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First-time exhibitors dominate judging
at Madison Chautauqua

Florida’s Peters wins Best of Show
with his unique pottery

(October 2016) – Tim Peters has been doing art shows for 32 years, but this year was his first appearance at the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art. The decision paid off. Peters, 55, of Winter Haven, Fla., won Best of Show on Sept. 25, impressing the Madison, Ind., judges with his exhibit of unique pottery designs.

Photo by Don Ward

The 2016 judged winners of the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art on Sept. 25 were (front row from left) Lizzy Gulick, first place Craft; Rahmon Olugunna, first place Fine Art; Tim Peters, Best of Show; Patricia Cowart, second place Fine Art; (second row from left) Dick Close, Honorable Mention; Douglas Richard, third place Craft; Peter Rujuwas, third place Fine Art; Dale Foster, Best Presentation; Kelly Graham, second place Craft; (back row from left) Jefferson County Judge Darrell Auxier (presenter) and Chad Balster, Honorable Mention.

He and his wife, Erika, teamed up soon after they married 32 years ago to follow their passion for the craft. Erika had just learned to throw pottery before she met Peters, who was getting ready to start graduate school at James Madison University with plans of becoming a doctor.
Erika was involved at the time in photography, taking nude photos of willing subjects. Tim agreed to model for her. “So we actually met in a darkroom,” he said, laughing.
“After meeting Erika, I took one year off from grad school and never went back. I decided to become a potter,” Tim said. “And I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Tim accepted the Chautauqua award alone because Erika stays home to care for their house full of pets. But both are involved in making their pottery.
Some of their pottery pieces are unique in that they feature designs of trees carved into them. “I do 80 percent of the shaping and she does 20 percent; and she does 80 percent of the carving, and I do 20 percent,” he said. “I make all of the glazes and we both take turns applying them.”

Photo by Don Ward

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Darrell Auxier presents the Best of Show award to Tim Peters of Winter Lake, Fla.

The couple has been in the St. James Art Fair for the past 18 years and also has appeared at other regional shows, such as the Cincinnati Summer Fair, the Talbot Street and Broad Ripple art fairs in Indianapolis, and art shows in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. They had never participated in the Madison Chautauqua before “because it always conflicted with another big show that we do in Kansas City,” he said. The Kansas City Plaza Art Show features only about 185 exhibitors each year, but Peters says it is very difficult to get in. “It’s very prestigious just to be accepted into that show. But this year, we didn’t get in, so we were free to come here (to Madison).”
Peters joined a group of new winners, many of them first-time exhibitors in Madison.
First-year exhibitor Rahmon Olugunna, a painter from Chicago, won first place in the Fine Art category. Patricia Cowart of Findlay, Ohio placed second and Peter Rujuwas of Greenwood, Ind. was third. It was Cowart’s third year in the show and Rujuwas’ first year.

Photo by Don Ward

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Darrell Auxier presents the first place award in Craft to Lizzy Gulick of Louisville, Ky.

First-year exhibitor Lizzie Gulick, a fiber artist from Louisville, Ky., won first place in the Craft category. She was followed by Kelly Graham of Salem, Ind., with second place and Douglas Richard of Sasuma, Fla., with third place.
Dale Foster of Guilford, Ind., won for Best Presentation, an award that recognizes booth display. He make items out of wood.
Honorable Mentions were presented to Dick Close, a fine artist from Cincinnati, and Chad Balster, a glass blower from Louisville. Balster created the glass awards for this year’s judged winners.
This year’s show attracted perhaps the largest crowd in recent years because of the hot, dry weather. New co-coordinators Amy Fischmer and Jenny Straub said they were pleased with the large turnout.

Photo by Don Ward

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Darrell Auxier presents the first place award in Fine Art to Rahmon Olugunna of Chicago.

The show featured many “firsts,” including a Chalk Walk on Elm Street and a Demonstration Village in the yard just below the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center. The Village featured a blacksmith, chainsaw artist and Miami and Ojibwe Indian exhibits.

Next year’s Chautauqua will be held a week later than usual to stay just a week ahead of the St. James Art Fair in Louisville. Many artists traveling from far away participate in both shows and keeping them back-to-back will make it easier for them, Chautauqua officials said. Next year’s show dates are Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

Back to October 2016 Articles.

 

 

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