Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crop Art

Every year when we go to the State Fair, we go to the crop art first. I have always loved it and take pictures of my favorite designs. For years I have said I was going to make one, but then lose track of time and then it is too late. This year I applied on virtually the last day of registration and then started my project 5 days before I was about to turn it in. No pressure or anything. It took me around 30 hours and after staying up until 1 a.m. to watch the Olympics every night for two weeks and then this... I was exhausted.

I made a color copy of this vintage flour sack from an article in the Star Tribune many years ago. I have always liked the design of it and the picture of the little girl. It seemed like the perfect design for my crop art.
I consulted with both a coworker who had done this before and some sources online. I used a canvas board from an art store and some tracing paper to get the design right on the board. To apply the seeds I used elmers glue a toothpick and painstakingly put them on one by one. After about night #2 I kind of perfected a quicker method of putting them on there, but it still was slow going.

I got all my seeds from the co-op. They all have to be crops grown in Minnesota and there can't be any weed seeds. I used quinoa (regular and red), lentils, wild rice, amaranth (which may or may not be a weed seed) and millet.

Finished! I used a standard sized canvas board so I could just buy a standard frame. This is 8" x 10" and I got it at the thrift store. I decided to cut out some of the lettering from the original sign because it was so tedious and time consuming and I was so short on time, but now kind of wish I had put in "vitamin and mineral". Oh well.

I dropped it off at the fair the Monday before opening day. I entered in the wrong category, but they allowed me to switch to the novice group so I would be just competing against first timers. Above was my competition (minus the one on the far right bottom). I felt pretty confident when I dropped if off that I would get SOME kind of ribbon given that they dole out 1st-4th and then 5 merits. Pretty good odds. You are judged on artistic merit, craftmanship and compliance of the rules.

Well friends, as you can see, I was the only one in my group that didn't get a ribbon. Not joking. I almost think they didn't give out all the merit ribbons either. Well, you can't always be a winner. I guess I will never know why they didn't like mine since apparently when you go pick them up on labor day you don't get any feedback. I had kind of assumed you get to see your scorecard.

A little flavor or the wall of entries. Some were very impressive! All and all I thought it was a really fun experience and was happy I finally did it. Check that off my bucket list. Not sure if I will ever enter again (and felt that way before not winning) because there are plenty of other things to tackle that I haven't done yet. Definitely won't be my last time entering something into the fair.  

update: I got some feedback, they said the competition was tough this year (perhaps just saying that to let me down easy ;). Also I should have lined up all the seeds in a grid.  Pretty sure that would have taken an eternity!

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