BLACKFOOT – The variety of fine art displayed at the Eastern Idaho State Fair is worth the viewing.
An oil painting by Dan Lewis, an art teacher at Marsh Valley High School, was selected as Best of Show in the professional category. The painting shows his oldest daughter playing her violin.
Asked how long her daughter posed, Lewis said, “The painting was taken from a combination of a live model and photographs. I use my kids as models a lot.”
Another entry in the show features his five children husking corn for which he received a blue ribbon also.
“You can’t direct children too long,” he said. “For that painting, I took from 400-500 photos.”
Lewis grew up in Minneapolis, and always wanted to live in a more rural setting.
“Wherever we have moved has also been to a more rural location,” he said. “We just inherited a bunch of chickens and ducks. We love it.”
Best of Show in the amateur division went to Audrey Yorgason. It features a herd of running horses.
Blackfoot High School art teacher Stephanie Talbot’s painting received a Superintendent’s award. It features the head of a bison; the painting is about the size of a bison’s head.
“I started with a photo of the entire bison and then narrowed it down to just his head,” Talbot said.
She used acrylics to get the effect she wanted.
Rebekah Moon received a blue ribbon for her sketch of the Utah State Capitol.
“I put down a watercolor base and then sketched the capitol building,” she said. “I added more color later where I thought it was needed.”
Sarah Johnson earned a blue ribbon with her entry, “Orange Roses.” She used colored pencils to bring these roses to life. A bouquet her grandmother had was her inspiration.
“It has multiple layers of color on it,” Johnson said.
Professional artist Yidan Guo and her husband, Craig Canady, recently moved to Blackfoot. Before moving here, she taught art at Southern Utah University for six years.
Her entry features a puppeteer who was performing on a street in Paris when she and her husband were visiting. The painting is a watercolor.
Each first place winner not only received a blue ribbon but also a bronze medal.
The bronze medals were designed by Sarah West for her Senior Project. West is a 2019 graduate of Snake River High School.
What was her favorite part of working on the medal?
“I liked the overall process,” she said. “I liked seeing it as I did it. Visiting the bronze foundry and watching the process there was probably my favorite part.”
Blackfoot Brass produced the medals from West’s design.
“This is the ninth year these bronze medals have been awarded,” Fine Arts Superintendent Tim Goodworth said. “The medals are labor intensive. Twenty-eight medals are cast each year.”
Goodworth is the art teacher at Snake River High School.
“There are more entries and more variety this year,” he said.
An artists’ reception took place Thursday evening in the Fine Arts building to honor the participants.