Mural Makers

Chautauqua image to be painted
as a mural in downtown Madison

Phagan’s image of bridge
to go up on wall of Shooter’s

(August 2013) – A group of Madison, Ind., artists are pooling their talents to paint a mural on the west side of Shooter’s Restaurant, 101 E. Main St., to promote the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art. The wall faces West Street.
Artwork for the mural depicts the old Milton-Madison Bridge and was created by Eric Phagan, who is this year’s Chautauqua poster artist. His limited edition poster will be unveiled and sold during a Sept. 20 poster signing event planned at Phagan’s Gallery 115 on Madison’s Main Street. That is one week before the Madison Chautauqua, set for Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 28-29.
Phagan and three other artists – Bob Saueressig, Kevin Carlson and Steve Bickis – will begin painting the image onto the wall of Shooter’s on Aug. 8. While Phagan created the image, Carlson is painting the area surrounding the main image. All four artists will take part in painting Phagan’s original image on to the wall. Phagan called on the fellow artists for help since he is busy with an upcoming art show in Louisville and he wanted to get it done in time for this year’s Chautauqua.

Chautauqua Artists

Photo by Don Ward

Madison, Ind.-based artists
(from left) Kevin Carlson,
Steve Bickis, Eric Phagan and
Bob Saueressig plan to pool
their talents to create a
Chautauqua mural on the
west side wall of Shooter’s Restaurant in early August.
The mural will be similar to
this year’s Chautauqua poster
and feature an image of the old
Milton-Madison Bridge (below).


They plan to rent a scissor lift to get them up into the air to do the job. “We will work in the morning hours before the sun hits that side of the wall,” said Phagan, who has been hired to teach art full time this fall at Madison Junior high School.
They anticipate it will take only a week to complete the project, according to Chautauqua coordinator Georgie Kelly.
“This will be a permanent painting right onto the wall of the building using outdoor acrylic paint, and then it will be covered with a protective UV clear coating,” Phagan said. “It should last for years.”
The artists will give the image a sepia tone, which is a brownscale, rather than a grayscale, color. It will give it an aged look, since most old photos were created using sepia tone.
Shooter’s Restaurant owners Harry Dobbins and Stacy Fields donated the space on their building for the mural and also contributed financially to its creation.
During the June 2009 Bicentennial Celebration in Madison, the Chautauqua Committee unveiled a large vinyl banner on the same wall depicting various scenes in Madison. Each panel was created by a different artist. That banner was removed in early July to make room for this new permanent painting.
Phagan and his parents operate the Gallery 115, which includes a café and gift shop “W of Madison,” along with Phagan’s art studio upstairs and a one-room bed-and-breakfast. “W of Madison” gift shop is owned and operated by Teresa Whitaker in the front section of the cafe.
Phagan will hold his third solo art show at Tim Faulkner Gallery, 943 Franklin St., in Louisville, during the month of August. The opening reception for his 50-piece collection of artwork and sculptures is scheduled for the evening of Aug. 2.
Phagan also has recently completed a small mural of a steamboat on the east side of his Gallery 115 building, complete with a light over it for night viewing. He plans to create three more murals on the same wall of the alley. Across the alley, he has obtained permission from building owner Dave Ibanez to create four additional murals on areas of the wall of Franco’s Italian Restaurant that used to be windows but are now sealed with concrete. Artists Saueressig, Bickis, Carlson and Patty Cooper Wells have agreed to create murals on those former windows. Phagan hopes to arrange for the far back wall of Franco’s to be painted by Madison high school art students.
“I’d like to see more alleys painted in downtown Madison,” he said. “That would increase the area of public artwork in the downtown. I think it’s a neat idea.”

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