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‘Madison on Canvas’ art show

Innovative Knoble first sees
his subjects through camera lens

Month-long exhibit
to feature works by area artists

By Amy Casebier
Contributing Writer

(May 2008) – Hitchhiking first brought artist Louis Knoble through Madison, Ind. While he passed through, he fell in love with the area and eventually returned, bringing with him a style of art that would rock through town.
Knoble is one of many artists who will be displaying his work at the Madison Art Club’s

Lou Knoble

Photo by Amy Casebier

Lou Knoble will exhibit his painting of
the Miss Madison unlimited hydroplane.

“Madison on Canvas” show. Madison on Canvas opens in the gallery on May 1 and closes at the end of the month. The exhibit showcases the work of Madison Art Club members and is not judged. This is the fifth year for the show.
“It isn’t exactly what it sounds like,” said Larry Rudolech, a club member and part of the development committee.
Although the title of the show is “Madison on Canvas,” artwork neither has to be of Madison nor on canvas.
“The first thing we had to listen to was ‘I don’t work on canvas,’ ” Rudolech said. “This is the only themed show we have. They create problems.”
Knoble will be exhibiting a painting that is both of Madison and on canvas. His painting, “Stalemate,” is a large piece depicting the Miss Madison hydroplane leading another boat in the lower left area of the canvas. Knoble included two Canadian geese and a lake gull in the upper right area.
“They’re powerful boats, but they’re no more powerful than those Canadian geese and that lake gull,” he said.
The composition also includes a plethora of different colored squares, which have become canon in Knoble’s paintings.
“Breaking into squares gives it a metaphysical feeling,” he said.
Knoble credited the idea of moving particles through space from Star Trek and his studies of author Dan Brown’s bestselling novel “The Da Vinci Code” and Albert Einstein’s theories to the themes of his art. He also derives a lot of inspiration from music.
“I like to think of myself as a jazz artist,” Knoble said. “I’m trying to put the harmony together and still retain part of the song and melody.”
All the details of Knoble’s paintings are important.
“He’s quite a unique individual,” Rudolech said. “Almost everything he puts in his paintings means something.” Knoble was Rudolech’s art mentor for some time.
Knoble grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. He lived across the street from the Museum of Science, which held afterschool programs that Knoble attended from second grade through high school. Knoble discovered his love for art during these programs and went on to pursue a career in teaching and painting.
“It was a natural thing,” Knoble said. “All I ever wanted to be was an art teacher and paint. I never had a desire to do anything else.”
Knoble enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 for four years during the Korean War. The G.I. Bill aided him in receiving his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at New York State University at Buffalo.
Knoble taught art for 37 years overall, seven years in New York and 30 years for Madison Consolidated Schools and Hanover College.
Knoble first broke out into the art world as an abstract expressionist. His instructor at the University of New York at Buffalo was Peter Busa, a good friend of artist Jackson Pollock.
However, when he first arrived in Madison in 1964, Knoble experienced resistance to his modern art.
He recalled a time when he had a show in a local restaurant that is no longer in business today. After he hung his pieces, Knoble discovered that the employees of the restaurant had taken them down again, indicating that they did not fit in with the restaurant’s environment.
“Living in Madison and doing modern art all these years and not changing takes a lot of guts,” Rudolech said.
Knoble realized after the incident in the restaurant that he would have to adapt his art in order to survive. He began to paint pieces with more realism but tried to stay true to his roots. His ultimate goal is to get back to abstract expressionism again, he said.
“I don’t necessarily do things people want,” Knoble said. “I do what I want.” What Knoble wants is something special that sets his paintings apart.
“It’s got a quality about it that stands by itself,” Rudolech said of Knoble’s style.
When he is not painting, Knoble is a member of the Kiwanis Club and works at a funeral home. He is a past president of the Madison Regatta and also helped coach cross country and track at Hanover College.
“I haven’t learned how to slow down yet,” Knoble said.

• The Madison Art Club gallery is located at 301 E. Main St., Madison. For more information, call (812) 265-3135 ext. 251, or visit: www.madisonartclub.com.

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