Saturday, September 1, 2012

State Fair 2012

This year's trip to the Minnesota State Fair was only about four hours, but you wouldn't know it from the way my feet and legs felt. I limited my food intake to one frozen apple cider pop, half a cream puff, and one of the new walleye rolls from Giggles Campfire Grill (home of the best food at the Fair).

Speaking of food, it appears the boringly named Food Building has gotten a new logo:

Food building logo sign
It replaces this one, which they put up just two years ago:

Food building logo sign
Maybe they read what I had to say about it back in 2010 and redid it because they were embarrassed. The new one is a big improvement.

This year's Fair Midway includes what I guess you'd call an old-fashioned freak show. I don't know, because I didn't pay to go inside, but the painted canvases outside are spectacular.

World of Wonders painted title sign
This is the type of work that Ross Ward, creator of New Mexico's Tinkertown roadside attraction, used to do for his day job.

Blockhead painted sign with man drilling screws into his face
Silly, silly, silly. Especially the little "ALIVE" emblems that repeat throughout.

Divas of Danger painted sign with two women walking on swords and broken glass
This may become my new profile photo. I especially love the look on the dark-haired woman's face. (And note the spelling of weird.)

Bulbous pink pigs and black and white spotted cow stuffed animals hanging all over a booth
The Fair is known for its pig and cow artwork and general over-representation of our four-footed friends. This booth in the Midway took it to extremes.

Crop Art

As always, the crop art display in the horticulture building was a standout. I'll start with the general pieces and end with the political ones.

Marquee-like crop art reading Visit
David Steinlicht's entry advertised the website, and was displayed above all the other entries, like the marquees it references.

Miss Minneapolis, woman's face in a cartouche
I really liked this piece by novice Christina McHenry. The off-white millet has a sparkling, jewel-like quality.

Bad Seed cat
It's always fun to see Linda Wing's latest Bad Seed art. (Here some past Bad Seed entries by Wing.)

Colorful bird made from seeds with gold painted wooden frame
This dyed or painted amateur entry by Suzanne Mears had beautiful texture and wonderful framing.

Bra made with white beans on the straps and black coneflower cones on the cups
I tend to look past most of the three-dimensional entries, but that was hard to do with this bra. It's covered in coneflower cones, although they look almost like burdock. Even Madonna says ouch!

Classic crock part made of beans
Love this funny crop pot by Jill Schaefer.

Attack of the Zombie Corn, looks like a 50s horror poster, colorful with dyed seeds
I guess this is the transition to the political art. While it's not as overt as the others, I'm pretty sure this is a reference to genetically modified crops.

Paul Ryan driving the weinermobile with wheels labeled Ayn and Rand and a street sign pointing ahead to the 1950s
A political cartoon in dyed seeds reminded us about Paul Ryan's days driving the Oscar Mayer WeinerMobile.

Elaborate wedding cake covered in white millet with brown script writing on each layer
Theresa Anderson's "Defending Marriage Sanctity" takes the cake among the entries challenging the marriage restriction amendment that will be on our ballots this fall. Its concept and execution were both excellent. Since King Henry VIII... and including Newt, Herman Cain, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, and other conservative notables who have been such great role models.

Her seed ID card mimicked a wedding invitation, reading, "You are cordially invited to vote NO on the proposed anti-marriage constitutional amendment."

SuperMario and another game character below a heart, reading Don't be a H8ter
Mark Dahlager took a completely different tack, appealing to a different audience.

Several other pieces took on the marriage amendment, including Laura Melnick's meticulous but busy November broadside and Jill Schaefer's Vote No gnome, which are very visual and have gotten a lot of press

vote No on Jim Crow with a cartoon black crow
I was glad to see one piece on the voter suppression amendment, by Elana Dahlager (daughter of Mark Dahlager, I believe).

More on the Fair

If you can't get enough State Fair photos, check out this series of nice shots that's mostly pictures of signs and lettering.

My past Fair posts:

1 comment:

Peter Hoh said...

I love the freak show. It's a bit campy, but I suspect it was always a bit like that. Not sure how many more years it will survive.

Here's a modern take on the concept.