Phagan puts his unique style
on the 2013 poster design
He plans to hold a poster
signing party Sept. 20 at his gallery
(September 2013) – A group of Madison, Ind., artists in early August pooled their talents to paint a mural taken from the 2013 Madison Chautauqua poster onto the west side of Shooter’s Restaurant, 101 E. Main St., to promote the Sept. 28-29 juried art show. The wall faces West Street.
Eric Phagan’s poster design
features a view from Milton, Ky.,
of the old Milton-Madison Bridge.
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 Friday, Sept. 20, poster signing event from 6-8 p.m. at Phagan’s Gallery 115 on Madison’s Main Street. That is one week before the Madison Chautauqua.
Phagan and his parents, Jeff and Peggy Phagan, recently purchased and renovated the building, and his mother operates a café inside. Phagan’s art studio is upstairs, along with a bed-and-breakfast style apartment for rent. Teresa Whitaker operates a gift shop called “M of Madison” in the front of the building.
After graduating from high school, Eric enrolled at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis and even went on to study in Paris, France.
After graduation, he came back to his hometown of Madison, where making art became his full-time job.
Phagan said he is eager to welcome guests to Gallery 115 and plans to make it into more of a celebration than simply a poster signing. Music will be provided by Madison’s own Brook Reindollar on the piano. Madison Vineyards will offer wine for sale by the glass.
2013 Chautauqua Poster Artist
Phagan and three other artists – Bob Saueressig, Kevin Carlson and Steve Bickis – spent the second week of August painting the mural image onto the wall of Shooter’s. Carlson painted the area surrounding Phagan’s main image. All four artists took part in painting Phagan’s original image on to the wall.
Phagan called on the fellow artists for help since he was busy preparing for a solo, 50-piece art show he had in late July in Louisville. He wanted to get the mural done in time for this year’s Chautauqua.
In addition to creating his artwork and sculptures, Phagan this year was hired to teach art full time at Madison Junior high School. He had previously taught art to middle school students.
The artists used a outdoor acrylic paint for the mural and then covered it with a protective UV clear coating. “It should last for years,” said Phagan, 34.
The artists also gave the image a sepia tone, which is a brownscale, rather than a grayscale, color. This technique gives it an aged look, since most old photos were created using sepia tone, Phagan explained.
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 of the 16 panels in the mural was created a different artist. That banner was removed in early July to make room for this new permanent painting. The Chautauqua committee plans to hold a silent auction to sell the 2009 vinyl mural at the upcoming show. The vinyl mural will hang on Vaughn Drive, just east of Broadway Street, up against the ball park fence. The silent auction will stay open both Saturday and Sunday until 2 p.m., according to Chautauqua coordinator Georgie Kelly. The winner of the bid will have to pick it up by 4 p.m. Sunday.
“The vinyl is in relatively good condition, but the image is faded from the western sun,’ Kelly said.
Meantime, 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.”