ARTIST: Amy Nielsen, Cordova

LOCATION: Red Crow Grille, Bettendorf

SPONSORS: Mark Russell Smith and Ellen Dinwiddle Smith

FROM THE ARTIST: "My cello 'canvas' is bright red, the favorite color of my sponsor, Maestro Mark Russell Smith. It is passionately bright and shiny like instruments in the QCSO. Maestro Smith shares my love of Abstract Expressionism, which moved me to illuminate my red cello with shapes of real gold leaf that connect the natural highlights flowing over and shaping this beautiful instrument. Variegated Red Leaf, 23K Deep Gold Leaf, 18K Lemon Gold Leaf and Silver Leaf shapes flow over and around the red cello in a syncopated pattern, illuminating, glowing, making it come alive. This piece will delight because it changes colors and appearance in any light."

'Yo-Yo and His Cello'

ARTIST: Barbara Crede, Aledo, Ill.

LOCATION: The Adler Theatre, Davenport

SPONSOR: The Adler Theatre

FROM THE ARTIST: "From the moment I was asked to paint a cello, my idea was to pay tribute to Yo-Yo Ma. Wanting my design to include his 17th-century Venetian Stradivarius, the fingerboard resembles the poles gondoliers use to tie up their boats. The tuxedo honors the importance and excellence of musicians. When I casually voiced the need of a bow tie, a friend produced one from his collection. And notice the buttons on the shirt under the fingerboard. The "f" cutouts form Yo-Yo's name in a mirror effect for artistic design. The tuxedo tails on the back include the opening measures of the Dvorak Cello Concerto he will play. Because this fundraiser is for the Youth Symphony music education, quotes from Yo-Yo and Joy Cooper grace the sides, reminding musicians to share the music, make a difference and be an influence."

'Prairie Concerto'

ARTIST: Cathy Bolkcom, LeClaire

LOCATION: Royal Neighbors of America, Rock Island

SPONSOR: Royal Neighbors of America

FROM THE ARTIST: "The fine arts — great music, visual arts, literature  — can be a direct conduit for our essential need to connect with Earth’s energy. Painted on the front and back of this cello are restored prairies created by two families in Scott County, ours and our neighbors — two modest attempts in our area to honor the Earth and to amend for the harm done to the Earth. I was surprised when a bird 'flew' into my painting. I did not set out to paint a bird, but there it was. So, I asked the bird, 'How can we heal the Earth?' Bird replied, 'Walk slowly on Earth and breathe. Earth will heal you. Walk slowly on Earth and you will heal Earth. Save seeds. Plant trees. Restore prairies. Conserve water. Grow food. Buy local. Breathe. Live simply. Walk slowly and listen deeply. Consume less. Develop empathy and compassion. Do no harm. Walk lightly upon this Earth. Breathe."