Square Deal Art Show
Art Club offers
unique challenge to show participants
Deal forces artists
to think small for show entries
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(October 2012) Artists often find inspiration
in challenge. Whether it is capturing the illusion of motion in paint
or recreating the minute details of an historic building the very difficulty
of a piece is often what makes it so appealing to an artist.
So when the Madison Art Club announced that its October show would require
that entries be exactly one square foot, Versailles, Ind., artist Jennifer
Ripley found the small size to be an exciting concept. For Ripley whose
works are often larger and created on a more standard rectangular canvas,
It sounded like a unique thing!
For Ripley, the square foot of canvas proved to be ideal for an artists
gathering at the Jefferson County Proving Grounds. It was nice
size for the paint out. When working outdoors, artists are often
forced to race the light in order to capture the scene and the small
canvas allowed her finish more easily. Her second entry in the show
is a winter scene. She explains that, Especially this time of
year I enjoy winter scenes the hot summer got to me.
Jennifer Ripley works on a
painting in the outdoors.
The first annual Square Deal Art show runs Oct. 1-31 at
Madison Art Clubs Art on Main art gallery, 309 Main
St., with a reception to be held Oct. 28. All pieces in the show will
be for sale for $125. Art Club President Elle Smith estimates that there
are currently about 50 artists signed up to take part in the event.
Artists were challenged to take a 12x12-inch canvas and bring their
vision to life on one square foot. All work had to be done on canvases
supplied by the Madison Art Club to ensure consistency. Smith explains
the idea for the show saying, Actually, its a knockoff of
a show that was done in Bismark, N.D. (Local art club member) Bob Saueressig
attended a show there and brought it back.
While artists were given free rein to apply whatever materials they
liked to the canvas, they were strictly forbidden from altering the
shape of the canvas, and no frames are allowed. The rules also stated
that the Art work must be done on a square grid, meaning
that the artists could not present their piece as a diamond shape. Ripley
laughs that when she realized the show did not allow the paintings to
be hung at an angle her reaction was Oh shoot! I was thinking
I might do that!
Despite the uniformity of size, artists are dropping off a wide range
of work. Smith expects everything from traditional paintings, to collage
works, to pieces with pieces with polymer sculptures added. At least
one artist has continued a scene across two canvases.Were
very excited to see what will come in, Smith said.
Ripley describes her personal style as traditional realism
and explains, that while she occasionally tries to work in a looser,
more impressionist fashion, I like to paint things as they are.
She works in acrylic, oil, as well as pen and ink, but has been finding
herself gravitating toward acrylic for some of her recent works. She
likes the fact that acrylic can be watered down or used more thickly
to yield a variety of effects. Ripley enjoys combining open air and
studio painting, saying that, A lot of the time Ill start
in plein air and take a photo. Then she will head back to the
studio to do final touch ups on the piece.
While Ripley began painting when she was in high school, she did not
paint consistently while her children were young.
Now that they are grown, she finds that she is able to focus more on
her artwork. She has been a member of the art club for about five years
and appreciates that it just gives me the chance to get together
with other artists. It inspires you.
Ripley encourages the public to come out and enjoy the wide variety
of styles that will be on display throughout the month. She also points
out that the prices are extremely reasonable and will give art lovers
a chance to add a piece by a well known area artist to their collection.
The show will also include work by emerging artists so buyers will also
have the chance to pick up a painting or collage by tomorrows
Smith explains that the show was set up as a fundraiser for the gallery
to support the Main Street location with 25 percent of sales going back
to the club. While the large building offers an exciting showcase for
artists and plenty of room for classes and gatherings, the cost does
require members to come up creative ways to raise money. Smith said
she hopes that the show will become a tradition for the club saying,
We want to continue this. Wed like the word to spread and
become a big event.
For more information on the show or the
Madison Art Club, call (812) 265-2923.
Back to October 2012