Friday, September 2, 2011

State Fair, the Road Unbeaten

It's that time of year in Minnesota once again -- the State Fair. As amused as I was by Joe Loveland's screed about all the things wrong with local TV news coverage during the Fair, which touched on the many reasons to find the Fair annoying in general, I couldn't stay away.

It was a short trip, about four hours, focused on a few foods, the crop art and the art show. No live animals were seen in the making of this visit, I'm afraid.

Mascot of a brown striped gopher with a green and white striped jacket and a hat
Unless you count the Fair's mascot, which is a gopher in a green and white jacket and a straw hat.

Young man in red tshirt with white letters reading Mascot Security Team
The gopher has his own security detail. I'm afraid to think about why he needs such a thing.

Large red banner with white letters reading Prayer Station, volunteers in red tshirts around it
Some parts of the Fair seem to meant to make you feel like you've fallen into the Bible Belt...

Minnesota for Marriage booth, two women sitting behind the table
...even though you're in the middle of what's supposed to be a "blue" state.

Two boys on red or green mini atvs, girl on a pink one
These children were busy obeying the gender color coding at the mini-ATV booth.

Okay, enough crabbiness. How about some positive things from the Fair?

Poster reading Bad Air Day? with info below about air pollution
I appreciate the work of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency up at the Eco Experience building. They create excellent graphics that get the message across to the public.

Man in black tshirt, pushing a stroller with other children around him. His shirt reads I make stuff up
I loved this guy's shirt.

The art show was much better this year, as noted by the Star Tribune's Mary Abbe. In addition to the absence of any cow art, I think it's because the show's organizers finally gave up the annoying habit of grouping the pieces by their most obvious commonalities. (Four works that have crows? Let's put them all on the same wall!) Instead, they managed to create harmonious groupings that didn't detract from the works.

A couple of favorites from the art show:

Red graphical rendering of Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life on lottery ticket paper
This acrylic by Krista Kelley Walsh was painted on lottery tickets.

Obelisk-like sculpture with, on top, a fork and stuffed half-moon shape on the fork. Sides of obelisk list names lie pierogi, ravioli, potsticker -- all the different names this form of food takes in different cultures
I forgot to note the name of the artist who created this sculpture, but it's worth clicking to see the larger version of it.

Mini midway made out of tinker toys, very colorful
The Creative Arts Building gave over an entire glass showcase to Kuhlman's Tinker Toy Carnival. Super fun to look at.

The crop art was excellent, as always.

Crop art by Laura Melnick of Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann
My favorite was Laura Melnick's riff on Ezra Jack Keats's The Snowy Day. Tim and Michele welcome atheists, tree-huggers, GLBT folks, and vegans to an inclusive America. While pigs fly and hell freezes over.

Corn seed bag reading STERILE FEMALE
You never know what you'll see in the horticulture building.

Beautiful art deco lettering for HORTICULTURE building with banner below saying Sponsored by Walmart
Which is, by the way, sponsored by Walmart.

Vikings ad for season ticket sales with headline SHOW YOUR HORNS
I guess I am way too well-read to be a Vikings fan. When I saw this ad for the Vikings, all I could think of was cuckoldry. I doubt that's what they had in mind.


Past Fair posts:

2 comments:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

So glad you took your camera to the fair. You covered a lot in four hours. Our favorite fair pun, which we have to recite any time we approach the building with the crop art: You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. Thank you Dorothy Parker.

Cinday said...

I knew about the horticulture building but had no idea there was an art show! Thanks for taking so many photos. Really enjoy your sense of humor! Cinda