Madison Chautauqua

Millennial artist Belt creates first
digitally produced festival poster

The 49th annual art show will feature
more than 200 artists

Madison Chautauqua

• 10-5 Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 28-29, in Madison, Ind.
• A juried art show featuring more than 200 artist booths, food court, live entertainment.
• Poster signing at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Broadway Street Information Tent.
• Information: www.MadisonChautauqua.com

(September 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 more than 200 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.
The beer and wine tent also will return for its second year and be located near where it was last year at Elm and Second streets. Mad Paddle Brewery will again take part in the beer and wine tent but this year will be joined by another new local brewery, New Madison Brewing Co., along with Thomas Family Winery and a second winery yet to be named, Hinze said.

Photo by Don Ward

The Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art annually attracts the largest crowd to Madison, Ind. The festival will mark its 49th year and is set for Sept. 28-29.

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 a paved street inside the show. The Chalk Walk is open to artists young and old and takes place both days. The Chautauqua this year plans to add a kids’ bounce house on the Lanier North Lawn, along with a hot dog and nut vendors.
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 two signings of the poster at the Chautauqua Information Tent on Broadway Street on Saturday, Sept. 28, of the two-day festival. He will be available from 10-11:30 a.m. and again from 4-5 p.m. That is the first day the limited edition poster will be available for sale to the public for $45 each.
­This year, only one poster size of 16x20 is being sold, as opposed to the large and small size offered for sale last year. A total of 150 prints will be sold. Harry Dobbins, who owns and operates Harry’s Stone Grill in Madison, sponsors the poster for the festival.
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.

Photo by Don Ward

Madison, Ind., artist Joseph Belt poses with the Madison Chautauqua poster he created for 2019.

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. The Chautauqua committee is handling most of the planning. 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.

An Executive Session of the VisitMadison Inc. board is scheduled for Sept. 3 to discuss the Chautauqua.

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