90 artists take part
in Rivers Institutes Paint Out
inaugural event took place at Hanover College
(October 2005) On Sept. 17-18, Hanover College wasnt
only occupied by students. More than 90 artists traveled to Hanovers
Point to participate in The Great River Paint Out.
by Michella Marino
Mack poses with his
painting at the Rivers Institute
Great Paint Outon Sept. 17
at Hanover College.
The Rivers Institute of Hanover College sponsored this
plein air art event. Plein air is French for In the Open Air
and is not a style of painting per se, but rather a place where artists
head outdoors to capture whatever they can on their blank canvas, according
to Rivers Institute literature explaining the event.
Michelle Purvis, associate director of Culture Programs for the Rivers
Institute, said she wanted the artists to paint what theyre
inspired to paint. Many artists were seen doing just that all
over the Point and Hanovers 650-acre campus.
Madison-based artist Bob Saueressig participated in the weekends
plein air activities. He has been an artist since 1960 and currently
makes a living as a commercial artist. He is a member of the Madison
Art Club and the Cincinnati Art Club, which is the second oldest art
club in the nation.
He described the Rivers Institute as being very well organized.
Saueressig says that the New Harmony, Ind., plein air event sets the
plein air standards, but that Hanovers event equaled or
surpasses that of the other. He added that it was nice to have
an institution backing the event with some corporate sponsors instead
of all volunteers.
by Michella Marino
tent houses the collection of paintings
that are on display during the art show.
Ronald Mack, a well-known Indiana artist from Indianapolis,
decided to bring his canvas down for the event as well. Mack was one
of five artists who were chosen to work on the book, Painting
Indiana, which included a painting from each of Indianas
92 counties. This book sold out in three hours and generated more than
Mack said he enjoys plein air events because it gives the opportunity
to get out with others to paint. He thinks its great for
communities to invite artists to paint their neighborhoods and surrounding
landscapes, and its a real boost for the arts.
Mack said plein air events are becoming more common. Previously, there
were only a few shows to attend a year, but now there is practically
one every weekend. The beautiful brick Horner Center on Hanovers
campus was his painting of choice on Saturday.
Some of the female artists found it irresistible to stay away from the
downtown beauty Madison has to offer, not to mention its shopping. Axie
Frye, Mert Strain and Pam Lassiter had all participated in plein air
events before and had all been to Madison before but had never combined
the two. The three friends met through their local watercolor society,
the Wabash Valley Watercolor Society in Lafayette, Ind.
by Michella Marino
Bardes paints the front of The Attic
on Madisons Main Street.
Frye and Strain have been painting for the last 18 years,
but Lassiter said she has always been involved with art. Now that Lassiter
has retired, she has more time to devote to it.
The trio said that oil painting was a popular choice for the Great River
Paint Out, and they claimed that you could even smell the paint
in the air up at the Point and around Classic Hall. However, they
chose to paint with watercolors instead of oil paint. They explored
downtown Madison for the best flowers and gardens to paint along with
the best shopping spots.
Pat Bardes, from Nashville, Ind., stood outside The Attic Coffee Mill
Café, 631 W. Main St., Madison, for several hours on Saturday
morning painting the storefront along with its rustic cart full
of blooming geraniums. Bardes painted with chalk pastels but also does
She said The Attic was an attractive candidate to paint because of its
She believes that it represents the town of Madison with its tasteful
decoration, and she found the geraniums out front just the right colors
for painting. She traveled to the event with two other artist friends
from Brown County, Ind.
A mother-daughter team of artists also found the charms of downtown
irresistible. Selena Burk, Union City, Ohio, traveled with her daughter,
Maria Green, Greenville, Ohio, to paint. They wanted the unique painting
opportunities this event provided but also wanted to shop, eat and get
the full Madison experience.
At 21, Green was one of the youngest to attend the Great River Paint
Out. Burk and her daughter enjoy painting together and find that plein
air events provide a nice bonding experience for the pair.
They painted on Saturday morning at the college and found it neat
that 40 people could be painting the Ohio River yet all somehow manage
to paint a different view of it.
For more information about the Rivers Institute at Hanover
College or future events, visit: www.riversinstitute.org.
Back to October 2005