Monday, September 07, 2009

Crop Art at the Minnesota state Fair

Crop Art became a competition category in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building at the Minnesota State Fair in 1965. For years, the late Lillian Colton (she died two years ago at 95) dominated the annual contest with her portraits of famous people, but there have been other great crop artists as well.

Alan Carpenter, who won best of show in 1999 with a triptych of Lawrence Welk, the Mitchell, South Dakota Corn Palace, and North Dakota accordion player Myron Floren showed an award-winning "Self Portrait with First Ladies" this year. This odd portrait depicts a monkey on Laura Bush's back and a parrot on Nancy Reagan's shoulder, with haloed Alan Carpenter in the center.

This Farah Fawcett piece by James Buhler shows great detail and contrast -- very careful choice of seeds for color gradations.

Likewise this official-looking portrait of President Obama.

Below is a 2004 interview with Lillian Colton, showing her making a crop art portrait.

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