'A Flight of Butterflies'

ARTIST: Brad Bisbey, Moline

FROM THE ARTIST: "This quotation by Charles Gounod, a French composer, was an inspiration as I began painting the cello: 'Musical ideas sprang to my mind like a flight of butterflies, and all I had to do is stretch out my hand to catch them.'

"I wanted the cello to blend music and visual art in a way that ebbs and flows, rests and moves again, all created with the same sense of intuition I imagine is required by a composer to put down musical notes. Poetry and intuition were the key words in my mind when painting the cello. Poetry and intuition are the common bonds in all the arts.

"Facing the unpainted cello was such a challenge because it required an unusual search for ideas not only for the spirit of the event, but also because of the unusual shape of this three-dimensional canvas. It was both fun and demanding at the same time."

'Class Act'

ARTIST: Holly Secker-Brosman

FROM THE ARTIST: "I love Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles, both in architecture and design. I wanted to bring out the organic lines and graceful curves of these classic styles using metals. For added elegance, I embedded over 100 crystal pieces repurposed from antique chandeliers. In my spare time I design and create light sculptures, so of course the cello needed to include lights. The lights from inside the cello really make the crystals sparkle. 

"The final piece incorporates my design background with my love of creating with metal, glass and light. I was really happy with the end result. I think the cello successfully connects my design idea to the symphony itself: a classic, elegant and beautiful artistic expression."

'Play It With Flowers'

ARTIST: Marsha Piehl Ash, Rock Island

SPONSORS: Martin and Susan Katz

FROM THE ARTIST: "Because of my love of music and flowers, I decided to incorporate the two. The woman on the back of the cello has her arms around to the front in an embrace while the woman on the front is listening to the music of the cello while surrounded by flowers. The vibrant colors of the flowers, like the vibrant music emanating from the cello, appeal to our senses."

'Sounds of the Cello in Color and Texture'

ARTISTS: Washington Elementary, Davenport, students; Ann Rannfeldt, art teacher

SPONSOR: Rannfeldt Chiropractic and Friends

FROM THE TEACHER: "Our vision was to interpret the sounds of the cello onto its surface through the media of melted crayons. The result exceeded our expectations. I would have cello music playing in the room while each student in the class would come up and choose a crayon, a color that they connected to with the sounds they were hearing. They would hold it with a tongs and I would apply a heat gun for them. Their faces were priceless as they watched the wax melt and drip onto the cello. They would often move their hands to the rhythm of the music. They were so excited with the way the melted crayon would drip and colors would swirl together.

"Looking at the cello when it was finished, each child had such a sense of pride and ownership in what we had accomplished by working together. As their teacher and an artist, it was so exciting to see that they were so connected with this artwork, that they could understand what I mean when I say to them, 'Your art is a part of you that you share with others!' They are proud to share this cello with everyone."

'Tracing Movement'

ARTIST: Brian Allen, Orion, Ill.

SPONSOR: Figge Art Museum

FROM THE ARTIST: "The cello is a bodily instrument, as two cellist friends explained to me. It most closely resembles the human voice in sound. It is about the same size as a human body.

"I watched Yo-Yo Ma interact with his cello in several videos. I became fascinated with the movements of his arms; the variation of speed, the shapes and negative shapes they formed. Ma said in an interview that he thinks in terms of shapes. I see in terms of shapes. So I delineated forms based on his movements. The colors are intended to represent the breadth of the cello’s sound from soft and subtle to bold and energetic."

'Deco Time'

ARTIST: Joel Franken, Davenport

SPONSOR: Hotel Blackhawk

FROM THE ARTIST: "I was asked to do a cello, so I thought long and hard as to what direction I wanted to go. I have always been fascinated by the Art Deco design movement. My wife and I have dedicated an entire floor in our home to deco furniture and furnishings. One of my favorite books was 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The latest movie version was my real inspiration for my cello. The music and dancing scenes provided the visuals for me. Sometime I wish I had experienced those Roaring '20s!"

"100 Years, 100 Cellos" is a project of Volunteers For Symphony, as a fundraiser for the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra's centennial season.

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