The Minnesota State Fair’s 2012 Commemorative Art was unveiled Wednesday by artist Joe Heffron of St. Paul, Minn. Surrounded by media, State Fair fans and art enthusiasts, he presented his original piece to the public for the first time at the J.V. Bailey House on the State Fairgrounds. The original piece will be on display in the Fine Arts Center during the fair’s 12-day run.
Created exclusively for the State Fair, Heffron’s colored pencil piece captures the Great Minnesota Get-Together with whimsical realism. His artwork showcases iconic elements of the fair with rich, vibrant colors.
Just prior to the 2011 State Fair, fair officials announced their second commemorative art call for submissions. Any Minnesota artist could apply. From the nearly 50 applicants, five finalists, including Heffron, were chosen to create near-complete artistic interpretations of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. From that group, Heffron was selected as the official artist by a panel of judges including members of the visual arts community and State Fair staff.
The 2012 Official Commemorative Art is the ninth in a series of annual artwork created exclusively for the State Fair. In previous years, Minnesota State Fair artists have included: Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (2004), Mary GrandPre (2005), Nancy Carlson (2006), Michael Birawer (2007), Edie Abnet (2008), Leo Stans (2009), Deborah Voyda Rogers (2010) and Steve Thomas (2011).
Commemorative art posters and a limited number of signed giclee prints featuring Heffron’s art are available for purchase at msffoundation.org. Posters may also be purchased at the State Fair Box Office on the fairgrounds. Sizes and pricing are as follows: posters (18″x24″) $10; and signed giclee prints (19.75″x26″) $100. Proceeds from commemorative art merchandise support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation 501(c)(3) mission to preserve and improve State Fair buildings, grounds and educational experiences. The 2012 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 23 – Sept. 3. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information.