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Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art

Kentucky artist Reesor
wins Chautauqua ‘Best of Show’

She paints rural landscapes in oil and watercolor

(October 2014) – Carol Reesor of Buffalo, Ky., was fascinated with art at a very young age while watching her older sister draw pictures of horses. It wasn’t until later in life did she begin painting as a hobby. And it wasn’t until 1994 that she became serious about it.


Photo by Don Ward

Madison Chautauqua honored several exhibitors with the judges’ awards during the Sept. 27-28 show in Madison, Ind. Pictured (front row from left) are Carol Reesor (Best of Show), Maryann Posch (Second Place, Craft), Jeri Landers (Honorable Mention), Jeff Vollmer (First Place, Craft), (back row from left) Adam Engenolf (Third Place, Fine Art), Dan Demartile (Third Place, Fine Art) and Cameron Gillie (Second Place Fine Art). Other winners not pictured were Frosty Rankin (First Place, Fine Art) and Eric Richter (Best Presentation).   

“Up until then, life got in the way,” said Reesor, 62.
Now art is her life, and it is something at which she excels, having won Best of Show on Sunday, Sept. 28, at the 44th annual Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in Madison, Ind.
It is not her first time collecting awards at the juried show. Reesor placed second in the Fine Arts category last year and won the category two years ago. This is her sixth consecutive appearance at the show. “I’m not giving up my booth space,” she says of her location on Broadway Street in front of the Brown Gym.
Reesor, who paints mostly landscape scenes in both oil and watercolor, sells her artwork at a gallery in Midway, Ky., and at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, Ky. Her home in Buffalo is near Hodgenville.
Reesor has spent much of her life working in fields totally unrelated to art. She worked as an electronic technician for many years at the Appalachian Center Services office in Lexington, Ky. Then she operated a computer store for 25 years in Elizabethtown, Ky. This year, she just finished a 16-year run organizing an acoustic guitar series in Elizabethtown. “Now I can finally focus totally on my art.”
Reesor is a juried member of Kentucky Crafted the Market and a member of Oil Painters of America. Her rural Kentucky studio provides a fitting backdrop for her characteristically peaceful landscapes.
Reesor beat out an impressive array of artists and crafts people who filled more than 225 booth at the show.
Placing first in the Fine Arts category was Frosty Rankin of Millersburg, Ky. Rankin, making his first appearance in the Chautauqua, creates high fine art in a hyper realistic genre that brings back memories and emotions from the past. Second place in Fine Art was awarded to Cameron Gillie of Madison Wisc. He creates photography on cotton paper with pigment ink prints. Third place in Fine Art was awarded to Adam Egenolf of Nineveh, Ind. He is a porcelain potter.
Jeff Vollmer, a repeat winner at the show, won First Place in the Craft category. The Cincinnati resident makes unique puzzle boxes and jewelry boxes. Second Place in Craft went to John Gulyas and Maryann Posch of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. They hand-fabricate sterling silver jewelry with gemstones, gold and enameled accents. Third Place in Craft was awarded to Dan Dimartile, of Louisville, Ky. He creates custom furniture and other woodwork.
The award for Best Presentation was given to first-time show exhibitor Eric Richter of Hillsboro, Ohio. He elaborate booth displayed all kinds of enormous wildlife figures carved from wood pieces with a chainsaw.
Honorable mention went to Jeri Landers of Rutledge, Tenn. She beautifully illustrates books and does the art of paper cutting called Scherenschnitle. She is a past winner of several awards at the show.
The winners were presented with cash awards as well as decorative wooden baskets and cutting boards made by Madison-based artist Ed Bladen.
“We had great weather and a great show this year, and our exhibitors are very pleased,” said Chautauqua coordinator Georgie Kelly. “I’m sure it is one of the biggest crowds ever.”

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


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