Madison Regional Art Show

Annual event to
showcase talent in Kentuckiana

Rudolech’s love of art earned him a career

By Levi King
Staff Writer

(October 2005) – Since the Boys and Girls Club gave Larry Rudolech his first set of oil paints at age 10, art has been a central part of his life.

Larry Rudolech

Photo by Michella Marino

Larry Rudolech paints a river scene
during the September “Paint Out”
at Hanover College.

While at Madison Consolidated High School, he studied under art teacher Lou Knoble. Rudolech, 56, expected to graduate and enter the workforce, but his teacher thought otherwise. “He informed me that I WAS going to college,” said Rudolech.
Knoble guided Rudolech through the application process and helped him acquire scholarships. Rudolech submitted artwork to a national student contest, winning in one category and placing in two others. “I started to see that it really was possible,” he said.
Art lovers will be able to see Rudolech’s artistic talent on display at the Madison Art Club’s annual Regional Art Show, taking place during the month of October at the club’s gallery, 301 E. Main St., Madison. The show will open with a public reception and awards ceremony from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 9. The show, which is the club’s biggest event of the year, will run through Oct. 30.
Rudolech attended IUPUI’s John Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, where he studied commercial art. Following graduation in 1972, Rudolech first worked for an advertising agency in El Paso, Texas. He later found advertising work in Indianapolis and then joined an agency in Louisville. There, Rudolech designed advertising and packaging for large clients such as Brown-Forman, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Brown and Williamson.
Fifteen years ago, Rudolech left the agency to work on his own and moved to Hanover, Ind.
“These agencies work the heck out of you, then you leave and they see how much they need you,” he said laughing.
Rudolech continued to do freelance work for his former employer for a few years. Now he arranges his own jobs with numerous companies, the largest of which is Porter Paints.
Rudolech still finds time to pursue his own artwork, although he notes it isn’t easy. “I keep so busy that I don’t get to do as much painting as I like, but I manage.”
For the past five consecutive years, Rudolech’s work has been accepted into the Hoosier Salon’s Annual Exhibition. The exclusive juried show is widely considered the best in the state. This year, his painting of a railroad bridge was named first in the oil category. Rudolech won a Popular Choice Award for an oil painting in 2002. Two years ago, he won with a sculpture titled “A Political Stance on Moral Issues,” which depicted two identical human figures.
Following the reception and exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, the Hoosier Salon show tours the state for nearly six months.
Rudolech said he wasn’t sure what paintings he planned to exhibit at this month’s Regional Art Show in Madison. “I might have to whip a couple up and slap a sign on them – ‘Wet Paint’,” he joked.
The show’s opening will feature a four-person string quartet led by Danny Wingham. Thanks to the hard work of organizers and generous donations from sponsors, the show promises to be the biggest yet. Local Harvest Market is donating cheeses, the Thomas Family Winery is donating wine and 411 Flowers is donating floral arrangements. Arvin Sango, the Madison Chautauqua, Woodburn and Kyle, the John Eckert family, Wal-Mart, the Jefferson County Board of Realtors, the Lumber Mill Antique Mall and River Valley Financial Bank had pledged financial support.
More than $2,400 in prizes will be awarded. The show will be judged by Lynn Dunbar, an artist and art director from Louisville. A $500 prize will be awarded to the Best in Show entry. First ($200), second ($100) and third ($50) prizes will go to winners in each of five categories: oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels and mixed media.
A Mayor’s Award, chosen by Madison Mayor Al Huntington will also be awarded $100. Additionally, Cheap Joe’s Art Supplies of North Carolina is sponsoring a People’s Choice Award. Visitors can vote for their favorite piece. Votes will be tallied when the show closes Oct. 30, and the winner will receive a $35 gift certificate with a painter’s apron and tote.
While the Madison Art Club has held a show for many years, this is only the sixth year for the event in its current, expanded configuration. Locals Marguerite Ligon and Lee Featherstone are chairing this year’s show.
Last year, there were 39 works entered, but this year the club has registered 61 artists and 108 pieces. The show is uncommon because it is not juried and is open to all regional artists, not only members. Artists are limited to two entries.
“We are striving for a much bigger show this year because we want to make this area a big arts center,” said Ligon. “Madison is culturally underserved, and we’d like to fill that gap.
Rudolech noted that the Madison Art Club is intended to help artists by providing commission-free gallery space. “It really has gotten quite a buzz in the art community around Indiana,” said Rudolech.
He explained that the show’s egalitarian, open policy is a novel way to generate interest among area artists. The popularity of the event could lead to future complications, but Rudolech is optimistic that organizers will manage.
“We are probably going to have some growing pains next year, handling this many paintings. But if this art show continues this way, it’s going to be one of the biggest in the state,” he said.

• The Madison Art Gallery will hold an opening reception from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Madison Art Gallery, 301 E. Main St., Madison. For more information about the Regional Art Show, call (812) 265-3135, ext. 251.

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