Friday, September 4, 2015

State Fair 2015

This year was another short trip (about five hours, including the walk to and from) to the Minnesota State Fair. Reviewing my past Fair posts (listed at the end of this post) reminds me that I am a creature of habit: some food, some crop art, some regular art, followed by the Eco Experience building and a bit more food.

Today was hotter than most of the times I've been there, creeping up toward 90 by the time I headed home, with humidity moderately high. Despite that, things were getting busy in the DFL (state Democratic Party) booth. I thought this Bernie Sanders T-shirt won the prize for best graphics:

In the education building, I found the piece of student work I liked best:

This altered book, transformed into a flower, was created by a 6th grader from a math textbook.

We spent a bit more time than average in the Horticulture Building because it happened to be Bonsai Society day. Just a couple of favorites:

This is a bald cypress.

This is a boxwood, but the thing that I liked here was the overall impression of a landscape. Those are tiny little hostas near the path in the center.

Then it was on to the crop art. This piece by a novice was clever and well done:

My only critique is that there's not enough contrast of color in the word THE against the background.

You may have heard about this piece already in the Pioneer Press:

Its creator, Ricardo Flores, is homeless. He was encouraged by long-time crop-art winner Laura Melnick to try the craft, after they met at Listening Center, a drop-in community center where she volunteers and he stops in for a place to store his stuff. Flores' technique is meticulous (though the subject matter is not so interesting to me) and I especially wanted to call attention to the frame, which he also made. It's constructed from toothpicks.

It's the 50th anniversary of crop art at the Fair:

So Linda Wing and her Bad Seed character made a cake.

I couldn't resist this postage-stamp homage:

It made me think of Blissed-Out Grandma and her tap-dancing habit.

Jill Moe's "Hall in Oats" won the bad pun award:

Not the greatest illustration or seed placement technique, but worth it any way.

Then it's on to politics:

Black Lives Matter from Ann Peters...

...Donald Trump's yooge comb (note the little tiny combs used to display the seed samples at lower right)...

...and Laura Melnick's latest: Turning the Republican presidential clown car into the dogs from Go, Dog, Go! Be sure to click to enlarge so you can read it and see the details.

The art show was kind of typical. I find I mostly dislike watercolors of landscapes, people, and plants... and there are a lot of them in the show. Along with the literal painting of a bald eagle that was titled "Proud." Wow, that was both an artistic and conceptual achievement.

A few of the good pieces:

This exquisite collage of "8 Wall Clocks" by Nathan Stromberg has to be seen up close to be appreciated, but all of those color changes within each image are small bits of paper cut from old magazines, including the chrome look he achieved for the clock at lower right.

This fine lithograph by Kurt Seaburg is titled "Migrant Workers."

These ceramic sculptures by Marjorie Elaine Pitz, titled "Minnesota Gothic," were probably my favorite piece this year. They kept drawing my eye back every time I came near.

Finally, just one photo from the Eco Experience building, created by our excellent Pollution Control Agency:

This slowly rotating "Bagnado" is made from the number of disposable grocery bags used in our state every five seconds.

Every five seconds.

My past Minnesota State Fair posts:


Gina said...

Enjoyed this post! I don't go to the State Fair. Have you been to the Mensa booth in the Education Building?

Daughter Number Three said...

I've usually only make a cursory trip through the Education Building -- mostly to check out the student art. I don't remember noticing the Mensa booth. Maybe it's overwhelmed by the huge booths for St. Thomas and the U...