Poster Artist

Shropshire was inspired by her time spent at Broadway Fountain

The photographer-turned-artist sells
at the Farmers’ Market

• Brenda Shropshire will be signing the limited edition posters at 10-11:30 a.m. and 4-5 p.m Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Madison Chautauqua Information Tent, located on Broadway Street in front of the Brown Gym.

(Sept. 21, 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.

Photo by Don Ward

Brenda Shropshire said her friend encouraged her to apply and she was surprised to learn she was selected.

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.
“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.”

Photo provided

Brenda Shropshire’s poster is a bold, colorful rendition of Madison’s signature Broadway Fountain.

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 from 10-11:30 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. The

T-shirts went on sale Sept. 1 at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St. Short-sleeved T-shirts sell for $16; long-sleeved T-shirts are $21; hooded sweatshirts are $30.

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: info@RoundAbout.bz.

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