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Picturing the Fair: This year’s commemorative image finds a new angle on an annual tradition

ST. PAUL -- This year's Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art was inspired by a new feature and an old artifact. Adam Turman's original screen print was unveiled last week at the State Fairgrounds. The image is a glimpse of the Fair as viewed th...

ST. PAUL - This year’s Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art was inspired by a new feature and an old artifact.
Adam Turman’s original screen print was unveiled last week at the State Fairgrounds. The image is a glimpse of the Fair as viewed through the historic streetcar arch that was restored and reinstalled last year at the new entrance next to the West End Market.
“One thing that I really love about the Fair, I love the entrances,” Turman said. “I wanted to do something that was new, but I still love the idea of entering the Fair. So that’s what this piece is all about.”
Turman, of St. Louis Park, said he’s been to the State Fair every year since his family moved to Minnesota in 1985, when he was 10. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation sent him an email asking if he was interested in doing this year’s art, he said, and he responded positively within a few minutes.
“I don’t do that with all clients,” he said.
Turman’s intentionally inaccurate view through the arch includes the Grandstand and Ferris wheel. It’s bold and colorful while communicating an evening feel with twinkling lights and fireworks.
Turman, a University of Minnesota graphic design graduate, is an illustrator, muralist and screenprinter known for creating iconic images of local landmarks.
“If you don’t know him, you do know him,” said State Fair general manager Jerry Hammer when introducing Turman. “He is ubiquitous in the Twin Cities art scene.”
Turman’s recent work includes outdoor murals on the Butcher & the Boar restaurant and Sisyphus Brewery, promotional materials for Red Bull and graphics for Sierra Nevada Brewing, Peace Coffee and 89.3 The Current radio.
Hammer said he was especially happy that Turman wanted to depict the streetcar arch that once stood off Como Avenue where the Miracle of Birth barn now stands.
“This one is especially dear to me because that arch has such a magnificent story,” Hammer said. “When I learned that Adam had chosen that arch, the old streetcar arch from 1934, as a subject of this year’s poster, I tell you I couldn’t have been happier or more thrilled.”
Posters, merchandise and a limited number of signed screen prints of this year’s artwork are available for purchase at msffoundation.org. Sale proceeds support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.
Previous commemorative artists have included Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (2004), Mary GrandPre (2005), Nancy Carlson (2006), Michael Birawer (2007), Edie Abnet (2008), Leo Stans (2009), Deborah Voyda Rogers (2010), Steve Thomas (2011), Joe Heffron (2012), Marie Olofsdotter (2013) and Emily L. Taylor (2014).
The 2015 official commemorative art is the 12th in a series created exclusively for the State Fair.
A gallery of past artwork is available at mnstatefair.org/art.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA STATE FAIR
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