From a pool of more than 30 Minnesota artists, Marie Olofsdotter of Minneapolis has just been selected to create the Official 2013 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art. Just prior to the 2012 State Fair, officials announced a Call for Commemorative Art Submissions. Artists from all corners of the state applied. After reviewing each of the submissions, Olofsdotter was named the Official Artist by a panel of judges including State Fair staff and members of the visual arts community. Her original interpretation of the Great Minnesota Get-Together will be unveiled at the State Fairgrounds in June.
“To be selected as the Official Artist is an incredible honor,” Olofsdotter said. “I love the Minnesota State Fair. I especially love how it reaches out to every community across the entire state. I am fortunate to have traveled all around Minnesota as a teaching artist, so like the fair, I feel a special connection to many different communities. My piece of commemorative art will be created for everyone in Minnesota and I can’t wait to share it.”
Born and raised in Sweden, Olofsdotter now lives on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. She received formal training in art history and sculpture in Sweden. In addition, she studied theatrical clowning and mask theater before moving to the United States in 1981. She has worked as a freelance maskmaker and performer in Stockholm, Paris, Berlin and Minnesota. The author and illustrator of several picture books, she has received major awards including a Mid-America Publishers Award, Midwest Book Achievement Award, Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, Minnesota Book Award, Loft Mentor Award in poetry and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. Most recently she was named the recipient of a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in visual arts. She has been working as a creative consultant and a teaching artist for more than 20 years and has shared her enthusiasm for creativity and the arts through the Walker Art Center, COMPAS, Minnesota Opera, The Loft Literary Center, The MacPhail Center for the Arts, public libraries and schools across the country.
The commemorative poster, a limited number of signed giclee prints and other merchandise featuring the art will be available for purchase after the June unveiling. Proceeds will support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation 501(c)(3) mission to preserve and improve State Fair buildings, grounds and educational experiences. The original art will be on display during the 12-day run of the 2013 State Fair.
The 2013 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art will be the tenth in a series of artwork created annually for the fair. In past years, Minnesota artists have included: Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (2004), Mary GrandPré (2005), Nancy Carlson (2006), Michael Birawer (2007), Edie Abnet (2008), Leo Stans (2009), Deborah Voyda Rogers (2010), Steve Thomas (2011) and Joe Heffron (2012).