I have submitted artwork to the Minnesota State Fair for so many years. This is the first year I have had something accepted.
The painting I entered is entitled Wesselman with Flowers. It is a very personal piece. Years and years ago my good friend and I created a floral arrangement for the Minneapolis Institute of Art's Art in Bloom, an annual event that puts inspired floral arrangements next inspiring works of art from the museum's collection. This friend and I met working at the Minneapolis Institute of Art checking coats and selling tickets. Her name was Jeanne Platt. She past away 5 years ago this month.
The artwork we chose for Art in Bloom was Pink Nude Banner, by Tom Wesselman, a "color vinyl construction." This piece would not be considered the museum's most feminist work of art, which made creating a floral arrangement for it so satisfying! Also, the pink and peach color palette made it pretty easy to find corresponding flowers.
I started the painting a year or so after Jeanne's passing. I had been spending a lot of time pouring over photos of our time together and rereading the emails I still had from her. I found a snapshot we had taken from Art in Bloom that year and began to try to translate it onto a canvas. It was a difficult painting to complete. For someone who paints a lot of landscapes, I had a really hard time depicting the carnations and lilies we'd teased into the hot pink vase we found. It also brought up a lot of emotions surrounding Jeanne. Mostly guilt over having not called her recently, having not visited her, and not sending her letters like she had sent me. However, working on this piece helped me remember the amazing time I did get to spend with her. She was such an amazing person.
I am so glad that this piece made it into the fair! I miss you friend!