With mild weather and sunny skies, the 50th Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art could not have fallen on a more perfect weekend.
With a strong turnout both Saturday and Sunday, participating artists and craftsmen and food vendors are most reporting a successful weekend.
“Artists say it was a record weekend for them, and we had food vendors that sold out early,” said Chautauqua coordinator Kara Hinze. “It was nothing but good news.”
“It was well-attended and much comparable to past years,” Madison Police Chief John Wallace said of the thousands of visitors who visit Chautauqua, Old Court Days and the Madison business district along Main Street.
India Cruse-Griffin, a mixed media artist from Richmond, took home Best of Show honors in her first-ever participation at Madison.
“I was so excited and surprised,’ said Cruse-Griffin, who was encouraged to participate in the event by her cousin, Cindy Porter, who lives in Madison.
Cruse-Griffin, 63, has been creating her art for many years in what she characterizes as mixed media collage, but hasn’t attended art shows in recent years while her focus was on family. Now, with children older and more on their own, she’s gradually beginning to rejoin the art circuit.
Cruse-Griffin began painting at an early age, but migrated to mixed media collage as an art form when her daughter, then age three, tore pages out of magazines, and when Cruse-Griffin looked at them she was inspired to “make a picture from that.”
She said some who saw her creations thought they were “really nice,” so she began to develop her art style as a professional artist that has evolved over the years. In her early adulthood, she said her paintings were more realistic, but now they have become “a more free type.”
Cruse-Griffin said it’s “definitely gratifying” to know the Chautauqua judges recognize her work, but also appreciated that Chautauqua visitors saw value in her work by making purchases to take home. “It’s nice that a lot of people love my work,” she said. “It’s a good feeling to have when you get up in the morning.”
Sharon Haines of Park City, Kentucky, was recognized for Best Presentation. She first attended Chautauqua in 1997 and 2021 marked her 22nd event in Madison.
“I’ve been coming for a long, long time, and it’s always great being here because of the beautiful setting, the people are wonderful, and it’s always well-organized and well-managed,” she said.
Haines creates with all natural materials she grows in her garden. They are then air-dried or preserved with glycerin and used to create table designs, wall designs, wreaths and more. She noted it’s a process that’s a lot of work starting with raising the garden from seeds, then watering, harvesting and drying and preserving the plants.
Born and raised in Michigan, Haines became an art teacher, but when she moved to Kentucky wasn’t able to find a teaching job.
“So you create your own,” she said on developing art through the plants in her gardens. She’s done that now for the last 46 years — not only an artist, but a master gardener — certified through the Kentucky Extension Master Gardner Program.
Carrie Wild of Indianapolis was the first place winner for Fine Art. “I’m very excited. This was completely unexpected,” said Wild, noting it was her first time at Madison Chautauqua and she’s glad she came.
“The weather was perfect, and I loved that it’s near the river, and the beautiful houses,” she said. “Madison is really a neat town.”
Wild, a fine artist and illustrator, launched her career as an artist in 1998 by establishing Wildworks in which she began doing freelance illustration work before shifting to a career as a full-time artist almost 10 years ago.
Wild’s ink and watercolor paintings are all about nature with many focusing on birds and insects. She noted she was drawn to nature as child by the bird feeder in her family’s yard where she would watch the birds. Wild also explores more of nature, mostly the “quieter animals,” she said, with owls, deer, squirrels and rabbits among her inspirations.
Dawn Hatzidakis of Crestwood, Kentucky, took first place for Fine Craft. Making her third appearance at Chautauqua, Hatzidakis, is a second-generation metalsmith with her parents both being jewelry designers. She designs and makes copper jewelry including pendants, earrings, bracelets, cuffs, hair accents and more.
Her work has grown in popularity and she often sees familiar faces at various art shows. Eva Perkins, of Floyd Knobs, is a regular customer who was seeking jewelry from Hatzidakis on Sunday afternoon.
“I do a lot of the art shows. We support the arts,” Perkins said, noting she is particularly a fan of Hatzidakis’ copper jewelry.
Hatzidakis said her jewelry is “more artsy” and cannot be purchased in a store. “People tell me it’s unique and different; not like anything they have seen before,” she said, adding she makes each piece individually to produce “something that’s one-of-a-kind.”
Peter Rujuwa of Greenwood was second in Fine Art. A third place finisher in 2016, Rujuwa developed his interest in sculpture growing up in Zimbabwe. His stone sculptures are tribal art themed after his tribe “Shona” of Zimbabwe. The medium used is serpentine stone, which provides more hardness for creating his unique shapes.
Lizzie Gulick of Louisville was second in Fine Craft. Gulick, the Best of Show winner in 2018, said she uses all natural plant dyes and handmade felt for the wearable art she creates. “I have been into textile art for a long, long time,” noting she’s been doing it for 20 years and was participating in her fourth Chautauqua. “This is a good show for artists,” she said. “I love coming here.”
Patty Coulter of Greenwood was third in Fine Art. Coulter was participating in Chautauqua for the first time. She grew up in Indiana but moved to California where she became an interior designer while falling in love with watercolors. “I’m now four to six hours in the studio every day,” she said, noting she has studied in Italy, Spain and France. “I love to sketch whatever I see.”
The husband and wife team of Bill and Gean Bowen of Charlestown took third in Fine Craft. The Bowens have been making porcelain and stoneware pottery for more than 20 years and met while getting their Master of Fine Art degrees at Indiana State University.
He said they function perfectly together in that he enjoys creating the form of their pottery while she likes carving and fire glazing. “We have been here many times for the Chautauqua and always enjoy being here,” he said.
Nathan Murphy of Madison received honorable mention recognition for his craft building guitars. Murphy said he began pursuing the art of instrument building after initially considering furniture. “If I build a guitar, I can create something that becomes a voice, and it gets to be a blessing,” he said.
Murphy said building each guitar, takes about 40 hours of work and three weeks to dry. “They are durable and well-built, so you can take on a trip or to campfire,” he said.
Zhen Zong Duan of Dublin, Ohio, also received honorable mention recognition. Duan, who was Best of Show winner in 2015, is an accomplished watercolor and oil landscape painter.
The 50th Chautauqua had originally been scheduled for 2020 until the COVID pandemic canceled it and other festivals. The 51st Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art is already marked on calendars for 2022 when the artists, craftsmen and their fans are scheduled to reconvene in downtown Madison on Sept. 24-25.
Grants totaling $248,000 were awarded Friday by the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County to 16 nonprofit organizations that service Jefferson County residents.
The grants, made during the 2021 Competitive Grant Cycle, benefit a wide variety of people through unique projects and initiatives made possible by the Community Foundation’s Flexible Community Funds and Field of Interest Endowment Funds. To be considered for funding, agencies submitted an online application with all being reviewed by the Foundation’s Grants Committee.
Nonprofit and philanthropic projects that received grant funding through the competitive grant cycle include:
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana, 233 West Main Street, Madison, to provide computer equipment on the Matchforce software system.
Developmental Services Inc., 801 Green Road, Madison, to support updates to the community home used by clients.
Friends of the Ohio Theatre to fund the interior architecture and design plan for renovation of the historic theatre at 105 East Main Street.
Hope Community, a Graceworks housing community at 2020 Cragmont Street, to support life enrichment activities to prevent depression and isolation in senior citizens.
Hanover College to support the Hanover-Madison Connector trail project.
Hanover Town Council to support updates to Rainbow Park in Hanover.
Historic Eleutherian College in Lancaster Township to support the pilot session of the Summer Institute for STEM teachers and students.
Ivy Tech Community College-Madison to support the Student Emergency Aid program.
Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency to purchase a drone for use by county emergency official and first responders.
Jefferson County Historical Society to support computer and technology updates for digital archives.
LifeTime Resources to provide matching funds to purchase a new Catch-a-Ride vehicle,
Madison Music Movement to support the “Indiana’s Music City” branding and marketing campaign.
Madison Performing Arts Foundation to support an upcoming spring quarter concert.
Madison Police Department for fully funding the next K9 unit, covering the purchase of a dog that will be trained in narcotics detection, tracking and apprehension, all the equipment for the dog and officer, and vehicle outfitting.
Salvation Army-Madison Citadel to purchase a new van to transport those in need of services from the organization.
Springdale Cemetery Association to support care and maintenance of the downtown Madison cemetery including treatment of an historic Elm tree.
Thirty-seven funds were utilized to make the 2021 awards possible including 7-Hugs: The David E. and Sally Kirk Webster Family Endowment, Gerald E. Amos Memorial Endowment Fund, Bill and Stacy Barnes Charitable Endowment, Eleanor T. Birk Foundation Community Fund, Eleanor T. Birk Foundation Youth Fund, Greg Cloud Memorial Endowment, Community Endowment for the Arts, Community Foundation Board Member and Alumni Fund, Barbara Ann Cowan Memorial Fund, Cronen/Marsiglio Family Unrestricted Endowment, Harold A. “Hal” Davis Memorial Endowment for the Arts, First Financial Bank Community Fund, Gardner Insurance Agency Community Fund, German American Bank Endowment, the Douglas and Ann Grahn Endowment, Walter A, and Jean Graham Greiner Memorial Fund, Hanover Fund for Youth, Jefferson County Enrichment Endowment, Jenner Family Endowment, Freida Suppes Jones/John Price Jones Memorial Fund, the Lineburg Family Endowment, Madison Precision Products Community Fund, Gil and Trudy McCoy Unrestricted Endowment, the John Morgan Family Fund, Rinda Rains Memorial Endowment, Julius “Bud” and Irene Ritter Memorial Endowment, Neida Rogers Memorial Endowment for Music, Margaret Francis Seifert and Gregory A. Russell Endowment, Devon and Rachel Sharpe Endowment, Sherman, Barber and Mullikin Fund for Jefferson County, Nancy J. Strandmark Memorial Fund, Ann Suchocki and Jim Mason Family Fund, Tribute and Memorial Fund, Vehicle Service Group Employee Endowment, George Wagoner MD and Marjorie Jefferies Wagner MD Fund, Robert E. Wall DDS Fund, and Don R. Wallis Memorial Fund.
Established in 1991, the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County fulfills the mission of building a strong, vibrant community by helping donors provide perpetual funding for the people, projects, and passions of Jefferson County. Since the Foundation’s creation, nearly 250 permanent funds have been established.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Indiana schools has been declining with 3,364 new student positive cases reported last week in the state’s K-12 schools along with 182 teachers and 317 staff that were positive.
On Sept. 6, there were 6,322 positive cases among students, with 338 teachers and 488 staff members infected. That number has declined each week since then; however, the numbers don’t capture all students, teachers and staff in the state as more than 450 schools have yet to report to the state.
In Kentucky on Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff in memory of all Kentuckians lost to COVID-19, including the more than 30 educators and K-12 school employees. On Friday, Kentucky reported 3,941 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 26 new deaths throughout the state.
On Monday, the Indiana Department of Health announced changes in the timing of its COVID-19 dashboard updates to reflect the high volume of data flowing daily.
Dashboards for Indiana will now update daily by 5 p.m. to allow a more thorough review of data before numbers are posted.