‘Paint the Bridge’

Art, sculpture, photos of
Milton-Madison Bridge
sought for exhibit

Exhibition to run through July
to coincide with bridge slide party

(June 2013) – The Madison Art Club is looking to celebrate the ingenuity of engineers through the creativity of artists. In honor of the upcoming bridge slide, marking the completion of the Milton-Madison Bridge, the club is presenting a special exhibition of artwork featuring this historic structure.


File Photo by Don Ward

The Milton-Madison Bridge
will be the subject of an
art show in July to celebrate
the near completion of the new bridge, set to open this fall.

Club Correspondence Secretary Teresa Waller said the show is particularly exciting because this is a subject that resonates deeply with the entire community. She said the connections that people have with the bridge naturally inspire artwork.
“Since opening in 1929, the bridge has played an extremely important role in our town’s history. And everyone has stories about the bridge. Visual art – whether it’s a painting, a drawing, a photograph or a 3-dimensional piece – is a unique form of storytelling.”
Waller points out that the installation of the new bridge stirs up many emotions and conversations that lend themselves particularly well to art. “Naturally, there are those with a nostalgic attachment to the old bridge. And, of course, there is a great deal of excitement and anticipation surrounding new bridge and some people may choose express those feelings. It will be an exciting show because seeing the variations of each others ‘stories’ adds another dimension to our collective memory.”
The Paint the Bridge exhibit will run from July 1-31. The exhibition will showcase the past, present, and future of the Milton-Madison Bridge. Entries should be delivered to the Art on Main Gallery on or before June 15, and there is no charge to take part. Maximum size of artwork is 40x40 inch and all 2-D work must be framed and ready to hang. Space at the gallery is limited, so artists with 3-D creations are asked to contact the gallery before bringing their pieces by.
Art Club President Mary Jo O’Connor explains that the show is not limited to paintings, but that all artists, including photographers and sculptors, are invited to take part. “We’re hoping to get a variety of mediums,” said O’Connor. She extends a special invitation to 3-D artists to bring out their work. The club is also seeking vintage or archival photographs of the bridge to help the exhibition give a fuller sense of the history behind the structure.  
The Madison Art Club hopes that their open call for art will allow them it reach people who do not normally put their work on display. As artists do not need to be a member, “This would be an opportunity for people not associated with the Madison Art Club to show their work,” says O’Connor. She believes that established and aspiring artists can come together and share their visions of the importance of the bride. “It encourages people.”
Waller said she hopes that many people will be inspired to share their vision of the bridge with others. “Sometimes, people are intimidated by the term ‘gallery,’ which is understandable for anyone who doesn’t routinely exhibit their work. This particular exhibit welcomes all skill levels. As long as the pieces are properly presented, we will find a place for them in the show. It’s meant to be a fun event.”
This is the perfect opportunity to break out the brushes, pencils or cameras and spend an afternoon enjoying the weather and creating something that will last for years to come. Or gather the relatives and take some time going through old pictures to see if anyone has photographs of the bridge from years ago.
The Paint the Bridge show is about sharing old memories and looking to the future, and the more people who get involved the better the story will be, Waller says.
The club developed the show as a way to get involved in the community excitement surrounding the new bridge. “The goal is to participate in the bridge event. It’s a big deal,” O’Connor said. The art show is scheduled to coincide with other commemorations of the bridge.
“We’re trying to piggy back on some other events going on in the community. We wanted to show off,” O’Connor said. “We’re really trying to raise the visibility of the arts in Madison.”
Throughout the summer, Art on Main will offer a variety of ways for art lovers to enjoy the talent the area has to offer. Each month, unless there is a special exhibit on display, the gallery showcases a particular artist’s work.
In June there will be two featured artists highlighted – wood-turner Gary Chapman and painter Roy Boswell. The next Alley Art Fair will take place from 5-8 p.m. on June 28. Hosted in conjunction with the Fourth Friday Art Jam, the event offers artists a fun way to show off their work and connect with the public. Sidewalk chalk will be available for children to create their own masterpieces. And O’Connor points out that it is never too early for artists to start planning for the annual Fall Art Show, taking place in September. This year, more than $2,000 in prize money will be presented, with $1,000 going to Best of Show.
“We always have something going on at the Gallery,” says Waller.

• For more information, call (812) 265-2923 or visit Art on Main or the Madison Art Club on Facebook. Art on Main is located at 309 W. Main St. in Madison.

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