Shipley's Tavern Mural

Hanover grad close to completing
eye-catching tourist attraction

This is the fourth public mural
that Black has created

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(September 2009) – Mural artist Tiffany Black knows the meaning of hard work. Over the last two years she has relied upon fundraising, donations and the aid of friends to procure funding for the West Street Mural Project.
The project consists of 18 historic scenes of Madison surrounding a main river scene, painted on the side of Shipley’s Tavern, 322 West St., in Madison, Ind. While Shipley’s owner Cris Sauer is the biggest financial contributor, Black said she has relied heavily on sponsors.

West Street Mural Sponsors
(Mural subject with sponsor)

• Lydia Middleton Elementary School (John Roberts Painting & Sherwin Williams)
• Historic funeral procession (Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre)
• Madison Main Street (Joeyg’s Restaurant & Nightclub)
• Eleutherian College (Jan Mortensen, Tiffany’s aunt)
• Regatta Hydroplane Race (raffle winner Clate Winters, age 8)
• Clifty Falls State Park (TNT Tool Rental)
• Parker Auditorium (Hanover College)
• Former Hendricks Library at Hanover College (Hanover College)
• Lanier Mansion State Historic Site (Iron Gate Inn)
• Hanging Rock Hill Waterfall (Dan and Laura Hodges)
• The Point at Hanover College (Rivers Institute at Hanover College)
• Christ Episcopal Church (William Grant Black, Tiffany’s grandfather and a former Episcopal bishop in Springfield, Ill.)
• Ohio River Bridge (Dr. Roy Eaglin, DMD)
• Jefferson County Courthouse (The Courtney family)
• Broadway Fountain (Tony Waltz)
• Knights of Pythius Lodge building representing historic buildings in Madison’s National Historic Landmark District (RoundAbout Madison)
• TBD (Hanover College professor David Buchman)
• One spot available

“Even when it became clear that I would have to do some major fundraising in order for this to happen, I barely thought of abandoning the project. It’s just too good of an opportunity for me as an emerging artist,” said Black, 24, a recent Hanover College graduate.
A few individuals and businesses invested in the project right away, Black said. These included the Iron Gate Inn, Hanover College and Madison Chemical.
Black provided a list of possible scenes to potential sponsors, but a few came up with their own ideas. Morgan & Nay Funeral Home chose an historic scene of a horse-drawn funeral procession, something Black would never have thought to paint.
The mural is surrounded by a frame which Black likes to think resembles vines. When finished the mural will contain eighteen round openings among the vines, depicting historic scenes. “It’s like looking through a thick forest and finding these illuminated scenes standing there with all their individual history and character.”
A boat in the center of the mural represents the Revonah (Hanover spelled backward), a real steamer that traveled the Ohio River in the 1900s. The boat’s owner was Capt. Selby Turner, who had a business on the river between East Street and St. Michael’s Avenue. Turner’s grandson, Dick Goodman, sponsored the center spot.
Sauer said he is happy with the progress of the mural. “She’s amazing,” he said of Black’s talent. When Sauer pondered the idea of the mural, he consulted Robyne Hart, a former business professor at Hanover College who is now director of a college business program in Chicago. Black was a student of Hart’s and Hart told Sauer, “I know just the person” to paint the mural, said Sauer.
Once Sauer proposed the idea to Black, “I immediately knew that I wanted to do it,” she said. Black has painted 15 murals since high school, “but never one outside a building, and never one three stories tall!” She hopes to complete the mural by October and the finished size will be three stories high by 80 feet long.
She completed a three-month internship with muralist David Schuster in Louisville, Ky. She aided him in painting a mural at Trinity High School, helped with painting classes he taught in his art studio, learned how to run a small business and market herself as an artist.

Tiffany Black

Photos by Don Ward

Tiffany Black’s mural on the
wall at Shipley’s Tavern depict
s a variety of Madison scenes.

Tiffany Black's Mural

This is actually Black’s fourth public mural. She painted one for the Hanover College mailroom titled, “The Giving Tree;” another mural in the Lide White Memorial Boys & Girls Club movie room in Madison that contains more than 100 cartoon characters; and a mosaic project on the riverfront in Madison.
“In my opinion, a mural should reflect something that’s present in its environment and make a comment on it, or provide it with a story, a background, or show it in a new light,” said Black, who is from Danville, Ind., a small town west of Indianapolis.
She enjoys the community involvement a mural attracts, as individuals often pass by and become interested in the project. “Murals are so big and visible that they really affect the space people live in, and energize, and I find that really exciting.”
But there was more than just painting to consider before beginning this project. Black had to research scaffolding, insurance, drafting contracts, professional exterior paint, masonry sealers and primers, and talk to contractors about how to patch the crumbling brick wall she would be painting her mural upon.
Black considers herself a muralist by profession, even though she is often compelled to sculpt, collage, sew, draw, make woodcut prints, take photos and write songs on her mother’s old guitar. “I’m constantly creating things,” she said.
A mural of any size requires planning to get the composition, color scheme, subject matter, balance and contrast correct. Most of the planning is technical, centered on the structure, she said. “It’s all a process of taking things in and letting it flow back out.”
Clate Winters, 8, won a raffle to be the sponsor of one spot on the mural. He chose a scene from the Madison Regatta Unlimited hydroplane race.
One large sponsorship position on the mural is still available for $1,000.

• More information can be found at www.weststreetmural.blogspot.com, or by contacting Tiffany Black at (317) 796-8793.

Back to September 2009 Articles.



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