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Madison Art Club Competition & Exhibition

Attenberger to co-chair
14th annual art competition
at ‘Art on Main’

He will compete for the club’s
$1,000 ‘Best of Show’ prize

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(September 2012) – When Stan Attenberger moved to Madison, Ind., three years ago, one of the first things he did was join the Madison Art Club. While his mother still treasures a picture he painted while in high school of a leopard and cub, Attenberger didn’t really start to focus on art until his recent retirement.
“I didn’t have time!” he says.

Attenberger

Photo provided

Stan Attenberger paints during
the RiverRoots Folk Festival
held in May in downtown Madison.
His artwork will be among those
featured in the September
Madison Art Club show.

“I started painting for relaxation before I retired,” Attenberger, 64, explains. “Originally, what I would do would be to pick a scene with strong perspective and imagine I was standing in the scene,” he says.
Attenberger alternates between oil and acrylic, depending on what he feels will make it easiest to get the finished product that he has in mind.
“There are lots of little tricks with the medium you choose,” he says explaining for example how letting the paint dry a bit during the painting process works well for capturing the rough texture of bark when working with acrylic. One of the things that pushed him toward working with oil was the fact that he was “having a lot of trouble with water” and was unable to get the wet look he desired with acrylic.
Attenberger returns to the Madison Art Exhibition for his second time as both an entrant and co-chair. While he entered last year as a way of showing his support and enthusiasm for the event, this time he is more optimistic about his chances of placing. “This year I’m a little better,” he says, laughing.
The 14th annual Madison Art Club Competition and Exhibition will open Sept. 8 with an awards ceremony and reception from 6-8 p.m. The show will run though Sept. 30 at Art on Main, the club’s art gallery at 309 W. Main St. The show includes categories for Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel and Other Media. One exciting new aspect of this year’s show is fact that artists are now invited to enter 3-D art such as pottery and sculpture.
“We have a larger space,” explains the club’s president, Elle Smith.
The show’s previous location required that the club limit entries to things that could be hung on the wall. The show’s organizers are also pleased to welcome the return of the Mayor’s Award, which had been absent in recent years. While most of the entrants come from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, the show does attract artists from as far away as Virginia, Smith said.
Word-of-mouth from area artists has spread to their friends in other states to bring in works from a diverse locale. “It’s very interesting – a very large display of talent and artists,” says Smith.
Smith credits “hard work and persistence in getting the word out to the artists” with the show’s longtime success.
Attenberger says that “the prize money is very good” and that encourages many entrants to select this show as a place for their work.
This year the top prize is $1,000, made possible by Dr. Kimm Hollis of Hanover College. The show also offers a $500 award from the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art.
Attenberger says the competition is known for drawing talented artists from across the region and is therefore quite prestigious. “If you can get an award from the Madison Art Club, you feel like you’ve done something.”
This year, the contest will be judged by John Guenther, a noted ceramics artist who spent 33 years as a professor of fine art at Indiana University Southeast. Attenberger says that the Madison Art Club was looking for a judge who was not only an accomplished artist, but someone with a strong academic background and a solid understanding in art history. Attenberger believes that it is important to pick “somebody that the artists would respect” when selecting a judge.
“We were happy to find a judge who has experience in pottery,” in light of the show’s expansion into 3-D works.
Attenberger explains that, “Every judge has a different set of rules,” and he stresses that entrants should focus on selecting works that they are pleased with rather than trying to predict what a judge will be looking for. “You enter a painting you’re happy with – you enter your favorite painting.”
While many of the artists who will be on display throughout September are long-time members of the Madison Art Club, the group is eager to encourage those looking to try out their creative abilities for the first time and those who want to rediscover old talents.
“I would suggest just coming down to the art gallery and looking around,” says Smith. She also invites those looking to improve their skills or just try out something new to take advantage of the many classes offered.
Those wanting to learn more about the Madison Art Club are invited to to stop by the group’s third Thursday Meetings at 6:30 p.m. or to take part in the casual gathering of painters that takes place on Wednesday afternoons.
“We always welcome new artists or those who want to be,” says Smith.

• For more information on the club or the show, call (812) 265-2923 or visit: www.MadisonArtClub.com.

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