Pretty Paintings

Madison Art Club's Square Deal
paintings are ideal as holiday gifts

The art show opens Nov. 1 at the club's gallery

(November 2021) – Imagine seeing one of your original artistic creations actually hanging in a prominent place in a local art gallery.  The Square Deal Art Show offers that opportunity to anyone and everyone. It is not necessary to be a member of the Madison (Ind.) Art Club. Budding young artists as well as local professional favorites contribute their talents to create gift-worthy decorated canvas artwork for the signature fundraising event for the club.
The Square Deal Art Show opens Nov. 1 at Art on Main, 309 W. Main St. in Madison. The show runs through Dec. 31. It is a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to find the perfect Christmas gift for a special person: an original work of art at the reasonable price of $99. A special Open House is scheduled from 5-9 p.m.  Friday, Nov. 12, as part of the Downtown Holiday Open House.

Belva Lowry

Photo by Sharyn Whitman

Belva Lowry poses with a painting she made for the Madison Art Club's Square Deal Art Show. The 12x12-inch paintings make great holiday gifts.

Carole Williams, a Madison Art Club member, noticed that past shows included paintings from children. This year she recruited her six grandchildren who are interested in art to participate in the show. She saw it as opportunity to support the gallery.
“The art club is an all-volunteer organization,” she said. “Everyone needs to help make it a success. Williams is an art teacher who retired from Shawe High School eight years ago. In her experience, it is good for young people to see their art exhibited in a gallery.
Williams’ granddaughter, Mia Craney, 14, sketched a detailed drawing called “Tiger Talk,” using only pencil.  The pencil on the canvas added texture to the drawing. Her 11-year-old sister, Lena, used acrylics for her “Girl with Braids” painting. Their younger brother, Lincoln, 7, combined both acrylics and marker for his painting, “The Scientist.” The siblings attend Plainfield, Ind., Schools. Three of their cousins are also working on entries for the show. “They had fun doing it,” Williams said. “It was also interesting to hear what they said to each other about their paintings.”
Madison Art Club Vice President Belva Lowry echoed Williams’ comments. “The nice thing is that people can see their work hung on the walls of the gallery. It is great for young people to see their work. This show is not juried.”

Mia Craney

Photo provided

Mia Craney, 14, took part in the art show with a pencil drawing she called "Tiger Talk" (pictured below).

Lowry was working in the front of the gallery at the end of October preparing the space to display all of the Square Deal Artwork.
“I was always interested in art,” Lowry said. “I joined the art club after I retired as the Surgery Coordinator at Taustine Eye Center in 2008. I had no formal training in art. The women in the art club were so helpful. I started with oils, but acrylics are so much easier. They dry quickly and have no odor. I prefer to paint inside, but during the pandemic, I learned to paint outside.”
Last year for the Square Deal Art Show, she submitted two paintings: one of the Heritage Trail and the other was a park scene. Both sold quickly. Lowry said that sometimes she thinks, “I really like that. I hate to sell it.” Now that she has walls at home lined with paintings, her new question is, “Do I really need to keep this?”
This year Lowry entered two scenic acrylic paintings: “Early Dawn” and “Papa and the Grandkids.”

Mia Craney Tiger Talk

Photo provided

Mia Craney's pencil drawing titled "Tiger Talk" is pictured.

Lowry explained that entries in the Square Deal Art Show are not limited to paintings. Everyone starts with the same 12x12-inch canvas, which must be purchased from the club at two for $25. That way when the finished art is hung, it all hangs the same way (they must be hung square, not on the diagonal). Anything that can be attached to the canvas is allowed. A watercolor painting or a photograph can be attached. Three-dimensional objects can be used to create a unique canvas wall-hanging.
“It is a really fun thing to see what people come up with. They are very clever and creative,” Lowry said. Since it is a fundraiser, the Madison Art Club receives 20 percent of the sale price. 
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon – 4 p.m. Sunday. The club holds monthly meetings on the third Thursday of the month from 4-6 p.m. Members enjoy the camaraderie and coaching of fellow artists. Members can volunteer to work shifts at the gallery. In return, they receive designated space to display their art. New members and interested individuals are always welcome. Additional information is available on the website at www.madisonartclub.com.

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