subject of new artistic contest
to capture bridge essence
(September 2010) Madison, Ind., folks dont
give up their landmarks easily, even when the landmark is a 80-year-old
highway bridge that is inadequate for modern traffic.
The U.S. Hwy. 421 bridge between Madison, Ind., and Milton, Ky., is
scheduled to have its superstructure removed within the next year, as
part of a $131 million replacement project. While most local residents
agree the project is long overdue, there is growing nostalgia for the
old bridge even before it is removed.
by Don Ward
merchants in Madison, Ind.,
are sponsoring a bridge art contest
of the Milton-Madison Bridge.
In that spirit, the Madison Main Street Program is sponsoring
an art competition that seeks to capture the bridge image in a drawing,
painting, photograph, sculpture, music, poetry or other mode of expression.
Entries can be delivered to the Artisans Gallery by Thursday, Sept.
16. There is no entry fee. A prize will go to the best entry, as determined
by exhibition visitors. There will be separate categories for young
adults and children. Anyone can enter.
Entries must be in a presentable form that can be displayed. Photographs
and paintings must be framed. Writing and music scores can be mounted
on rigid board. Music can be submitted on compact disk or MP3.
The resulting exhibition will open Friday, Sept. 24, at The Artisans
Gallery, 325 E. Main St.
Bob Maile, owner of The Artisans Gallery, described the competition
as the last chance to get images of the bridge before they tear
it down. The idea was conceived by Rhonda Deeg, executive director
of the Madison Main Street Program, and Bob Saueressig, former Main
Street Program board member. Saueressig is also an artist and the gallery
director for The Artisans Gallery.
Saueressig said the exhibition is a fitting way to emphasize the
importance of what the bridge is. He pointed out that the bridge
location was a crossing point long before the bridge was built. Its
a destination and also a departure point. He invited all creative
people to challenge their imaginations to record their thoughts about
The public is invited to vote on a favorite entry when visiting the
art gallery between Sept. 24 and Oct. 28. The Bridging the River
exhibition will be open through Thursday, Oct. 28, when the Peoples
Choice winner and other awards will be announced at a reception
at the gallery.
In addition to the prize, the top entry will be used in the Buy
Local Madison campaign that the Madison Main Street Program will
use during the bridge closure and in the months leading up to it.
Main Street Program is receiving $80,000 in federal mitigation funds
to minimize the closures impact on Madisons commercial district.
Main Street Program also receives funding from the Indiana Arts Commission
to support its arts projects, such as Music in the Park and the Fourth
Friday Art and Shop Hop.
Saueressig said there has been a good response to the call for entries.
Based on what has been submitted, he expects more photographs than originally
anticipated including historical photos of bridge construction
in 1929. One woman, for example, plans to submit a photograph of her
father. An engineer, he was photographed in diving gear preparing to
inspect the bridge pilings. Because he thinks there will be great interest
in the historical photos, Saueressig wants to add a special category
Area residents are sure to experience a surge of nostalgia for the Milton-Madison
bridge as it approaches its last days, Saueressig thinks. Its
that character of an 80-year-old landmark that Saueressig hopes will
be captured in the Bridging the River competition and exhibition.
For more information about Bridging
the River, contact the Madison Main Street Program at (812) 265-3270
or The Artisans Gallery at (812) 273-0552 or (812) 273-5050.
Back to September 2010