Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts 2016

It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I posted about the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit. A whole year has passed, last night was preview night. The Weaver and I joined our friends Nicole and Kip in casting our collective eyes at what we hoped would be a better showing this year. Our expectations were not high; the last couple of years were, to put it mildly, disappointing. Hope springs eternal, however, so here are my impressions as well as some of the highlights:

Country Club Barbie, Nicole Houff

The world's greatest Barbie® photographer returns to the Fair as an artist in residence. She will be there for 12 hours on September 3rd, doing her Barbie magic.

The photography is much improved over last year's debacle. There were many finely printed images, although their subject matter was generally "safe." There were some challenging images, however:

La Muerte del Chauro, Leslie Parker

Sculpture is always strong at the Fair, this year was no exception:

Big Daddy Hum and Mum, Fred Cogelow

Nude in the Key of G, Allen David Christian

Of course, people watching is as much fun as the art:

Renee Lynn Brasuhn and friends pose by her steel and fiber construction.
And I just may have captured my image for next year's fair:

Overall, I'd have to give the Exhibit a "B-", the painting was fair to poor, with only a few fine examples. Watercolor and drawing was OK but it has been better. Textiles, ceramics and printmaking, sort of the "poor cousins" of the exhibit had a higher rate of quality work, but were hard pressed to make an impression in the overall cacophony of mediocrity. A big plus for the photographs, however, as there were only a few clinkers (out of more than 100!)

Check out my other Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts reviews.

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Nicole said...

Awe shucks, you always make me smile, thanks for the kind words :) I 100% agree with your review. The photos on display were such a marked improvement over last year, it was refreshing, even if the subject matter was a tad too consistent for my taste (I have to say, there were a few portraits that I REALLY enjoyed. LOVE the one you posted).

Blogger Jono said...

I always look forward to your State Fair posts. I doubt if I could drag my sorry carcass through the fairgrounds anymore, so my dose of Minnesota culture comes vicariously through you.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

More to come…

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