The 2019 Harley Award was presented to Terry Rathje during Riverssance on Saturday, September 21 at 5:30 p.m. in Lindsay Park, Village of East Davenport. More information on Terry Rathje is provided below.


MidCoast honors the following individuals who've positively affected the visual arts and artists in the Quad Cities

during their lifetime with the prestigious Harley Award.

Past Harley Award Winners


Rachael Mullins Steiner (2018)

Jeanne O'Melia (2017)

Mary Ellen Chamberlin (2016)

A year of silence in memory of Bruce Carter (2015)

Megan & Kristin Quinn (2014)

Nick DeGioia (2013)

Les Bell (2012)

James Konrad (2011)

Kay Hall (2010)

Mimzi Haut (2009)

Dean Schroeder (2008)

Ruth Evelyn Katz (2007)

Jeanne Tamisiea (posthumously) (2006)

Ralph Iaccarino (2005)

Thomas Chouteau, Sr. (2004)

Shirley Heysinger (2003)

Jean Sieben (2002)

Lloyd Schoeneman (2001)

Larry DeVilbiss (2000)

Marge Heir (1999)

Don Heggan (1998)

Betty Luther (1997)

Sally Sahlmark MacMillan (1996)

Isabel Bloom (1995)

Sr. Clarise & Left Bank Art League (1994)

Marilyn Morrison (1993)

Elizabeth Rochow (1992)

Ben Sunday (1991)

William Hannan (1990)

Father Edward Catich (1989)

John Bloom (1988)

Image below: presentation in 2016. 

About Terry Rathje 

2019 Winner

MidCoast Fine Arts takes great pleasure in announcing that Terry Rathje is the recipient of the 2019 Harley Award, which honors those who've positively affected the visual arts and artists in the Quad Cities during their lifetime. An original member of the MidCoast Board of Directors, he contributed to many of its art programs and was involved in the development of Bucktown Center for the Arts as a unique nexus for artists’ galleries/classrooms/ studios. He designed the building’s exterior graphics. 

As a sign of his esteem in the Quad Cities visual art community, Rathje was one of the first local artists to have a solo show at the Figge Art Museum (2013). He is known for having a collaborative spirit in working on creations with others, even in far-off locations such as Suriname.

Rathje notes he “grew up in a small town in Eastern Iowa and to fight off boredom, found promise in art making at an early age.” He proceeded to serious exploration of drawing, then painting, leathersmithing, darkroom & digital photography, printmaking, animation, sculpture, and assemblage. Rathje attended high school in DeWitt, IA, followed by the University of Iowa, Marycrest International University (for a BA), and returned to The University of Iowa (for an MA and an MFA). He ran a graphic design & sign painting business for 15 years, and then shot & edited video, and designed graphics for video for another six years in the corporate world. He is retired from Western Illinois University where he was an associate professor of graphic design and taught from 1999 to 2017. 


Now his time is spent living along the Wapsipinicon River and making wood sculpture.

The current work by Rathje falls into four categories: assemblage, sculpture, furniture, and nomadic architecture- structures that can be assembled in one location then disassembled and moved to another. His explorations include use of industrial, recycled, and sustainable materials, 3D modeling, and developing new techniques of construction using digital technology, while tying these methods to traditional ones. He has exhibited in this country and abroad in several countries- including Brazil, England, Portugal, Turkey, and Suriname.

Rathje states “The eye is the place where the outside world meets the inside world. It is the interaction between the two, influenced by experience, genetic propensities, and imagination that generates work that hopefully ignites and unites those who are paying attention… and we all should be.”

Image above right: Ammonoid, 3 x 3 feet