Change of Pace

A heart attack 15 years ago changed Rudolech’s life direction

Hanover, Ind., artist participates
in many national art shows

(September 2019) – Sometimes bad things in life can be turned into a new and exciting direction. Such is the case with Larry Rudolech of Hanover, Ind., when he experienced his heart attack 15 years ago. Rudolech went from the pressures of running his own advertising business to doing something he really loved – painting.

Photo by Ben Newell

Hanover, Ind., artist Larry Rudolech poses in his home studio.

One of the signs of being recognized as a successful artist is to have your work in a Juried Art Show. Usually that entails sending in a painting that will be judged as being worthy of inclusion into the show. In the more prestigious shows, there may be more than 1,000 entries. Just to be chosen to be in the show is an accomplishment.
Rudolech, 70, has made the cut in scores of competitions and has won many of them. He has several coming up, including ones in New York City, Park City, Utah, and at the Indiana State Museum in October in Indianapolis.
In late August he was selected to participate in the 95th annual Hoosier Salon, which takes place through Oct. 13 at the Indiana state Museum in Indianapolis. His painting titled “Alley” was selected for the prestigious exhibition.
Rudolech’s talent in art manifested itself at an early age as is the case with many talented people. He can remember as a preschooler carrying around a sketchbook and drawing scenes in Louisville, Ky. After his family moved to Chicago, he entered and won a contest sponsored by the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. And he was only a first-grader at the time.
When his family finally settled in Madison, Ind., he did what many of the downtown boys did for fun – he joined the Boys Club. John Paul, the club’s founder, had a positive effect on so many of the local boys. When he saw Rudolech’s artistic talent, Paul bought the youngster his first oil paint set.
Later, when Rudolech got to Madison High School, he came under the tutelage of art teacher Lou Knoble. Knoble not only refined Rudolech’s art skills but convinced him to run on his cross country team.
Knoble knew his real talent was his artistic ability and informed Rudolech that he was going to art school. This idea was foreign to Rudolech, who had not been a serious student. And besides, even if he could get into a school, how would he pay for it, he wondered?

Photo provided

Larry Rudolech’s painting of an alley (above) earned a spot in the 2019 Hoosier Salon show.

Knoble developed a plan that included entering as many art shows and contests as they could, seeking prizes and scholarships. By the end of the summer, Rudolech had won enough to take care of the expenses for four years at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. Following the prevailing theory that you can’t make a living in the art field, he began using his talents in the advertising world and eventually his own business.
During his recovery from his heart attack, he began spending more time doing his first love – painting. As he began displaying his works, he was pleasantly surprised to find that people actually liked what he produced. When asked what excites him about painting, he says, “I try to find something about a scene that most people would overlook, and then paint it the way I see it.” 
Rudolech’s painting style would probably be classified as “impressionist” and done in watercolors.
Bob and Charlotte Canida are enthusiastic patrons of the painter and own a number of his works.
“There are several reasons why we are fans of Rudolech,” said Canida, a Madison dentist. “We really like how he handles light in his scenes. We also like how through his pricing practices, he makes his paintings available to just about anyone.”
Stressing this last point, Rudolech mentioned a show that he has put on a couple of times in downtown Madison at the Brown gym. “I rent out the whole gym and use the bleachers as my display easels. Last year, I brought in over 600 paintings of all sizes and prices. It was fun to watch the patrons collect a number of my works together and then agonize on which ones they were going to purchase. Some of them got really good deals because they have been around for a year or two and the object of the sale is to get rid of them”
Rudolech suggested that art buyers of his artwork check the back of the painting because they might find the ribbon for the place it received at a competition. He doesn’t keep ribbons anymore. He has a box of them. Rudolech said he doesn’t plan to have another show for another year or two.
He said one of his greatest pleasures is to compete in Plein Air competitions. These are local events sponsored by local art clubs and organizations. They take place outdoors where light and shadows are constantly changing. The public gets to interact with the artists while they are at work on their easels, sometimes even naming the work.
The Artists are given a number of hours to complete their work. Rudolech works so fast that usually at the end of day he ends up with five or six paintings. He loves this so much he has made it his goal to compete in Plein Air competitions in all 50 states. So far he has traveled to 36.

• For a look at some of Rudolech’s paintings and where he is going to be competing, visit his website www.Rudolech.com or contact him via email at rodolech@roadrunner.com.

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