Square Deal Art Show

Art show offers holiday shoppers
unique, artful gift-giving ideas

Madison Art Club’s show was started
by the late Saueressig

(November 2018) – “Start with a blank canvas” may be a cliché, but it really is the official direction for participation in the Square Deal Art Show in Madison, Ind. Directions state: “Think outside the square! Glue your preferred drawing or watercolor paper to the canvas or mount prints of your original photography, attach mosaics, collage, found objects. If it sticks to the canvas and can be hung on the wall, it’s accepted!”
The art must be displayed square, not tipped on the diagonal, and the original size must be unchanged. All media is accepted: oils, acrylics, watercolors, pencils, pen & ink, oil pastels, even non-traditional materials. Only chalk pastels are prohibited because the surface is not protected by glass.

Photo by Sharyn Whitman

Samples of artwork by Madison artist Debbie Boston are shown above.

Participation is open to Madison Art Club members as well as anyone in the community. 
The Square Deal Art Show is a unique fundraiser for the club, located at “Art on Main,” 309 W. Main St. The show will be held in the gallery from Nov. 3 through Dec 31. Completed 12-inch square works by local artists, priced at $99, will be for sale during the show. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the club, the 20th anniversary of the Fall Show, and the sixth Square Deal Art Show fundraiser. A reception is planned for 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Gallery during the Christmas Open House. 
According to club president Teresa Waller, the idea came from the late Bob Saueressig, who saw the idea on display in another state. “Both the artists and the community enjoy the show, which features affordable pieces for Christmas gifts,” Waller said.
Residents and visitors get the chance to own a special piece of art at a reasonable price. Approximately 33 local artists participate, many doing more than one piece. However, participation is not limited to art club members and the art work is not limited to painting. Anyone can purchase a blank canvas for $20 or two for $25 at Art on Main. The finished artwork can be anything that is painted or attached to that canvas.  Photographers also participate. Three-dimensional works are another twist – whatever the artist can attach to that blank wrapped canvas is acceptable, Waller explained.
Although most entries are submitted to the Art Club by the end of October, often artists will continue to create additional works, which are added to the display as other pieces are sold. Waller said it makes it interesting for visitors to stop in and see what is new throughout the show. 
Waller graduated from art school in 1981-82. Soon she was busy in her career and raising her children. When she joined the Madison Art Club, she said it was exciting to feel that sense of community with other artists. She started going to the Tuesday night drawing club, where there were live models. She got to know other people in the arts through participating in the club.
Art club members volunteer to work shifts at the Art on Main Gallery so that it can be open seven days per week. Debbie Boston and Debi Black recently discussed the Square Deal Show while they worked together on a sunny fall afternoon. Boston is a relatively new member of just 16 months, while Black is a veteran member with more than 20 years of painting, teaching and serving the local art community. Both were excited about the upcoming Square Deal Art Show. Each artist was working on two entries to be submitted by the end of October.
Boston grew up in California in an artistic family. Her father liked to draw. She enjoyed classes in architectural drawing where she learned a meticulous style. That style caused problems in art class in high school because her lines were too perfect.
“Just draw,” she was told. Her husband, Garry, brought her to his hometown of Madison. Boston retired in 2016 after working for nine years at the Jefferson Proving Ground and 21 years at Bluegrass Chemical in Richmond, Ky. She started her retirement with watercolor art classes at Apple Tree Studio in Bedford, Ky.
The Madison Art Club has been a valuable resource for Boston, 58. She said she has become a better artist as a result of the classes she has attended. Other classes have taught her how to market her work and herself as an artist.
Members who volunteer to work in the Gallery receive free wall space for a year. Boston also helps at offsite shows. Since she was such an active member, she was soon recruited to be the executive secretary of the club. She has become an enthusiastic spokesperson. She says she has enjoyed meeting new people, learned new skills, and expanded into new areas of art. She has expanded from watercolors into abstract art, experimenting with alcohol ink.
“It’s the colors,” she said. “Colors are so much fun!”
Black described Boston as a “colorist,” a person who uses color to express herself. Those bright colors pop in Boston’s alcohol ink works on display in the gallery.
Boston travels back to California for her “ocean fix.” She laughed when she remembered her first Indiana home in the city of Chesterton. Everyone told her how much she would love the expanse of Lake Michigan. After one look, she responded, “This is not the ocean!”  
The Madison Art Club holds monthly meetings. Both Boston and Black said they enjoy the camaraderie of other artists. Members help each other. New members and interested individuals are always welcome.

• The Art on Main gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information about the club or the Square Deal Art Show, visit www.madisonartclub.com or call (812) 265-2923.

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