(2015 Courier file photo by Renee Bruck/rbruck@madisoncourier.com
(2015 Courier file photo by Renee Bruck/rbruck@madisoncourier.com
The Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art will have a new look this year as the search is on for a new poster and t-shirt design for the annual event.

Chautauqua co-coordinator Amy Fischmer said that although the chance to design the two items has always been open to the public, organizers felt that it wasn’t clear enough. This year, the group is hosting a contest in search of two winners.

From now until May 1, artists are invited to submit their works to be considered for either of the two projects. An entry fee of $20 will be required for each submission. Entries can be dropped off at the Madison Visitor’s Center. All entries will be narrowed down by a small contest committee before being presented to the larger group at the end of May, Fischmer said. The winners will then be announced sometime in June.

Each winner will receive $250.

Selected artwork becomes property of the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art.

Fischmer said that submissions of all mediums will be accepted. Although paintings are usually the first thing artists think of, mediums including photography, graphic design and sculpture would also be accepted, she said.

As part of the Indiana Bicentennial celebrations – the festival will host a historic “demonstration village” as a legacy project – the theme for the contest is “Bicentennial Madison.” Fischmer said this will give participants in the contest freedom to do “anything that’s Madison-oriented.”

Fischmer said she was excited to see what types of entries will be received and said that by promoting a contest format, it may open the process up to a wider range of artists and designers who may have not had a platform like this in the past.

For the past three years, local artist Eric Phagan designed the festival’s art print as a trilogy. While it depends on the entries received, Fischmer said she would like to keep the featured artist rotating to continue highlighting new names and styles.

“It’s great exposure for local artists,” she said, noting that out-of-town visitors to the festival often purchase these prints and shirts.

For more information on the contest, email info@madisonchautauqua.com