Indiana State Fair 2021 Photos, Part 4 of 5: The Year in Art

stained glass Captain America shield!

…the red and the white and the blue’ll come through / When Captain America throws his stained-glass shield!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians either nearly or formerly popular, and farm animals competing for cash prizes without their knowledge. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. At least, normally we attend every year. You can guess why there was no 2020 edition…

Anne and I are at that age when we’re more interested in visiting the exhibit halls than we are in discomforting or injuring ourselves on the Midway rides. We enjoy seeing what new works of paint, photography, building blocks, and science have been offered up for the various competitions. The State Fair holds its massive celebrations on behalf of our farmers, but Indiana has no shortage of artists, either. They come from all demographics, work in multiple media, bring ideas from pop culture as well as from their own home life, and all contribute in their own ways to the Hoosier State hometown legacy.

bottlecap robot!

Bottlecap robot.

Anime Glass Art!

A standout anime-influenced glass painting.

Neil Gaiman Coraline doll!

A doll for the fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

Boo-Boo Bear!

Someone made a Boo-Boo.

Sometimes too many 4-H posters in a row start to blend together, especially when they’re forced to use the same titles. If you’re persistent enough to get past the repetition, the handwriting worse than my own, and the projects that were just PowerPoint slides printed and glued to poster board, you can appreciate a few educational gems.

Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan!

A salute to the joint NASA/European space exploration project that took a 20-year jaunt out to Saturn and Titan.

Sutures poster!

Rest In Plush, you brave stuffed animals who died so that we might see what medical stitches look like.

Indiana Limestone poster!

Indiana limestone has been used in many a tourist attraction and institution – not just here in Indy, but in some of the cities we’ve visited on our annual road trips.

Get the Vaccine poster!

A clever inversion of a common refrain: this exhibit is actually about the importance of pet vaccines. FOR YOUR PETS.

Frozen Semen poster!

You could hide away at home and plunge down the relevant Wikipedia rabbit hole, or you can spend a few minutes learning a new trade from a grand prize winner.

Know Your Fish Jeopardy poster!

Triple bonus points for our fellow Jeopardy! fans here, then docked a few points because we couldn’t flip the cards or wait for Trebek to give us the answers.

A recurring feature at the State Fair and in our resultant photo galleries is the canned-food sculpture contest over at the Agricultural/Horticultural Building. Each year teams build a recognizable person, place or thing entirely from canned foods and win prizes; then the cans are donated to charity. While the needy receive kindly assistance, the sculptures live on only in photos. This year’s competition seemed slimmer than usual, but a few rose to the challenge.

canned athletic shoe!

Canned athletic shoe, because Indiana does super-love its sports.

canned covered bridge!

Not every state has as many covered bridges as we do. A few states only have one. Go figure.

canned astronaut!

Shout-out to Purdue University and its legacy of astronaut alumni.

canned Garfield and Odie!

Indiana legends Garfield and Odie, accompanied by an exclusive strip from Jim Davis’ PAWS Inc.

One new feature I don’t recall seeing before: giant, upright-piano-sized paintings at the Indiana Arts Building. When I was a kid, it was called the Home & Family Arts Building. At some point when we weren’t looking, they changed the name so it doesn’t sound like one big home economics classroom. For all I know, it may once have been exactly that. Now it’s all about the artwork, and fewer cooking demos.


Deonna Craig, “Freeze”.

Un Dia en el Parque!

Greg Potter, “Un Dia en el Parque”. You can bet we recognize the Seurat homage.

Soaring Possibilities!

Ashley Nora, “Soaring Possibilities”.

To be concluded! Other chapters in this very special MCC miniseries:

Part 1: Our Year in Food
Part 2: The Darling of the Duck Dash
Part 3: The Year in Lego
Part 5: And the Rest

What do you, The Viewers at Home, think?

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