The Fourth Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out

August 30, 2012

See the post for complete details.

Above: The group of sketchers assembles—25 in the photo and 4 other sketchers not able to stay for the meeting. (Note: there is one person in the back who wanted to be anonymous!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 was the Fourth Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out.

Despite temperatures inching above 90 and threatened thunderstorms (it was fair all day) this year we had 29 people sketching at the Minnesota State Fair throughout the day.

Other sketchers were unable to join us on Tuesday and sketched earlier in the week. Some will be sketching later this week before the Fair ends. We caught animals, people, and architecture on paper. We jotted down fun facts and recorded overheard conversations. We observed and documented. The sketchers worked in pen, watercolor, gouache, pencil, and oil pastels.

You can view a selection of the sketches at Urban Sketchers—Twin Cities.

We were joined by writer Amy Rea who wrote about our efforts on her blog at WCCO—Wander MN: What Else to See At The Fair.

While this is the fourth annual "organized" event, there is a core group of artists who have been sketching at the Minnesota State Fair for decades. This year we had returning participants from previous sketch outs as well as first-time participants who boldly whipped up their courage to sketch and paint in public. (Actually if you're going to paint in public it's my belief that the Fair is the best place to start because with all the folks walking around sporting "Fantasy Hair" no one gives you any notice!)

We even had one sketcher from Chicago join us! (Note to prospective sketchers for 2013—the Fair runs 12 days in August and September through Labor Day every year; make your travel plans! The sketch out date is usually a Saturday or Tuesday and will be announced in the Spring.)

I want to thank everyone who participated this year in the Fourth Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. Grateful thanks to Marty Harris who graciously provided the fabulous illustration of the "largest boar" for this year's button. Thanks to Marty and to Liz Carlson for helping get the word out to sketchers. (You can contact Liz on Facebook.)

Thanks to Ken Avidor for taking photos of people's sketches so we could have a selection posted on Urban Sketchers—Twin Cities. Thanks to MCBA Visual Journal Collective members for also spreading the word and for showing up year after year. And thank you Amy for helping spread the word for the future!

I can't tell you how exciting it is for me to see the fabulous and unique ways in which you each captured the events of your day. You help me see things with new eyes. Let's do it again next year!

Where to Find a Selection of Minnesota State Fair Sketches
Want to see selections of sketches from this year's and past Minnesota State Fairs—check out the following:

Marty Harris' Flickr site; also Marty's Flickr Group: Sketching at the Minnesota State Fair

On Roz Wound Up (here) check the category Minnesota State Fair or go to to find some older State Fair Journals

On Urban Sketchers—Twin Cities see keyword Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out or Minnesota State Fair.

Note: If you attended the Fair to sketch this year and posted your art on your blog or your Flickr account, please send me links that I can add here so other people can enjoy your work.

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