A Taste of the Vine
New Madison riverfront event
to feature wine, food, bourbon
Wine, Stein, Barrel to benefit
Riverfront Development funds
(June 2014) – Since 1986, the Madison (Ind.) Riverfront Development committee has raised money for improving the area along the Ohio River on the Indiana side. Past accomplishments include the addition of benches, walkways, and accessibility, all of which were typically made possible through traditional donation gathering and fund allotments from the city government.
Now the committee is taking a more entertaining approach to fundraising. On June 21, the inaugural Riverfront Wine, Stein and Barrel event will promote not only Madison’s most prominent scenic area but also its local artists and brewers, winemakers and distillers.
Riverfront Wine, Stein and Barrel will take place on Vaughan Drive near the riverfront gazebo and will be ticketed at two tiers. For $55, V.I.P. ticketholders will have access to the tent at 5 p.m., 25 tasting tickets, a special bourbon presentation and an appetizer buffet. General admission costs $40 and includes 20 tasting tickets and a differing selection of appetizers paired with each beverage. Both tiers include a tasting glass, lively music by jazz player Brook Reindollar and company, and an art auction featuring an oil painting donated by local artist Lou Knoble and pieces by Hanover College art students.
Wines available for tasting at Riverfront Wine, Stein and Barrel include vintages from Ertel Cellars Winery, Lanthier Winery, Madison Vineyards Estate Winery, Ridge Winery, Stream Cliff Farm Winery, Thomas Family Winery and Rowland Winery. Craft brewers Quaff On and Upland Brewing Co. from Bloomington, Ind., as well as Sun King Brewing Co. of Indianapolis will provide beer. Angel’s Envy will share its celebrated bourbon from Louisville, Ky.
The upscale social event demands a great deal of coordinating, but organizer Margaret Bridgford said the Riverfront Wine, Stein and Barrel is worth a few sleepless nights spent worrying over the details. “People can come relax, have a drink and listen to some music,” she said. “A big part of the ambience is the art.”
Bridgford arranged the event with instrumental help from several sponsors, such as the Madison Apothecary, where the various wines, beers and bourbon will be on sale after June 21.
She also worked with Hanover College art professor Leticia Bajuyo, who took advantage of the opportunity to give her students a pre-professional experience in the business aspect of being an artist. Based on the riverfront theme, eight students in Bajuyo’s public art class individually wrote proposals and created trial pieces, which they then presented to a selection committee. Pieces by two junior art majors were chosen, a sculpture by Kaitlin Knapp and a displayed series of drawings by Amanda Waltz.
“Their responses to the river prompt might not be what one would expect,” Bajuyo said, “but they’re both thoughtful and intelligent artists. They have sensitivity and awareness of the location.”
Knapp and Waltz chose Hanover College as their place of study and have grown to appreciate the area. Both artists will intern in Madison this summer, Knapp at the Madison Art Club and Waltz at the Jefferson County Historical and Heritage Center, documenting the Center’s extensive collection of textiles.
Bajuyo continually looks for opportunities to give her students real-world experiences. “Early rejection can be hard,” she said, “so getting this experience in the security of a classroom situation is good for them.” Students whose work was not selected joined Knapp and Waltz in fabricating the final pieces. The weeklong time frame and limited budget added pressure for a good teambuilding exercise.
All proceeds from the art auction and ticket sales benefit the Riverfront Development Committee. Bridgford said the Riverfront Development Committee, Lanier-Madison Visitors Center and other event sponsors want to promote more art in Jefferson County. However, promoting new art in a vintage town like Madison comes with challenges.
“I think there’s a continual fear of what contemporary artists can bring to a historic space,” said Bajuyo, adding that not everyone realizes public art does not necessarily mean permanence. “Rotating art, like murals on buildings, add so much local flavor because it’s community artists displaying their work outside rather than hiding in a gallery. It’s shared with everyone. Public art can say a lot about a city, and a city that funds and supports public art says a lot about itself.”
• For more information on the Riverfront Wine, Stein & Barrel event, call VisitMadison Inc. at (812) 265-2956 or visit: www.VisitMadison.org.
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