The Minnesota State Fair’s 2013 Commemorative Art was unveiled this morning by Minnesota artist Marie Olofsdotter of Minneapolis, Minn.
Surrounded by media, State Fair fans and art enthusiasts, she presented her original piece to the public for the first time at the J.V. Bailey House on the State Fairgrounds. The piece will be on display at the Fine Arts Center during the 2013 Great Minnesota Get-Together, Aug. 22 through Labor Day, Sept. 2.
Olofsdotter’s signature style is lyrical, magical realism – saturated with color and mapped with flowing lines and bold shapes. Created exclusively for the State Fair, her acrylic piece captures agriculture as the heart of the State Fair, as well as Minnesotans’ rich relationship with the land. Her art is inspired by State Fair posters from the late 1800s that often depicted women involved in agriculture. Olofsdotter used that idea as a starting point for her artwork, and then included festivities of the fair against a backdrop of open fields as a reminder of where the State Fair began.
“I moved to Minnesota from Sweden in 1981 and was captivated by the diversity of cultures, the indigenous landscape and thriving artist community. I decided to stay and Minnesota has been my home ever since,” Olofsdotter said. “Since that time I have been fortunate to have traveled all around the state as a teaching artist, so like the fair, I feel a special connection to many different communities. With this piece I strived to inspire awareness and establish a loving relationship with the planet Earth.”
In August 2012, fair officials announced a call for submissions. After the review of nearly 30 submissions, Olofsdotter was named the official artist for 2013 by a panel of judges including State Fair staff and members of the visual arts community.
Born and raised in Sweden, Olofsdotter now lives on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. She received formal training in art history and sculpture in Sweden. In addition, she studied theatrical clowning and mask theater before moving to the United States in 1981. She has worked as a freelance maskmaker and performer in Stockholm, Paris, Berlin and Minnesota. The author and illustrator of several picture books, she has received major awards.