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Madison Chautauqua

Madison photographer turned artist selected for 2018 poster

Shropshire’s painting of Broadway Fountain is chosen

Madison Chautauqua

• 10-5 Saturday-Sunday,
Sept. 29-30 in Madison, Ind.
• Poster signing at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Broadway Street Information Tent.
• Information: www.MadisonChautauqua.com

(September 2018) – Madison, Ind., artist and photographer Brenda Shropshire joined a lofty group of artists when her colorful painting of the Broadway Fountain was selected to serve as the 2018 Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art poster. The Chautauqua committee made the announcement in late July.
Her selection may have never happened had she not been laid off from her job at Royer Corp. a year ago. She turned to photography and painting to pass the time. When the last of her four children graduated from high school last year, she had even more time to devote to her creative passion. A self-taught artist, Shropshire paints with acrylics, often using her photographs of Madison area scenes as her subject.
She said that the Broadway Fountain has always been dear to her heart. She spends many summer Saturdays at the fountain, selling her paintings and photographs on canvas at the Madison Farmers Market. So when her close friend, Andrea Boswell, encouraged her to submit a painting to be considered for the Chautauqua poster, she chose her painting of the fountain.
A few weeks later, she received a telephone call that her painting had been selected for this year’s Chautauqua poster and T-shirt design. The 48th annual festival is scheduled for Sept. 29-30 in downtown Madison.
“I was very surprised to be chosen; I couldn’t believe it,” said Shropshire, 57, who has been married to her husband, Ronald for 18 years. Ronald still works for Royer Corp.
Shropshire was one of four artists who submitted artwork to the Chautauqua committee for consideration, according to festival co-coordinator Amy Fischmer. Shropshire now joins an impressive list of talented Chautauqua poster artists through the years.

Photo by Don Ward

Madison, Ind., artist Brenda Shropshire displays her original painting that will become this year’s Chautauqua poster.

“I took art classes in high school, but I’ve had no formal training,” she said.
The painting of the fountain was made from a photograph she had taken of it. “It’s got a lot of green in it. I like it. I tried to put something modern in it, so there’s a person taking a selfie at the fountain in it.”
Fischmer said, “We typically have two artists – one for the poster and another for the T-shirt design, but her painting was so amazing the committee decided to use it for both. We also wanted to modernize the event, and this painting has a modern theme.”
Chautauqua festival committee member Kara Hinze, who helped select the poster artist, said she liked Shropshire’s painting because of “the artist’s use of rich blues and greens with strong brush strokes that beautifully highlight this historic Madison landmark and the richness of the landscape around it. My favorite element is the subtle capture of the flowing water. I believe this piece will be a nice addition to the collection of Madison Chautauqua Posters.”
Boswell, 45, a River Terrace Heath Campus employee, said of her friend’s selection, “I’m so excited for her. She did so amazing to be selected. It’s very exciting.”
Boswell said she kept nudging and encouraging Shropshire to submit her painting, “but she was a little hesitant at first. I thought her painting was awesome. She’s so humble, and that’s the great thing about her.”
The original painting will go to poster sponsor Harry Dobbins, who owns and operates Harry’s Stone Grill on the Madison hilltop. Shropshire, meanwhile, will have to settle for a poster or T-shirt of her design plus a stipend of $500.
But the notoriety that comes with being selected for creating the festival poster should bode well for her artistic career.
Digital Printing Inc. creates the poster prints to be sold at the festival. Only 150 copies of the 16x20 size poster prints are made, and they will sell for $45 each. Another 100 smaller 11x14 size prints will be sold for $25 each, Fischmer said. And this year for the first time, the festival committee will sell post cards for $2 and magnets for $5 – both of which will display the poster design, and hats.
The posters will not be available for sale until Saturday, Sept. 29, the first of the two-day festival. Shropshire will sign posters at the Chautauqua Information Tent on Broadway Street that Saturday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The T-shirts will go on sale Sept. 1 at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St. Short-sleeved T-shirts will sell for $16; long-sleeved T-shirts will be $21; hooded sweatshirts will be $30.
This year’s theme for the festival will be “Art in Motion,” Fischmer said. In addition to art and craft juried vendors and live music, this year’s festival will feature spray paint artists, glass blowers and potters setting up on the Lanier Mansion’s South Lawn. Meantime, plein air artists will be setting up around the grounds to support the Art in Motion theme. The popular Chalk Walk returns for its third consecutive year, along with the Children’s Activity Tent.
In what might be considered the biggest changes in recent memory will be the addition of alcohol that will be sold in a tent near the Lanier Mansion North Lawn music stage. The tent, called the “Eight Decades Drink Tent” to mark the time of prohibition. The tent is being sponsored by Jerry Wade and his Mad Paddle Brewery, which is being developed at a former feed mill on nearby West Street. The brewery is expected to open this fall, and the first batches of beer are being produced at New Albanian Brewery in New Albany, Ind., until Mad Paddle completes construction of its own brewing equipment and opens in Madison. Wade said he hopes to begin making small batches of beer before Christmas. Full scale brewing is expected to begin in April 2019.
Mad Paddle’s Wicked Blonde Ale beer already has been sold and sampled this summer at the Riverroots Music & Folk Art Festival, the Madison Regatta’s Roostertails Music Festival and at North Vernon’s Fermentation Festival. At the Madison Chautauqua, Wade plans to offer one specialty bourbon-based drink that he is calling the Eight Decades Drink, the Wicked Blonde Ale beer and one type of wine that is yet to be determined, Fischmer said.

“We plan to set up the tent at the top of Elm Street near the Lanier Mansion, so people can go get a drink and walk over to enjoy the live music,” she said. The festival committee is using the tent as a sort of fundraiser, she added.

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