Unveiling of Rock Island mural kicks off Alternating Currents festival

Local News

The unveiling of a new mural in Downtown Rock Island, inspired by a Rock Island High School student’s award-winning artwork, will serve as the official kickoff to this year’s Alternating Currents festival Thursday-Sunday in the Quad Cities.

The ceremony, hosted by the Quad Cities Chamber and Quad City Arts as part of Alternating Currents, will be 3:45-4:45 p.m. Thursday in the alleyway at 313 20th St., Rock Island. Created by 16-year-old Riley Jones in collaboration with professional muralists Dana Harrison (Limone) & Brandon Warner (ASPHATE), the new mural is an adaptation of Jones’ artwork originally titled “Black Pride.”

A winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition, the original piece was selected by U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos to be displayed at the U.S. Capitol this summer.

The ceremony will feature music by DJ Cat Dady, a spoken word performance by Aubs & Wes Julien as well as a few words from Bustos and other guests.

About the artists:

· Riley Jones is now a junior at Rock Island High School. She is the daughter of Jerry and Kathy Jones of Rock Island.

· Dana Harrison (Limone) is a Jefferson, Iowa, resident, who started writing graffiti in 1996 in his hometown of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Dana studied under the late Sazko from Hamburg, Germany. With almost 25 years of mural experience, Harrison’s murals can be found on the Market House in Iowa City, and in Des Moines at the Edna Griffin building, the 10th Street bridge, Platinum Kutz, and two University Avenue transit shelters. Harrison is a member of the nationally recognized Scarce Elementz Crew, a graffiti-based muralist crew, founded and based out of Southern California and Arizona.

· Brandon Warner (ASPHATE) is a Des Moines native, a graffiti artist and member of the nationally recognized Scarce Elementz Mural Crew. ASPHATE has created murals in Des Moines, Ankeny, Phoenix, Denver and other cities. ASPHATE is also a hip hop artist who has been associated with Maxilla Blue, an American hip hop trio formed in 2006 and based out of Des Moines.

The project marks the launch of a new mural program in Downtown Rock Island being led by Quad City Arts and the Quad Cities Chamber through its new partnership with the City of Rock Island. The initiative was made possible by the support from the Doris & Victor Day Foundation, City of Rock Island, Moline Foundation, Rock Island Art Guild, Rock Island Community Foundation, YWCA, Rausch Family Foundation, Holiday Inn Rock Island, MidAmerican Energy Company, Matt Stern, Theo’s Java Club and the Black business community in downtown Rock Island, specifically Ms. BriMani’s Hair & Beauty Supply, Orr’s Mortuary, Roosters Sports Bar & Grill, Aja Styles Fashion & Accessories Boutique, By Design Fashion and Sumthin Different Barber & Beauty.

Alternating Currents is a music, film, comedy and art festival at more than 30 downtown venues in Davenport, Rock Island and Moline.

This is Rock Island’s inaugural year as part of Alternating Currents. In addition to the mural unveiling, programming includes a meet-and-greet with Illinois film industry leaders, hip-hop and indie rock performances, a gallery opening, youth literary readings, burlesque, comedy and more.

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