The Buttons Have Arrived! Mark Your Calendars for the THIRD Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out

August 3, 2011

Map and times for the MN State Fair Sketch Out 2011—see full post for details and info on the free participation button.



Left: The button for this year's Minnesota State Fair Sketch out.

Yep, the buttons arrived on Saturday and I've been dancing around (wearing mine of course) ever since. (Tip: it looks particularly fine pinned to a heather gray t-shirt.)


Everything is set for the big day:


If you haven't been to one of the Minnesota State Fair Sketch Outs before here's what you need to know: we have TWO meetings on the sketch out day. The first is at 1 p.m., the second is at 4 p.m. (See the handy map below for meeting locations and times.)

You can find out current Fair admission costs at the Minnesota State Fair website. I recommend that you bring a little money for a food treat, and for rides, of course, if you like rides (I don't, it's too hard to sketch while screaming.) Participation in the actual sketch out is free to anyone who wants to sketch from life.

You can attend either meeting, or both, or neither (and just sketch). Most folks (myself included) show up early in the day, sketch for a couple hours, and bring our first sketches to the 1 p.m. meeting. After a brief show and tell and some planning, we break up either into small groups or singletons and get back to sketching until the 4 p.m. meeting. At that meeting there is more sharing of art and stories of our Fair encounters. We will also take a moment to take photos of people holding their sketches, so that we can document the day. The second meeting typically lasts 30 to 50 minutes. Following the second meeting some folks continue to sketch into the evening hours while others head home.

You can pick up a participation button at either meeting (while supplies last). The buttons are FREE. Just show me a sketch you've made at the Fair and you get a button!

Let's say you can't join us for either meeting (and you don't bump into me in the barns on Saturday), well you can still get a button (while supplies last) if you send me a jpg of one or more of your sketches. (I'll put a button aside for you once I receive your jpg. and we'll arrange for you to pick it up.)

You can participate in the sketch out on ANY DAY of the Fair. Just go, sketch from life, and send me a jpg. We realize that not everyone has the same day off! (I take almost all my days off to go multiple days to the Fair, but then I can't help myself. You might see me on another day—say Hi! Or sketch me for Project Journal Infiltration. Or both.)

StateFairMeetingLocations Left: A map showing the locations for the 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. meetings on the day of the sketch out.

EMERGENCY UPDATE 8.26.11: I've just returned from my first visit to the Fair this year and they have moved the cinnamon bun stand to the Northwest corner, across from the cattle barn. A BRIDGEMAN'S ICE CREAM STAND is on the Northeast Corner now. Look for us at Bridgeman's on the Northeast corner.

The first meeting is on the same corner as a cinnamon bun stand. Look for us just behind the stand at a table, or on the curb. The second meeting is in a large "food court" area with tables. If you get there early, grab a table and keep sketching. I walk around the entire court yard just before the meeting starts, to round folks up.

Your sketches will be published on the Urban Sketchers—Twin Cities blog, along with sketches of other Fair attendees. It's a great way to show the world what a great Fair we have, and encourage other sketchers to join us next year! (I'll also be looking for someone to design the 2012 button, so it's good to get your work into me.)

In addition it is a fantastic opportunity to practice your sketching-in-public skills. There is no better place to hone your observation skills. Whether you like to sketch people, buildings, views, or animals there is something for your to sketch at the Minnesota State Fair. Turn a corner, turn a page, start sketching. (In fact I think I just came up with a great motto!)

The MSFSO grows a little every year. Last year we had 15 intrepid sketchers. I hope you can all return—and I hope that you all bring a sketching friend. If you don't live in Minnesota now is the time to visit! I won't be happy until there is a sketcher every few yards! We've got a lot of Fair to cover.

    • LizzieBo
    • August 3, 2011

    For several years, I have gone to the South Carolina State fair with my children. All these years have been an incomplete experience, i now realize, because I never sketched. You have to know I will be taking my sketchbook this year. Ours, however, is in October (cooler temps), so I still have a wait. I’m jealous of your fun and BUTTTONS!

  1. Reply

    SC doesn’t have a fair until OCTOBER! WOW, some year I’ll have to travel from Fair to Fair! That would be great fun.

    LizzieBo, you need to go to your fair and sketch! It’s imperative! You’ll have lots of fun!

  2. Reply

    Oh, and LizzieBo, I forgot to mention it, but search (with the blog’s search engine) for Minnesota State Fair, or click on the category in the category list, and read some of the posts from 2009 when I wrote in depth about how to sketch at the fair. It will help you get all set.

  3. Reply

    Miss T, you’ll have to come along and sketch so you can get one!!! It’s a fun day (though you can go on any Fair day as explained in the post).

    • LizzieBo
    • August 3, 2011

    I’ve already read up on sketching supplies/outfits. It just seems like basic well thought through advice, so I actually read it before I went to spend a week at my daughters camp earlier this summer, where I had a chance to sketch to my heart’s content. From your accounts, I have been particularly intriqued by the idea of hunting out one of those spin art things (I’ve never seen one at ours) or something like that. My kids mostly focus on the stomach lurching rides. I have no intention of accompanying them this year, but I did buy a little collapsable stool for sitting (since my back gets sore standing) and I already have the clothes and painting supplies picked out. I may make another duck tape journal for myself. Waiting isn’t fun, but it’s better than a fair in 95 degree temperatures with 90 percent humidity. So October’s okay with me. Maybe in a couple years, you could concoct a clever plan to have a group sketch out from state fair to state fair. Kind of like the Grateful Dead, only in search of prize chickens?! Maybe the Grateful Dazed (after all the cotton candy and funnel cakes). Just a thought.

  4. Reply

    LizzieBo, glad the info was happy for your pre-camp planning!.

    I don’t know that ALL Fairs have Spin Art, but I do know that there is a HOME version of the spin art machine. I would google and look at places like Michael’s. You could do it all year long. They use a different paint that I’m not as fond of and the speeds aren’t the same—but I went to the Hennepin County Fair a couple years ago and someone set up a Spin Art booth using 3 of these home-versions.

    The stool will be helpful!

    Avoid the funnel cakes and cotton candy.

    It’s easier to draw.

  5. Reply

    Your enthusiasm for the fair is making me want to go to your fair too. sigh. I may try to get to the NY State Fair this year though because of you. Maybe you should visit and then I can capture you in my journal. You are my hero, doing all the bookbinding and sketching with a little collage thrown in. Thank you for being such a motivating force for me.

  6. Reply

    Sandra, I hope you do go to the NY State Fair and give a full report! Let me know when and where it is held. I’m assuming it’s in some place like Albany? Though I know little about the state.

    Maybe one future year I can attend!

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