Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hoosier Women Artists Statehouse Reception 051917

"Ice Cold Reflections, January 21, 2017", plein air oil, 12" x 12", c. 2016, by Charlene Marsh.
I recently entered a plein air snow scene, painted deep in the forest, into a competition sponsored by the Indiana Arts Commission to select work to hang in the Statehouse in the Lieutenant Governor's Office, Auditor's Office and Treasurer's Office

Entrants were only allowed to enter one piece so I entered a favorite snow scene that I am not ready to sell and was notified that my painting was selected to hang in the Statehouse in the Lt. Governor's Office!  The painting will be in the Statehouse for a year and then, afterwards, travel to the Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art, in Lafayette, Indiana for three months.  I won't get it back until November, 2018. 


Charlene Marsh with her winning entry.

This year, they staged a lovely reception and ceremony giving all accepted artists a frame-able certificate.  Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and other dignitaries spoke during the presentation

Here is the beautiful reception hall in the Statehouse as people are arriving.  Our paintings were arranged on easels around the perimeter.


This competition was first held in 2009 and there were over 100 entries and only seven were accepted.  This year there were 208 entries and 34 accepted.  The first year, I dropped off my painting at the Lt. Governor's Office and that was it.   

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch speaking during the ceremony.

So this year was quite a pleasant contrast to my experience in 2009.


Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and Charlene Marsh with her plein air oil painting, "Ice Cold Reflections, January 21, 2016", Code #012116 12x12, c. 2017.
Indiana's First Lady, Janet Holcomb, also attended the reception with First Dog, Henry.  Henry, a Schnauzer, has his own Twitter account, @FirstDogHenry.  
Charlene Marsh and First Lady, Janet Holcomb, with First Dog, Henry.

As it turns out, Mrs, Holcomb grew up in Muncie, Indiana, my hometown, and majored in Fine Art at Ball State University.  Not only that, we both graduated from the same high school, Muncie Burris Laboratory School which is a really small school.  Only fifty kids in my graduating class.  Rare to meet a fellow graduate from my alma mater!  So we really hit it off.  And, of course, anyone who loves their dog enough to bring him to the Statehouse is my kind of First Lady!
First Lady, Janet Holcomb, and Charlene Marsh with her oil painting at the Statehouse.

I wore a vintage dress that had been my grandmother's, circa 1947, that the Lt. Gov. just loved!  The dress had a label that said "New York" which indicates it was very special to her because my grandmother sewed most all of her clothing.  

  Charlene Marsh and First Dog, Henry.
The reception and ceremony was held on May 19, 2017 which also happens to be my birthday and my big brother's birthday, same day, three years apart.  

So my brother and his wife came over from Bloomington, Illinois and we made a day of it in downtown Indianapolis walking along the canal and visiting the Eiteljorg Musem and Monument Circle all laid out in a very walkable fashion from the Statehouse.

Natalie Marsh and Charlene Marsh at the canal in downtown Indianapolis.

The Eiteljorg had a special dog exhibit in addition to all their fabulous galleries full of Native American and Western Art.  We had a delicious lunch in their cafe before touring the exhibits.  Having just completed a series of Homeless Shelter Dogs Portraits, I particularly enjoyed the exhibition featuring dogs and their role in our lives throughout history. 

Keith Marsh at the Eiteljorg Museum.

Usually I spend my birthday working at an art fair but I think I like taking the day off to have some fun instead!


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