Festival Overview

49th Madison Chautauqua
to feature 50 new artists

Alcohol tent to return for its second year at the show

(Sept. 20, 2019) – Each September signals the kickoff to the season of fall festivals in the region, and the largest of these is the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art. The Chautauqua committee is busy planning the 49th annual event for Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 28-29 along the Ohio riverfront in Madison, Ind.
Chautauqua Committee President Kara Hinze says everything is on track for a great year, with nearly 195 artists juried and registered for the show. She added that 50 of them are new to the show, “which is good.” The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, with free admission.

Photo by Don Ward

The 2018 judged winners at the 2018 Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art were (front row from left) Dustin Payne, second place Craft; Tess Yeager, honorable mention; Lizzie Gulick, Best of Show; Jeri Landers, second place, Fine Art; (back row from left) Derrick Riley, first place Fine Art; Melissa Oesch, third place Craft; John Furches, honorable mention; Shannon Lewis, Best Presentation (with hat in back); Sergio Vettori, third place Fine Art; and Ryan Boase, first place Craft.

The alcohol tent also will return for its second year and be located near where it was last year at Elm and Second streets, on the east side of the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. Mad Paddle Brewery will again take part and be joined by the recently opened New Madison Brewing Co. In addition, wine will be offered this year by Thomas Family Winery.
The alcohol tent will be billed as part of the “Chautauqua Entertainment Garden,” which will also feature a hot dog and a nut vendor, live music on the nearby stage and a kids’ play area complete with a bounce house.
In addition to artists booths, the show features a large food court and live music, with musicians stationed throughout the festival grounds. There is also a stage on the Lanier Mansion North Lawn that features entertainment throughout each day. The event also will feature its fourth annual Chalk Walk, a contest of chalk drawings on the pavement at Elm and Second streets. The Chalk Walk is open to artists young and old and takes place both days. Entry fee is $15.

Kara Hinze

This year’s Chautauqua poster was revealed in late June and for the first time was created digitally on a computer instead of with a paint brush. Joseph Belt’s image of “Little Jimmy,” who sits atop the Madison’s Fair Play Fire Co.  No. 1 tower, may look like a painting – thanks to a Photoshop filter – but the image itself was initially a computer-generated file.
Belt, a 20-year-old, third-year Purdue University student from Madison, began with a photograph that was then used to create a digital 3-D image. From there, a computer program called Maya Auto Desk helped him create the digital image that he wanted. Using a filter in Photoshop, the digital image was made to look like a painting.
Belt is a 2017 graduate of Shawe Memorial High School in Madison and the son of Timothy and Marta Belt.
Belt will sit for three signings of the poster at the Chautauqua Information Tent on Broadway Street. He will have two signings on Saturday, Sept. 28, of the two-day festival. He will be available from 10-11 a.m. and again from 4-5 p.m.

Jenny Straub

That is the first day the limited edition poster will be available for sale to the public for $45 each. He will also sit for a signing from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday.
There will be two sizes of the poster available: an 11x14 size and 18x24. The smaller size is $25 each. A total of 150 prints will be sold.
The T-shirt, based on a portion of the poster image, will go on sale at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center beginning Labor Day Weekend. The shirts are sold in short-sleeve for $16, long-sleeve for $21 and sweatshirts for $30.
Madison Chautauqua co-chairs Amy Fischmer and Jenny Straub are serving more as advisors for this year’s festival in the wake of some major changes made last spring by the VisitMadison Inc. tourism board to bring all Madison festival planning in house.
This included planning and operations of the RiverRoots Music & Folk Festival held in June and the Madison Ribberfest blues and barbecue festival held in August. VisitMadison Inc. board members already have big changes in store for RiverRoots next year by changing the genre of music to be offered.

Amy Fischmer

The Chautauqua committee, meanwhile, is handling the planning of its event this year. The board hired two part-time employees to manage its festivals, but their involvement in Chautauqua will begin after this year’s festival is over, said Tawana Thomas, executive director of VisitMadison Inc.
The Chautauqua committee in early summer submitted a proposal to the board to incorporate itself and take over the festival outside of the purview of VisitMadison Inc., but no decision has yet been made regarding the board relinquishing control of the event to an outside entity.
Thomas said that decision would be made after this year’s festival.

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email info@RoundAbout.bz.

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