Fawzia Khan – Sculptor

MNO Alumni at the Fair

The gates for the Great Minnesota Get Together don’t open for another couple days, but Minnesota arts fans already have plenty to get excited about: 2013 Fine Arts Competition winners were announced at last night’s Fine Arts Preview Night. With all of the winners’ art collected under one roof at the Fine Arts Center, the State Fair actually serves as Minnesota’s largest juried art exhibit. This year, part of the Fine Arts Center will also be turned from gallery into a studio space as part of Studio: HERE, which will provide a rare glimpse into how art is created. MNO alumni are well-represented between Studio: HERE participants and Fine Arts Competition winners. We’ve got a video round-up of MNO alumni and 2013 Fine Arts Competition winners at the bottom of this page. To get more perspective on the State Fair’s Fine Arts exhibition, we spoke with Kyle Fokken, who was featured on MN Original #317, and also received a 3rd Place Award in Sculpture this year.

MNO:  What have your experiences participating in the Fine Arts exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair been like?

Kyle Fokken: I love the Minnesota State Fair Art Show! I think there is so much wonderful variety that it hits so many tastes and styles. You never know who the juror is and what he or she will think of your work and whether it will make it in the exhibition. The visual arts community (at least in the metro) is a small community and everyone knows most everyone else and/or their work, making it a politically challenging exercise. I think this is my third “Third Place” award which makes me pleased, but I’d still like something higher.

As an artist, you always feel that your work is the best until you see work that blows yours out of the water and demands your respect. I always learn something new whenever I go and I appreciate the opportunity to show with so many great artists of all disciplines.

MNO: What does this award mean to you?

KF: Gas in the car and money to pay the photographer. If you are lucky or want to splurge, you can pay it forward and use it as an opportunity to buy someone else’s artwork. Being a working artist means that you celebrate the victory of winning an award but at the end of the day you need those funds to help you to keep on doing what you’re doing. With my piece “Song of the Flying Dutchman,” I would love it to be the centerpiece of someone’s lovely home or as part of a public art collection in an art or musical institution. It is one of my favorite pieces and I just love the romance that comes with the merger of classical music, sailing ships and the open sea. I have a ‘violin’ version in bronze in case anyone is interested. Please see my website for details – (Shameless plug, of course.)

MNO: How is showing at the Minnesota State Fair different than any other ‘arts only’ shows?

KF: I think it is very egalitarian from both the artists and the viewer’s perspective. In most art shows you have to have a body of work to submit whereas the Fair only allows for one piece. This allows beginners and professionals to compete side by side and mixes things up a bit which keeps the event fresh. I also like the idea that there is truly something for everyone.  This exhibit allows me to show my work to a larger audience who may never have been to an art show or would never venture into a gallery. It also allows viewers to visually ‘taste’ a variety of different artistic ‘flavors’ and develop a richer ‘pallet’ and better artist ‘taste’.

It’s always hard to know if this sampling will lead to sales, but I look at it as part of my overall marketing strategy since so many people see the show and it is highly regarded in the artistic community. Best of all, it’s free! 


MNO Alumni &  2013 Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Award Recipients

Maren Kloppmann (from MN Original #109): 1st Place, Ceramics/Glass; 1st place from Northern Clay Center; 1st Place from Tweed Museum of Art

Kyle Fokken (from MN Original #317): 3rd Place, Sculpture

John Largaespada (from MN Original #207): 3rd Place, Photography

Scott Lloyd Anderson (from MN Original #204): Honorable Mention, Oil/Acrylic/Mixed Media

Faye Passow (will be featured on a new episode of MN Original in the Fall): Honorable Mention, Prints

Faye Passow on MN Original

Kurt Seaberg (will be featured on a new episode of MN Original in the Fall): Honorable Mention, Prints

Kurt Seaberg on MN Original

2013 Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Results (click on photo below for full pdf):


Brewer, Allen


Allen Brewer – Visual Artist


Allen Brewer

Bryan Holland

Bryan Holland – Visual Artist

Bryan Holland thumb

Bryan Holland


Hannah Albert – Mixed-Media Artist


Hannah Albert

Albert, Hannah

My MN Original: Gregory Euclide

For the next three Sundays, MN Original will be taking a break while our Twin Cities Public Television cohorts take to the airwaves for the Spring Pledge Drive. So for a fresh perspective on some segments from the MNO collection, we let Gregory Euclide get behind the looking glass of the MNO On The Go Blog. Mr. Euclide was profiled in the third season of MN Original, and we asked him to curate a virtual episode of MNO. In four-plus seasons of MN Original, we’ve exposed Twin Cities arts fans to over fifteen-hundred local artists, all of whom inspire us through their art and creativity. We always love knowing what art and art-makers also inspire the artists we’ve featured. So without further ado, Gregory Euclide presents his MN Original.

Zak Sally from MN Original #219 (original air date: December 30, 2010)

Gregory Euclide: When I was in college I was in a band called Sheepometer (music to make sheep to). We opened at The Unicorn in Milwaukee for Low. Zak was in Low at that point. It was a pivotal moment for me in my life. I have always had an unhealthy obsession with music and this was a big moment for me. Years later, I faked being a journalist to get back stage to take photos of Sonic Boom and Low at the 7th Street Entry. I still have those photos of Zak, Alan and Mimi leaning against the walls of the entry.

When Zak left Low, he focused more on his visual art. I stopped playing music to pursue visual art as well. I see Zak at MCAD off and on. He has no idea who I am. I just remember being in awe of him and the music that they brought into the world. This MNO segment helped me catch up with a figure that I have long respected.

Low performs “When I Go Deaf” from The Bad Plus + Low Music Special (original air date: December 17, 2011)

Gregory Euclide: Although Pitchfork reviewer David Raposa gave this album a 5.5 because it rocked too much, it is one of my favorite albums. Yes, they played faster and harsher on this album and they were a slow band to start with, but that is what made it so timely for me. It felt as if it was the right time in history for this to happen and the way they did it seemed logical to me. There is a lot of tension in this album. Listening to this segment from 2011 just reminds me what effect this album had on me when it came out. “When I Go Deaf” is the Low jackpot. You get the best of both worlds; the beautiful entry and the crush that follows. As a kid, hell, even now… I want to be playing that guitar – with that feedback coming out from behind me. It must feel so exhilarating to be able to perform and make something with such honesty , such emotion… such force.

Kate Casanova from MN Original #401 (original air date: November 04, 2012)

Gregory Euclide: Kate is another artist who works across platforms. The work is a force that finds an outlet in whatever best fits the idea. It’s not, “How can I make a painting about this?” Or, “How can I make a sculpture about that?” It’s more like, “What is the best way to express this idea?”

Asia Ward from MN Original #316 (original air date: May 06, 2012)

Gregory Euclide: If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be excited by natural forms and people who are exploring materials. I really enjoy the topographic, linear quality of Asia’s work.

The Pines from MN Original #209 (original air date: October 07, 2010)

Gregory Euclide: David and Ben do what they do really, really well. In the segment they talk about wanting their music to be a resting place from the modern world. I feel like I know what it is like to have the rural in your subconscious. When I listen to this music, it just feels like home to me. It feels like fireflies, cornfields and the quiet of rural summer nights.

MN Original: Suggestion for who you’d like to see profiled on MN Original?

Gregory Euclide: Sure… I’ve got one for you. A student of mine from way back: a musician, artist, teacher, David Andree.


Elizabeth Simonson