Greg Dickinson- NABISCO and News Anchors Exhibit
September 5 – October 31, 2019
Putting his college art experience and degree to good use, wherever feasible, is what local artist Greg Dickinson is all about! A local visual artist, muralist and sign painter, Dickinson, a Clinton, Iowa resident, is a native of rural Sabula, Iowa, also known as “Iowa’s Only Island City”, a Mississippi River town of nearly 600 people, 60 miles north of the Quad Cities (Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island and East Moline, Illinois). Born on February 17, 1960, in Savanna, IL, he has been involved with producing various kinds of artwork in Sabula, Clinton, and the Quad Cities, ranging from designing and painting murals in Clinton, to exhibiting his hangable paintings in shows in Sabula, Clinton, the Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Dickinson enjoys depicting popular images in his paintings, ranging from local and national television news anchors, like Paula Sands and Tom Brokaw, to NABISCO cookies, like Oreo. Dickinson had his first big break in art when he was awarded a second-place award in a statewide drug abuse prevention poster contest as a junior at East CentralHigh School in Miles, Iowa. In November 1976, he was presented with a plaque from, the late Governor Robert D. Ray.
After graduating from high school in May 1978, Dickinson enrolled in Mount Saint Clare College (Ashford University) in Clinton, where he served as Yearbook Artist during his two years there, graduating in 1981, with an AA degree in Liberal Arts. He then transferred to Mount Mercy College (University) in Cedar Rapids, graduating from there in 1983, with a BA degree in Art. He got his first shot at mural work at Mount Mercy when he was asked to create a small mural in “The Tool Box”, the equipment room in the Student Union. During his senior year there, he was commissioned to design and paint a larger mural in the hallway leading to the bookstore.
After college, Dickinson got his first taste of exhibiting his works at Mount Saint Clare in February of 1984, displaying his works in the college’s main building first floor. In the summer of that year, he got his first Quad City art exposure at the Rock Island Summer Festival’s Arts and Crafts Fair. Here, Dickinson got his first television coverage on the 6 p.m. News on WHBF TV-4. Dickinson has had much success displaying his works throughout the region since, including a solo show at the downtown Rock Island Public
Library’s art gallery in the spring of 2016, part of a two-man show with David Balluff in the Quad-City Arts Center Gallery in Rock Island in the spring of 2018. Dickinson also had some of his cookie paintings exhibited in a group show in NABISCO’s world headquarters art gallery in East Hanover, New Jersey, from June through September, 1997.
Dickinson has designed and painted murals through-out Clinton, including a “Welcome to Lyons Shopping District” (1993) and “Welcome to Rastrelli’s Restaurant” (1996) in North Clinton. He also designed and painted a boulder on the west edge of Clinton, in 1990, featuring Clinton’s official city flower, marigolds, and daisies, representing happiness and optimism. During Sabula’s Sesquicentennial, in 1985, he helped design and paint the “Sabula Sesquicentennial Viaduct Mural”, depicting life along the Mississippi River and Sabula, itself. Dickinson’s artworks are represented in the Quad-City Arts Sales Gallery in Rock Island and The River Arts Center’s Gift Shop in Clinton. His works are also present in the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce office and the studios of WQAD-News 8, in Moline.
The inspiration for Dickinson’s work is the late Andy Warhol, the pop artist who used such common images, like Campbell’s Soup cans, and celebrity portraits, like Marilyn Monroe. During his leisure time, Dickinson enjoys the art of the animated film and takes interest in attending art exhibits and going to movies. His other interests include watching local television newscasts as well as bowling, fishing, roller skating, eating out and walking on Clinton’s recreation trail. He served for many years as the downtown Clinton Weather Watcher for WQAD News 8. In short, Greg Dickinson has been very fortunate to keep his art education and degree frequently put to good use.