Indiana State Fair 2022 Photos, Part 3 of 6: The Year in Canned Food Art

canned Baby Yoda!

Canned Grogu for the win!

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…

One of the many creative events each year is the Canstruction contest, which isn’t necessarily exclusive to local 4-H youngsters. Canstruction is a charitable organization that holds nationwide events in which engineers and other clever planners compete against each other in building the best sculpture made entirely from canned goods, preferably in recognizable shapes and not ordinary stacks with boring titles like “The Can-Can”. After the judging and the public displaying are over, all those meticulously planned figures are torn down and the components are donated to local hunger relief charities, who in turn forward them to needy families totally unaware their next few meals used to be Art.

Possibly in keeping with this year’s “Fun at the Speed of Summer” theme, each team of contestants made vehicles or vehicular acccessories out of cans, starting with the floating space crib in our lead photo. Some machines were built for more speed than others.

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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.

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Indiana State Fair 2018 Photos #2: The Year of the Circus

human cannonballs!

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Human Cannonball!

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. Usually we’re all about the food…

…but when we’re full, or encounter long stretches of walking between food stands, we also get a kick out of visiting the various exhibit halls. Whether it’s handiwork by kids in 4-H, local adult artists, and/or innovative collectives, artists a-plenty have their creations tucked away all throughout the land. Sometimes there’ll also be featured historical collections, which is nice and often incidentally educational.

After going for a year or two without any discernible theme, this year our state fair landed on celebrating The Year of the Circus. A variety of contributors played along with that motif, inspired entirely by the real live circus that planted their Big Top on the north end of the fairgrounds and offered three performances every day for the entirety of the fair, included basically free with the price of fair admission. For anyone who loves the concept, it was a brilliant bit of entertainment synergy.

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Indiana State Fair 2014 Photos, Part 4 of 5: Geek Handicraft

geek signpost!

Welcome to the Nexus of All Geek Realities!

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 and big-ticket concerts by musicians that other people love. My wife and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context.

When Mom took me to the fair back in the day, I hated, hated, hated walking around the exhibit halls. For me the carnival rides, games, and snacks were the only reasons for its existence. I had no use wandering the 4-H Building looking at posters drawn and pasted together by other children. The farm-product contest entries in the Agricultural/Horticultural Building were mostly vegetables and therefore The Enemy. The dresses on display in the Home & Family Arts Building were obviously not my thing. Sometimes the art and the photography were okay, but only if they painted or took pictures of really cool things such as super-heroes or toys. But the adults were in charge and I followed my marching orders, in exchange for promises of actual fun and games.

My adult perspective has flip-flopped. Rides hurt now. All the games are scams except the water-pistol races, but I don’t have much use for stuffed animals anymore. The State Fair hasn’t brought in a video arcade in years. Meanwhile, sometimes in those formerly boring buildings are lovingly crafted, inspired little treasures if you know where to look.

Right this way for fun acts of artfulness!

What Evil Lurks Inside the Forgotten Can of Terror?

expired applesauceWhile plumbing the deepest, darkest regions of our pantry for quick supper ideas tonight, my wife discovered an ancient artifact not seen by mortals for uncountable years: a mysterious can of applesauce that expired April 7, 2011.

We don’t recognize the brand. Neither of us remembers buying it. I didn’t even know applesauce could be legally packaged in anything besides glass jars. If someone gifted it to us, their moot kindness was forgotten long ago.

For a moment I wondered if it was haunted — cursed, even. Maybe this applesauce belonged to the previous homeowner, who ran away from it screaming because it brought death and destruction to him and his loved ones, a sort of fruit-flavored monkey’s paw straight from the grocer’s clearance aisle.

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