Ohio Star: State Fair
24″ x 24″
The Ohio State Fair attracts almost a million visitors to Columbus each summer. Whether you go for the animals, the butter cow, the deep-fried foods, the games, or the rides, as the cliche goes, there is something for everyone. This photoquilt came out of a series of panoramas I took at the fair in 2015. In this photo, both the straight and the curved lines of the ferris wheel reflect and refract against the cloudy blue sky as fairgoers stream past or line up for a ride. The wheel never fully resolves into a circle, instead merging into its neighbors, each of which is held in place by red steel girders which sometimes float in the sky. The overall effect is like that of a zipper, stitching the fair to the sky.
I usually choose more austere subjects for my quilts because I tend to be drawn to clean lines and shapes, like in the Columbus Museum of Art. But there are times, like in Ohio Stadium, when I can’t avoid a crowd, which usually sprials off into a tunnel of heads and feet. When I use pictures with cleaner shapes, I feel like I have more control. But, sometimes, I need to step outside of my comfort zone to see what happens when I start with a photo that is a bit messier and less organized. Sometimes art, like life, and like the state fair, can be a bit messy and hard to control.
This quilt was displayed with You’re Not Going to Wear That, Are You? at the 2016 Ohio State Fair, where it received a Juror’s Choice Award and was called one of the most impressive works in its category by Nancy Gilson in the Columbus Dispatch.