The Minnesota State Fair has received more than 2,500 paintings, etchings, sculptures and other works annually in recent years for display consideration in its Fine Arts building.
On a tour of the building near the fairgrounds’ Cosgrove Street and Randall Avenue, the displays around the many corners can seem endless but in reality, the Fine Arts event coordinators really have wall and cabinet space for no more than 400 pieces.
This year’s accepted collection includes works from three local artists, two of whom have had pieces selected by the State Fair for the first time, and the third is a Fair show veteran but is thrilled to be back this year after missing the cut in 2011.
Buffalo resident Linda Pacel’s honored work is a watercolor painting inspired by Lake Superior. Pacel moved to Minnesota from Chicago in 2007, having studied at the Art Institute of Chicago.
She is a mother of young children, and has taken many photos of them and the scenery along the North Shore. “I go everywhere with my digital camera, because no one (no child) wants to wait for Mom to draw a sketch,” Pacel said.
Fair show veteran Meredith Johanson, also of Buffalo, was pleased to hear that her 12-inch square collage of an underwater scene – centered on a wide-eyed fish – was accepted this year. Her work on the piece included acrylic gel transfer with various materials such as wrapping paper and Japanese rice paper, she said – “It’s a very pleasing piece that has a lot of Minnesota appeal.”
First-time State Fair artist Nick Jochum, of Big Lake, submitted a photo of a particularly foggy morning scene from his grandparents’ cabin property on Bay Lake, near Deerwood, Minn. He said it was uncommon for him to be up that early at the cabin, so he took a photo to commemorate the moment. “I don’t really like to get up in the morning, but I got up early that morning, so I decided to take it,” he said.
The 2012 Fine Arts display remains open with the Fair through Labor Day.
By Paul Rignell