A sketchy look at the Minnesota State Fair

A Minnesota State Fair montage
Artist Amy Kirkpatrick captured the details of her outing to the Minnesota State Fair in this sketch, including the long line at the fried pickle stand at 8:30 a.m.
Courtesy of Amy Kirkpatrick

Some come to the fair for the cookies. Some come to the fair for the rides.

And some come to the fair because there's no better place to draw cows.

A group of artists gathered at the fairgrounds this week for the eighth annual Great Minnesota State Fair Sketchout. More than 50 sketchers put pen to paper, walking the midway and the barns, capturing the spectacle and fanfare in vivid detail.

"I like drawing people and I like drawing cows," said Marty Harris, an illustrator who organized this year's gathering. "The fair's the perfect place to do both."

The tradition was started by artist Roz Stendahl, who comes every year to sketch the birds. (Last year's poultry ban put a damper on her fairgoing.) The Sketchout is an informal affair that adds camaraderie to what can be a solitary pursuit — sitting for an hour to get the right curve of a pig snout on paper or the precise color of a fried cheese curd.

"It's nice to see friendly faces in the crowd," Harris said.

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