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Madison Art Club

‘Pop-up gallery’ will open
on Madison's Main Street

Regional exhibition
is art club’s 13th annual show

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

(September 2011) – Across the nation, art lovers have started a trend of “pop-up galleries.” These ad hoc art exhibits are housed in high-traffic areas where commercial buildings are temporarily vacant.
The Madison Art Gallery will use a pop-up gallery location for its 13th annual Regional Art Exhibition, to be held during the entire month of September. “We are actually ahead of the curve in doing this,” said Madison Art Club president Elle Smith.
The exhibition will be housed in the Scott building at 309 W. Main St., which was recently vacated when Imagination Station moved to Scottsburg. Admission is free to the public.

Lillie Wingham art

Photo provided

This artwork by Madison artist Lillie
Wingham will be among the pieces
in the Madison Art Club Regional
Art Show in September.

These awards will be given in the following categories: Best of Show ($500 and sponsored by Madison Chautauqua); Reserve Best of Show ($375 and sponsored by Dr. Kimm Hollis); Best Figurative; Best Landscape; Best Impressionism; Best Still Life; Best Oil; Best Acrylic; Best Pastel; Best Watercolor; Best Mixed or Other.
Last year’s Regional Art Exhibit had 138 works of art. They seemed a little cramped in the club’s former art gallery location at 301 E. Main St. Since then, the gallery has moved to a new location at 509 Jefferson St. That gallery will remain open during September, with club members’ work displayed.
For the Regional Art Exhibit, which seems to grow each year it is held, the club has reserved the spacious building at 309 W. Main St. “The big space is just really cool for us,” said Linda Wood, who is co-chairing the exhibit with Stan Attenberger.
The show will open with a reception and awards presentation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. The public is invited to attend. The display remains open through the important Madison Chautauqua weekend, Sept. 24-25. The club hopes the prime Main Street location will mean lots of visitors throughout the month, but especially during Chautauqua. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
The art club always selects a prominent artist to serve as judge for the regional show. This year’s judge is Jerry Smith of Crawfordsville, Ind.
“He is a notable landscape artist, instructor and author, and he came recommended to us by several other people,” said Smith.
Smith began oil painting as a hobby in the early 1970s. He became a full-time artist in the mid-1970s and maintains a storefront gallery in Crawfordsville. Now painting in oil, acrylics and watercolor, his favorite scenes are the Hoosier countryside and the Maine sea coast.
While he’s in Madison, he will conduct an oil painting workshop for a maximum of 15 students. This will be held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the Brown Gym.
Landscape painting remains popular in the Madison area, according to Smith. Usually 60 percent to 70 percent of the works submitted for the Regional Art Exhibit are landscape paintings in various media.
Smith is hoping that this year’s show will maintain the club’s tradition of “bigger and better shows every year.”
“The club has always had shows. The idea of a regional show started in 1985 when we had a gallery on East Main,” said Smith. She and the late artist Emmett Wood were instrumental in starting that exhibition. She continued, “We thought Madison was a beautiful place – much prettier than Nashville (Ind.) – and we wanted Madison to be the Indiana arts center.”
The regional exhibit was dropped for a few years but re-instated at the instigation of Madison artist Lee Featherstone. Artists do not have to be part of the Madison Art Club to enter the competition. Last year’s show drew artists from Bedford, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Louisville, Metamora, New Albany, Scottsburg, Sellersburg, Rising Sun, Seymour and more.
It seems likely that Madison will have more pop-up galleries, according to Smith and Rhonda Deeg of the Madison Main Street Program board. They are already looking into a pop-up gallery devoted to stained glass.
Smith also noted that for the Madison Main Street Program’s Fourth Friday on Sept. 23, there will be “Arts in the Alley” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event will be in the east-west alley just south of Main, from West to Mulberry streets. Children will be able to create chalk art in The Madison Courier parking lot on West Street and adult artists can set up their own easels in the alley itself. Village Lights Book Store will play host to poetry readings on its back loading dock, while a street musician will perform on the Madison Courier’s loading dock.
“Arts in the Alley” is being planned by the Main Street Program’s committee for Economic Restructuring Plus Art. For information about “Arts in the Alley,” contact Main Street Executive Director Beth Black at (812) 493-4078.
Meanwhile, the Madison Art Gallery on Jefferson Street remains open to the public. During the Chautauqua, it will hold a “Deal with the Artist” sidewalk sale. From Oct. 7-31 there will be a special display of riverboat pictures in honor of the 200th anniversary of the steamboat.

• For more information, visit: www.MadisonArtClub.com.

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