Madison Chautauqua

Louisville, Ky., fiber artist Gulick
earns Best of Show

She collects her third award
at the show in as many years

(October 2018) – Lizzie Gulick, a fiber artist from Louisville, Ky., took part in her third straight Chautauqua Festival of Art on Sept. 29-30 in Madison, Ind., and proved that three times is a charm. After show judges selected her for first place in the Craft category the first two years, this year’s judges made her Best of Show.
“There’s a lot of great talent at this show, so it’s a real honor to win Best of Show,” said Gulick 42. She is married and the mother of an 8-year-old, adding to her duties as an artist and exhibitor.

Photo by Don Ward

The 2018 judged winners at the 48th annual Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art are (front row from left) Dustin Payne, second place Craft; Tess Yeager, honorable mention; Lizzie Gulick, Best of Show; Jeri Landers, second place, Fine Art; (back row from left) Derrick Riley, first place Fine Art; Melissa Oesch, third place Craft; John Furches, honorable mention; representative (man in hat in back) for Shannon Lewis, Best Presentation; Sergio Vettori, third place Fine Art; and Ryan Boase, first place Craft.

The two-day festival enjoyed stellar mid-70s, sunny weather this year, and along with it large crowds. This year’s show also featured a number of Special Event artists demonstrating their talents on the South Lawn of the Lanier Mansion. And as an added attraction, the show offered a beer and wine tent for the first time in its 48 years. Mad Paddle Brewery owner Jerry Wade operated the tent, with a percentage of proceeds going to the Chautauqua committee. Wade’s new brewery is scheduled to open at 301 West St. in late November, so he used the occasion to promote his beer to Chautauqua-goers.
“The weather this year couldn’t be better, and that always brings out a big crowd,” said Jenny Straub, who co-chairs the festival with Amy Fischmer.
The festivals also has dozens of local volunteers who assist in putting on the show. This year’s event featured 275 exhibitors, along with a growing number of food vendors along Vaughn Drive.
While visitors browse and shop the exhibitor booths, show judges circulate and make their choices of first through third place in the Fine Arts and Craft categories. They also select a Best of Show, Best Presentation and Honorable Mentions.
Gulick makes wearables out of wool using her fiber felt technique and has done well at the Madison juried art show. But she said she cut down on her shows this year because she is taking graduate school courses through the Vermont College of Fine Art to earn an M.F.A. so she can teach. She takes the courses at home but must spend four weeks a year in Vermont.
“I only did this show and a smaller show at Shaker Village in Kentucky this year,” she said.
The judges said of her fiber wearables “a good natural process; folksy yet contemporary. Great complexity of design and color schemes.”

Photo by Don Ward

Fiber artist Lizzie Gulick says she uses all natural plant dies in her wearables, which are made from wool.

Gulick said she uses all natural plant dies in her process – from both local and non-local sources. “I collect material all over and then when I’m ready to make something, I pull out a piece and start designing it.”
She first learned the art of fiber making while taking a course on the West Coast in 2001. She has been doing the art now for 17 years.
Another repeat winner this year was Jeri Landers, a paper artist from Rutledge, Tenn., who is also a children’s book author. Her books feature her colorful illustrations. She usually wins Best Presentation, but this year earned second place in the Fine Art category.
Best Presentation this year went to Shannon Lewis, a broom maker from Ashland, Ky. The judges wrote, “Creative and cohesive display. Modernized the traditional process of broom making.”
Second place in Craft, meanwhile, went to Dustin Payne, who with his brother, Caleb and father, Gary, makes wood furniture and other items at their shop in nearby Versailles, Ind. The trio won Best of Show last year in their first ever appearance in the Chautauqua.
Ryan Boase of Greenville, S.C., earned first place in Craft with his vintage, recycled musical instruments. This was his first time exhibiting at the Chautauqua.

Photo by Don Ward

Derrick Riley of Lexington, Ky., won First Place in Fine Art. He draws images that are then carved into wood.

Third place in Craft was awarded to Melissa Oesch, a leather artist from Lexington, Ky., in her ninth appearance.
Taking the top honors in Fine Art was Derrick Riley of Lexington, Ky. He is a paper artist in his third year at the show. His unique talent is drawing and then carving the images onto wood.
Glass artist and first-time exhibitor Sergio Vettori of Louisville,, Ky., earned third place in Fine Art.

The judges also awarded Honorable Mentions to two exhibitors – John Furches of Elkin, N.C., and Tess Yeager of Noblesville, Ind. Furches is a first-time exhibitor. Yeager, a second-year exhibitor, makes jewelry.

Back to October 2018 Articles.



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