|2013 Commemorative Poster by Marie Olofsdotter Acrylic On Canvas|
The Minnesota State Fair runs for twelve days from late August through Labor Day and awards ribbons for everything from maple syrup to prize Holsteins. Each year the Fair accepts hundreds of applications from Minnesota artists throughout the state for inclusion in the Fine Arts Exhibit. Amateurs and professionals alike are represented and a selection committee must decide on whose work to include. Take it from me, it isn't very easy to get accepted in to the exhibit. I know more than a few accomplished artists who haven't made the cut.
For the hundred or so artists that are selected, it can be a once in a lifetime chance to have their work seen by tens of thousands of people. No other art fair or gallery will bring a local artist the kind of exposure, measured by eyeballs on art, that the State Fair will bring them. Perhaps just as importantly it reminds artists and art lovers alike of the tremendous talent right here in Minnesota. For the casual observer it is also a chance to experience a wide variety of artist work they might not otherwise get the opportunity to see.
|Fair goers viewing the art in the Fine Arts Building|
The Fine Arts exhibit at the Fair is an annual quest for me and one I look forward to from the last day of the Fair until it comes around the next year. I visit the Fine Arts building as frequently as I can, sometimes spending long periods just looking at as many pieces as I can. Since the State Fair only lasts for twelve short days it makes the time all the more special.
I will use the word, "opinion" to describe my assessment of the art and for the record I never studied fine art formally. I am not trained to see art as an art critic might and I have no special abilities other than my love of art to lead me to share my thoughts here. Although I have been a student of art for a very long time, my academic education is in history. So I hope readers will forgive me if my views or opinions don't agree completely with their own.
In this series I am going to share my thoughts about a fairly narrow band of the work that is on display this year. I do this because it would be overwhelming and unfair for me to try to write something deserving about each piece in such a large exhibit. Instead I've decided to focus mostly on paintings. Apologies in advance to the sculptors, welders, woodworkers and others who this series overlooks.
At the end of this series I am going to offer my opinion on the best pieces among those I am writing about. Whether you happen to agree or not, please feel free to leave a comment.
|Ice Fisherman - Keith Alan Dixon - Oil on Linen|
I am drawn to the darkness and subtle treatment of this characters features. The soft lines around the head and coat remind the viewer that less is more. This is a strong work that evokes a sense of memory and subtle sophistication. I like because it isn't over-wrought.
Carol Zartner brings vibrant life to this wooded scene with her pastel work. The artist exhibits a careful touch and great sense of color, capturing the rich depth and understated mystery of the woods. The foreground works with the rest of the composition to draw the viewer deeper into the painting.
|Along The Edge - Carol Zartner - Pastel|