One man's art is another man's butter...
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. One of the great things about the Iowa State Fair is the "Butter Cow" It has been a staple at the state fair since the early 1900's but it was Norma "Duffy" Lyons, who began sculpting in 1960, that brought it to the center stage. She created not only cows, but a Butter Elvis, a butter country school house, American Gothic and The Last Supper in butter, among other things. She retired in 2006 and was followed by Sarah Pratt, who had worked with her for 15 years. We in Iowa take our butter sculpture very seriously. When it was suggested earlier this year that a Butter Michael Jackson might be in order, it created such a furor that the state fair board decided to let the people of Iowa decide between the King of Pop and the First Man on the Moon. As you can see good taste prevailed and the Astronaut won.
All the art at the fair was not in the refrigerator, however, as they have a great art and photography show every year. Seeing creative efforts always inspires me to let myself go, push myself farther, higher, to try a new medium or a new subject. I will write about the non-refrigerated art on another day.
So many other things to see and do at the fair. My favorite was, of course, the horses, and the other animals. Bunnies, chickens, goats, and sheep. No dogs or cats, though, if they do show them, it happened on another day. I got lots of photos, and you will probably see some of their inspirations in drawings and paintings during the weeks and months to come.
The food at the fair is amazing. They put everything on a stick - corn dog on a stick, pork chop on a stick, chicken on a stick, fried Twinkies on a stick for Pete's sake, chicken lips - whatever that is - and even egg on a stick. I didn't try any of those, but I did see on the news that a woman was trying to eat everything that came on a stick - all 55 different foods!
We waited until today, Friday, to visit the fair in part because the weather forecaster promised us a good day. As we sat shivering in a tent outside the pork pavilion, with the rain pouring down and the wind blowing, we wondered why we ever listen to them. But the funnel cakes were good, the ice cream was great, the horses were out of this world, and the bunnies were adorable.