Local Artists, Attractions Celebrated in Artisan Trails Book

Madison Indiana‚Ķ.Visitors and residents alike will be impressed with the long-awaited “Handcrafted and Homegrown by Hoosier Hands in Southeast Indiana”, now available at Tourism Bureaus and galleries in the region. The four Artisan Trails, for art lovers, foodies, and road-trippers will take visitors through seven counties in southeast Indiana. Trails identify galleries, artists, art events, and unique places to eat and stay along the way.

The Cliffs and Valley Artisan Trail will draw visitors to Madison, where an abundance of art galleries and studios show unique pottery, paintings, photography, and sculpture. With 24 arts-related stops (including 3 wineries) and 23 stops open by appointment, art lovers will want to stay for a while.

Many of the stops on the Cliffs and Valley Trail are concentrated in Madison’s downtown National Historic Landmark District. Visitors will find many cafes, galleries and shops featuring local art and artists. The Madison Art Club is one of the oldest in the state with over 150 members coming from the Tri-state region. Work by the members is exhibited in the co-op style gallery 6 days a week. Hanover and parts east of Madison are included in this trail.

Madison has long been known for several premier arts events throughout the year. The 40 year old Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in September brings thousands of art aficionados seeking that perfect piece. Every fourth Friday evening, art & music lovers stroll the historic downtown during the Art & Shop Hop.

Canal and Rivers Artisan Trail begins along the river in Aurora with the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild, which shows work from artists all over the region. These 40+ artists work to promote an appreciation of visual arts in southeast Indiana and the Tri-state. In addition to providing gallery and studio space, they host a variety of shows throughout the year. The Windows of Aurora Walking Tour features scenes of life in the early 1900s depicted through 41 murals. Next on the trail, Lawrenceburg is alive with several active arts organizations and activities throughout the year. You can even arrange an “Arty Party” for a group of your friends.

Brookville follows with a gallery featuring local artists and the Heritage Collection of Indiana artists at the Brookville Public Library. Metamora, a “nineteenth century town” features the Whitewater Canal project, as well as numerous art and gift shops and bed and breakfasts. Visitors will find handcrafted furniture, garden art, folk art and more.

Towers and Spires Artisan Trail focuses on the northern part of the region, beginning in the “Village of Spires”, or Oldenburg. This quaint town has preserved its German, religious, cultural, and architectural heritage. The gallery in Oldenburg also hosts artists from around the region, from soap makers to potters, to weavers, to glass artists and more. Even the fire hydrants in Oldenburg are painted to grab your attention.

Next on the Towers and Spires Artisan Trail visitors can head south to Batesville to see some public art (outside murals) and art shows at the Batesville Memorial Public Library. Batesville also features a weekly farmers market full of local produce and crafts and an annual music and arts festival.

Versailles then features some unique architecture and arts related attractions and events. Osgood showcases a unique train mural and some other interesting stops.

Greensburg delights visitors on the Towers and Spires Artisan Trail with their well-known tree growing from the tower of the Decatur County Courthouse. Their gallery on the town square displays a large number of local artists work, including jewelry, painting, and lithography. An orchard and a farmers market are great places to visit in the summer time as well.

Side trips from the Towers and Spires Trail include special stops and events in Sunman; Milan (home of the “Hoosiers” ’54 Basketball Team and Museum); Dillsboro artists; and Friendship stops and events.

The Forests and Farms Artisan Trail for southeast Indiana shows visitors special places to stop in Seymour, N. Vernon, Commiskey, and several other towns. Seymour boosts of several artist stops, including the H. Vance Swope Art Collection at the Jackson County Public Library, the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts featuring works by a number of artists and art-related activities.

Some other stops on the Forests and Farms Trail include the Jackson County Courthouse to see the 1930s murals, painted as part of the Civil Works Administration; an herb farm in Commiskey; and the Vallonia-Medora Area, where unique barns and bridges capture artists’ eyes.

Vernon/North Vernon area, on the Forests and Farms Trail, draws visitors not only for the special artists in the area (including a stained glass artist), but also the artists in us all who love to view art in nature, with a variety of local and national parks.

The book lists artists that can be seen in local art galleries, or are available by appointment. Copies of the book are for sale at the visitor information centers in Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Jackson, Jennings, Madison, and Ripley counties, and is available at many of the local galleries. This book was a collaboration of 7 southeast Indiana tourism bureaus along with Sally McWilliams of MediaLink.

More information is available at www.byhoosierhands.com

Artisan Trails