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ST. PAUL — This week I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Minnesota State Fair, the largest state fair in the country by average daily attendance. Before the trip, I had never been to either Minnesota or a state fair; needless to say, I was excited.
The fair is essentially the size of a small town, with a network of streets that sprawl out from the massive Grandstand. It encompasses everything from carnival rides and a “Miracle of Birth Center,” where you can see animals give birth, to lots filled with tractors and cars and a fine-art exhibition. You can find a startling array of foods on a stick: hot dogs, deep-fried cheese, Belgian waffles, alligator. You can buy a jacuzzi and enlist in the Army, watch a bee-keeping demonstration or live butter-sculpture carving. The fair assaults your senses, swinging you back and froth between euphoria and exhaustion. At one point, I found myself sitting in a gazebo in 90-degree heat, digging into honey sunflower ice cream as a marching band rolled by playing songs from Les Misérables. It was the best kind of overwhelming.
I had come for Wednesday’s nighttime Grandstand show, the Walker Art Center’s second Internet Cat Video Festival. That was another experience in itself, one I’ll post about next week. But for three hours beforehand, I wandered around the fair trying to take in as much as possible. Here are some of my photos from the fair that’s aptly nicknamed the “Great Minnesota Get-Together.”
The Minnesota State Fair (1265 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul, Minnesota) continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 2. More information can be found here.
Tabitha Arnold’s rugs pay tribute to organizers who lay their bodies on the line in the workplace, in the public square, and in the depths of private prisons.
The intentionality of Booker’s abstraction gives me the impetus to discuss something about the current zeitgeist that’s been on my mind for a while.
The Morgan Library & Museum Presents Another Tradition: Drawings by Black Artists from the American South
This exhibition celebrates the Morgan’s recent acquisition of drawings by Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis, and Purvis Young.
After years in the making, New Time opens at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
The museum details the process of moviemaking, from its inception in storytelling all the way to its marketing. But interwoven into these exhibits are ugly truths.
Part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the Art Preserve also functions as a curated collection facility and is filled with immersive installations.
The former panels, removed in 2017, featured images dedicated to Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.