Spoken word, seed art and being Minnesotan

All photos taken by Brea Lobley
Among the games, rides, various foodstuffs on a stick and the Black Lives Matter action at the Minnesota State Fair were two female artists—interdisciplinary mixed media artist and performer Ifrah Mansour and the late “Seed Queen” Lillian Colton—who offered poignantly moving and still images of what it means to be a Minnesotan. Colton, whose work has been at the State Fair since 1966, is undoubtedly a popular display and epitomizes the State Fair tradition. Colton took a very gendered tradition, women as gatherers, and transformed it into fine art—and, in the process, gave herself and other crop artists a space to express a complexity to an agricultural background that may have otherwise been overlooked. And she certainly deserved her praise: Colton’s lifelong work of using seeds as an art medium offered a transformative perspective and complexity for the way Minnesotans and non-Minnesotans alike view agriculture. A stroll down Cosgrove from Colton’s exhibit, over at the Education building’s courtyard, was Mansour. Continue Reading