this years Best of Show
is among 250 exhibitors
who particiated in 39th annual event
by Don Ward
Mayor Tim Armstrong
(left) and Chautauqua coordinator
Georgie Kelly present the award
to Carmine Reppucci on Sept. 27 at
the Lanier Mansion North Lawn.
(Sept. 27, 2009) Carmine Reppucci had never
stepped foot in Madison, Ind., prior to late Septembers Madison
Chautauqua Festival of Art. But the Tennessee-based artist left town carrying
with him the coveted Best of Show award, as judged by the
Chautauqua committee jurors.
Reppucci is a Boston native who spent his career working as an architect.
He spent 20 years living in Atlanta before finally retiring and turning
to his art.
The self-taught artist moved to the small, rural town of Charlotte, Tenn.,
about 50 miles northwest of Nashville. There, he creates beautiful artwork
combing wood engraving and printmaking. At age 61, he has spent the past
13 years traveling the country appearing at art shows to sell his work.
But this was his first year at the Madison, Ind., show.
(Judged by a committee
at the Sept. 26-27 show)
Best of Show
Carmine Reppucci, Charlotte, Tenn.
Bill McCaffrey, a jewelry maker from Naples, Fla.
First Place: Kaska Firor, a jewelry maker from Cincinnati.
Second Place: John Schroder, Lowell, IN.
Third Place: Lynn Horine, Bedford, KY.
First Place: Jane A. Wilhelm, a photographer from Chelsea,
Second Place: Liz & Rich Robertson, Asbury, Iowa
Third Place: Skye Seaborn, Sheridan, IN
I love this town and think this show is very well
run, he said of the Chautauqua. I asked a lot of questions
about it, and the show coordinator, Georgie Kelly, was very helpful and
answered every one to my satisfaction.
As a result, Reppucci chose to enter the show, and now he is glad he did.
I sold a very large, expensive piece Saturday, and to me, that shows
there is an appreciation of art in this region.
The Clemson University graduate uses a unique and innovative technique
in printmaking to create colorful scenes on wood. It also involves the
use of pastels.
He begins with a hardened piece of masonite as a master plate,
then hand-carves with engraving tools the details and images. Then he
wood engraves the final touch, giving the effect of etching, mezzotint
or lithograph in his work. The completed plate is then inked by hand and
the image transferred onto the plate. Once that is done, the pastel coloring
This is a very delicate technique, often requiring the use of magnifying
glasses, and does not allow for corrections as with traditional pastel
work, he explains.
The image is then fixed and framed. The final result is a
For more information, call (812) 265-2956
or visit: www.MadisonChautauqua.com.