Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art

Floyd Knobs, Ind.’s Hillegas
wins 2012 ‘Best of Show’

She teaches art classes and
creates prints of originals for artists

By Don Ward

(October 2012) – Cathy Hillegas is not only an artist but has found a way to make a living on her talents by teaching art and making prints from original artwork for herself and other artists. But painting her own nature, floral and landscape scenes at home at her kitchen table remains her primary passion – something she has done full time now for 19 years.

Chautauqua Winners

Photo by Don Ward

Madison Chautauqua Coordinator (far left in front) on Sept. 30 presented the judged awards to (front row from left) Jeri Landers (Best Presentation); Cathy Hillegas (Best of Show); Carol Reesor (First, Fine Art); Jeff Vollmer (First, Craft); Merry Fourhman of the Chautauqua Committee; (back row from left) Sean Corner (Second, Craft); Carole Gordon (Third, Fine Art); Patti Monroe-Mohrenweiser (Second, Fine Art); and Sharon Milliner (Third, Craft).

Her talent was rewarded Sept. 30 at the 2012 Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art when judges selected Hillegas as this year’s “Best of Show” exhibitors. She earned the award from a field of 250 exhibitors taking part in the 42nd annual show in downtown Madison, Ind.
She joined a handful of other exhibitors who were selected by the three Chautauqua judges – two from Madison and another who serves as an assistant director at St. James Court Art Show in Louisville. Madison Chautauqua Coordinator Georgie Kelly presented the awards Sunday morning on the North Lawn of the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, which is located in the middle of the two-day art show.
Carol Reesor of Buffalo, Ky., won First Place in Fine Art. She is a fine art 2-Dimensional oil and watercolorist.
Second Place Fine Art went to Patti Monroe-Mohrenweiser of Brighton, Mich. She is a fine art artist and calligrapher. Third Place in Fine Art was presented to Carole Gordon of Utica, Ky. She is a fine art watercolorist specializing in equestrian art.
First Place in Craft was presented to Jeff and Lynn Vollmer of Cincinnati. They create wooden puzzles and jewelry boxes. Second Place in Craft went to Sean Corner of Wichita, Kan. He makes figurative clay sculptures. Third Place in Craft was given to Sharon Milliner of Mt. Washington, Ky. She makes wearable art such as Nuno felted scarves with detachable flowers.

Cathy Hillegas

Photo by Don Ward

Merry Fourhman of the
Chautauqua Committee (left)
presents the “Best of Show”
award to Cathy Hillegas.

Hillegas is a previous award winner at the Chautauqua, having one Second Place in Fine Art in 2007. But this was the first time she took top honors.
It comes on the heels of another prestigious honor. One of her watercolor paintings was featured as the front cover of the hard-bound book, ‘Splash 13: The Best of Watercolors,” published in August by North Light.
“That was a really big deal for me,” said Hillegas. “I’m really proud of it. And winning Best of Show here in Madison is also a great honor.”
The Floyd Knobs, Ind., watercolor artist not only paints but teaches four adult watercolor classes a week in Floyd Knobs. She also owns a high powered digital camera and ink jet printer that she uses to create prints of her original artwork and that of other artists. The prints are then sold at the shows she attends.
Hillegas takes part in many regional juried art shows, including St. James Court Art Show, Fourth Street Bloomington (Ind.), Art in Speed Park in Sellersburg, Ind., and Harvest Homecoming in New Albany, Ind.
The show was benefitted by nice weather in the 70s. Festival organizers said Saturday attracted one of the largest ever crowds.


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