2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition

I submit to the Ohio State Fair every year and sometimes even get in.  When I do, it’s always a thrill.  I think there were over 2,000 entries this year and only 200 acceptances.

In general, with the exception of some lovely sculptural installations, the 2-D pleasures of the show seem mild and predictable.  April Sunami’s award-winning piece was a stand-out among the prize winners, as was Barb Vogle’s poetic, floral photographic meditations on the transitory nature of life.   My contribution, Snakes & Ladders, earned a nice, well-lit wall with plenty of space around it to cool the feverish imagery.  I would have liked a more central position in the room, but it’s always a crap shoot in a juried show.    I was hoping the piece would attract more attention than it did but, alas, this wasn’t the case.

Other pieces drew visitors to them like bees to nectar.


Linda Leviton (right) and Joel Knepp (left) With Linda’s Piece”  “As Long as it Looks Good.”

As usual, one of the standouts was Linda Leviton’s quilt overlain with an altered vintage dress and see-through, shimmery, netlike material.  It struck me that the lacey top layer produces a similar effect to what one might see after taking Ambien.  Linda makes her living working with large metal pieces but fabric forms a large chunk of her more private, fine art work.  The hand-dyed, hand-sewn dress she wore at the opening was much remarked upon and appreciated by fellow textile artists.  She looked fabulous and so did her piece.

Joel worked the room with finesse and ease, even managing to get his picture with this sartorial brother.  If you know the man’s name on the right, let me know.  He’s an award-winning photographer with a wry sense of humor and a jaundiced eye regarding the jurying process.   He also knows how to dress, something I admire almost more than art.


Joel on Left With Unknown Aging Photographer Hipster on Right

I, on the other hand, felt self-conscious, shy and unable to perform the required schmoozing which constitutes such a large part of these events.  Aaaarrrrrggghhh!!!  Evidently, one is never too old to be neurotic.


Lynda McClanahan with “Snakes & Ladders:” 2018 Ohio State Fair Opening Reception

Partly in response to the neuroto-attack, we fled the room and headed next door to the poultry barn where things seemed to make more sense.  I love standing with closed eyes in the middle of the building, listening to the calls of the birds.  The building reverberates with alien, improvisational music sung by mostly angry beings.  I love this photo.  Can’t decide who is better dressed.


Joel Knepp With Rooster:  2018 Ohio State Fair

Onward and upward with the arts.  It’s a strange life, but it suits me.


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