Skip to content

Aug. 26 – Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021

68 Days 0 Hours 30 Mins

Fine Arts FAQs

What is the maximum size for work that can be entered?

Work exceeding 6 feet in any direction (including the frame) are not accepted. Very heavy objects requiring special handling may be entered subject to approval of the fine arts department.

Can I keep the hanging hardware on the back of my entry?

No. All hardware and wires must be removed from the back of frame for classes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8. The State Fair uses the French cleat hanging system which requires all hardware to be removed from the back of the frame. No exceptions.

What type of frame can I use?

Frames don’t have to be expensive, but make sure it is good quality. Factor in the framing cost when pricing your piece of art. Do not use picture frames or plastic frames that easily come apart.

Does my piece need to be framed when submitting a photo for Phase 1 judging?

No. Your piece only needs to be framed for Phase 2 judging.

Are there any exceptions to framing?

There are no exceptions. Your piece is required to be framed (with the hardware removed) to comply with the State Fair’s display system and for the safety of the piece. Each piece is has two screws drilled into the frame and those screws rest on a bar to be hung. Unframed pieces will not be accepted.

How do I get my primary image to show up first in the registration system?

Images are listed in order of the naming convention of the images (either numerical or alphabetical). For example, if you re-name your images “fine arts 1,” “fine arts 2” and “fine arts 3” with the primary image named “fine arts 1,” that image would show up first.

I am a student. Can I enter my artwork in the fine arts competition?

Work of students is eligible only if executed without the help of the instructor and the piece is an original work of art.

Who are this year’s judges?

Names of jurors are not made public until the First Glance Event held the Tuesday evening before the State Fair begins.

Can I enter a gallery wrapped or gessobord piece?

Yes. These pieces are allowed, but they must be framed (with the hardware removed).

I can’t deliver my piece during the stated delivery times. What are my options?

You can have someone deliver your piece for you as long as the person you ask has your confirmation email. Or, for a $25 fee due upon delivery, we can accept early drop-offs at our office (Admin Too on the fairgrounds, 1312 Cosgrove Street) beginning Monday, Aug. 2, through Thursday, Aug. 5, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you choose to drop off your work early, your work will not be insured and will be at risk of damage during storage and transportation.

Do you provide juror’s feedback?

Unfortunately, the judges do not send critiques or explanations. The volume of work they have to review in a short amount of time does not allow for it. Jurors change each year and their bios along with a criteria statement will be available to see in the online catalog. Although it doesn’t give specific answers, that might be an insight into their process.

What does the State Fair consider to be original art?

This issue is particularly complicated, and the Minnesota State Fair cannot give legal, copyright advice. When in doubt, do not submit a piece if you are questioning its originality or copyright.

The State Fair cannot research every work of art for its originality. A juror will sometimes recognize a piece as being overly derivative of another work or a copy and will typically not accept the piece. However, it is possible to have an unoriginal artwork slip through simply because jurors aren’t aware of its reference. In this situation, visitors to the State Fair gallery generally point it out as more than 250,000 people visit the Fine Arts exhibition each year. If a fair guest files a complaint and the work in question is found to be in violation of our rules (any rule, including originality), then the work is removed from display.

Below are a few examples of pieces that have copyright issues. If after researching the examples below you are still in doubt, it would be best to avoid using a reference that is not wholly your own.

  • Shepard Fairey’s use of an Associated Press photograph of Barack Obama and resulted in a lawsuit.
  • Art by Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Roy Lichtenstein or Elizabeth Peyton includes popular culture references and appropriation. Look into ‘fair use’ as it regards copyright and these artists.
  • A tradition in art is to make academic copies of masterpieces but in those instances, one should give credit to the originator. Further yet, there is art made from art: look to Larry River’s use of Jaques-Louis David’s portrait of Napoleon.