2009 Madison Chautauqua

Architect-turned-artist wins
this year’s ‘Best of Show’

He is among 250 exhibitors
who particiated in 39th annual event

By Don Ward

Carmine Reppucci

Photo by Don Ward

Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong
(left) and Chautauqua coordinator
Georgie Kelly present the award
to Carmine Reppucci on Sept. 27 at
the Lanier Mansion North Lawn.

(Sept. 27, 2009) – Carmine Reppucci had never stepped foot in Madison, Ind., prior to late September’s Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art. But the Tennessee-based artist left town carrying with him the coveted “Best of Show” award, as judged by the Chautauqua committee jurors.
Reppucci is a Boston native who spent his career working as an architect. He spent 20 years living in Atlanta before finally retiring and turning to his art.
The self-taught artist moved to the small, rural town of Charlotte, Tenn., about 50 miles northwest of Nashville. There, he creates beautiful artwork combing wood engraving and printmaking. At age 61, he has spent the past 13 years traveling the country appearing at art shows to sell his work.
But this was his first year at the Madison, Ind., show.

Madison Chautauqua Winners
(Judged by a committee
at the Sept. 26-27 show)

Best of Show
• Carmine Reppucci, Charlotte, Tenn.
Best Presentation
• Bill McCaffrey, a jewelry maker from Naples, Fla.
• First Place: Kaska Firor, a jewelry maker from Cincinnati.
• Second Place: John Schroder, Lowell, IN.
• Third Place: Lynn Horine, Bedford, KY.
Fine Arts
• First Place: Jane A. Wilhelm, a photographer from Chelsea, mich.
• Second Place: Liz & Rich Robertson, Asbury, Iowa
• Third Place: Skye Seaborn, Sheridan, IN

“I love this town and think this show is very well run,” he said of the Chautauqua. “I asked a lot of questions about it, and the show coordinator, Georgie Kelly, was very helpful and answered every one to my satisfaction.”
As a result, Reppucci chose to enter the show, and now he is glad he did. “I sold a very large, expensive piece Saturday, and to me, that shows there is an appreciation of art in this region.”
The Clemson University graduate uses a unique and innovative technique in printmaking to create colorful scenes on wood. It also involves the use of pastels.
He begins with a hardened piece of masonite as a “master plate,” then hand-carves with engraving tools the details and images. Then he wood engraves the final touch, giving the effect of etching, mezzotint or lithograph in his work. The completed plate is then inked by hand and the image transferred onto the plate. Once that is done, the pastel coloring begins.
“This is a very delicate technique, often requiring the use of magnifying glasses, and does not allow for corrections as with traditional pastel work,” he explains.
The image is then “fixed” and framed. The final result is a true “monoprint.”

• For more information, call (812) 265-2956 or visit: www.MadisonChautauqua.com.


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