 art gallery

Loft 112 has opened its doors in Morrison, Illinois, which is hoping its arrival will make it an art community.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Add Morrison, Illinois, to the list of Quad-City area communities trying to find its niche in the art world.

On Friday, a new permanent art gallery — known as Loft 112 — opened its doors in downtown Morrison to feature the work of local and regional artists. Spearheaded by the Morrison Area Development Corp., the gallery will soon offer studio space as well as art classes and private music lessons through Woodlawn Arts Academy in Sterling.

"This has truly been a community partnership," Kimberly Ewoldsen, director of the Morrison Area Development Corp., said as Friday she took a break from opening day activities.

Loft 112 — named for the 112 E. Main St. address and its mezzanine loft feature — represents nine months of planning by a steering committee of economic development leaders, artists, educators, business and community leaders and art enthusiasts. 

The next lucky break came when developers Josh and Kelly West, who bought the building, suggested it as a gallery site. After their renovations, the gallery now is renting the space with financial help from the development corporation. It also is planning on offering memberships and events as securing some grants.

Ewoldsen said it was the city's popular Paint the Town event that got locals thinking about a gallery. "That's an unofficial homecoming," she said of the outdoor arts event that draws 6,000 to the Whiteside County seat, adding that organizers "We wanted to try to figure out how to engage our alumni and this event is doing that." 

The gallery now boasts the art of all mediums from wood to glass, jewelry, pottery, photography, paintings, pencil drawings and more. 

According to Ewoldsen, Loft 112 also is the first step toward promoting Morrison as an arts community. With a newly formed arts, culture and entertainment district in Morrison, she said "We hope we can create an entity where artists will come and encourage other art-based businesses to look to Morrison to develop here."

Loft 112 is open from noon to 4 p.m. today and these hours in December: 10 a.m. to 4 pm., Dec. 21-22 and Dec. 28-29. In January, the gallery will be open on Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit Loft 112 on Facebook or www.morrisonareadevelopment.com.

Q-C leaders step up to assist Scott County Y

A group of devoted Quad-City volunteers are lending their leadership skills to help the Scott County YMCA in its mission to connect people from all backgrounds to build a stronger, healthier community.

Tara Barney, the former Quad-Cities Chamber CEO, will serve as the Y's chief volunteer officer through 2019. She has been on the Y's board of directors since 2008. Barney succeeds Kent Pilcher, the president of Estes Construction, who has served as the volunteer board chair since 2016.

The Scott County YMCA announced its new 2018-2020 Corporate Volunteer Board and 2018 Executive Committee at its holiday luncheon last week at the Davenport YMCA.

The rest of the executive committee includes chair elect Todd Gipple, QCR Holdings, Inc.; treasurer Kerry Smith, Honkamp Krueger; secretary Dr. Don Doucette, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges; as well as Debbie Anslem, Quad-City Times; Dr. Ed Rogalski, formerly of St. Ambrose; Ken Koupal, US Bank; Justice Tom Waterman; and Mary Johns, John Deere.

In addition, the Y’s complete corporate board is comprised of Nancy Chapman, Frank Clark, Perry Hintz, John Riches, Caroline Ruhl, Dr. Jim Spelhaug, Duane Stickley, Beth Tinsman, Jordan Voigt, Mo Hyder, Ed Carroll, Brock Earnhardt, Monique Gorsline, Rick John, Terry Ousley, Dr. Art Tate, Nancy Ballenger, Pete Bush, Rick Johnson, Time Koehler, Jim Russell, Lisa Schluensen, Jim von Maur, Cal Werner and Dana Wilkinson.

Fareway, egg farmers partner for food bank

Those last-minute eggs you put in the grocery cart this week for holiday baking can help the Food Bank of Iowa feed the hungry.

The Iowa Egg Farmers and Fareway Stores Inc. are offering a "buy two, give one" promotion beginning Monday and running until Saturday at Fareway's Iowa locations.

Through the effort, the "give one" dozens will automatically be donated to the Food Bank of Iowa. The campaign's aim is to give them back to food insecure individuals in the communities where Iowa egg farmers live and serve. 

"We encourage customers to purchase two dozen eggs of any brand during the campaign period," said Reynolds Cramer, CEO of the Boon, Iowa-based Fareway. "The Food Bank of Iowa will directly benefit from the customer's purchase with a matching donation, up to a grand total of 21,600 dozen eggs." 

Michelle Book, the food bank's president and CEO, applauded the partnership of the Iowa Egg Council and Fareway. "Eggs are a great, nutritious source of protein, and a donation like this is a big thing for the Iowans we serve," she said. 

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com

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