Crop Art Lessons – next stop State Fair!

We’ve gotten to the part of the pandemic where I am taking an online class on crop art (aka seed art). For the uninitiated, crop art is a picture created from gluing seeds to a board. If you haven’t seen it, it’s absolutely worth a trip to the Minnesota State Fair Ag Building. My masterpiece may not do the genre justice.

The crop art at the Fair is often political, maybe even subversive. I learned today that they will showcase all entries so that may partially explain the reason – but creating crop art is quite a commitment to a message. This year’s (online) competition included images/homages to George Floyd, Legalize Marijuana, Black Lives Matter, First Avenue’s 50th birthday and more. Anyway – the door is open to making a statement and now of course I’m intrigued.

I found the class at the Hennepin County Museum. The teacher is Liz Schreiber. It was through Zoom and they sent the materials (seeds, board and carbon copy paper) in advance. I was going to take the class with Aine but she had to work. It was very easy going. We started by checking out a wide range of works of seed art. Then we dug in. If people had questions, they asked. Liz talked through what she was doing. What was funny (and what I loved) was the assumption that we would all be looking to submit a piece to the Fair in the future.

Doing crop art isn’t hard; doing it well is. I am very proud that Aine recognized who my art was right away. (It’s Dolly Parton!) I know what I would do differently next time to make it better. What’s worse, I’m trying to think of what subversive message I would like to feature on the art I submit to the Fair next year. Sadly I will hold off on deciding anything because god only know what might happen between now and then.

Not many people know this – but I loved crafts as a kid. It is how I spent my time. But I don’t do them often now. The pluses – time does slip away. I could listen to my favorite podcast, Guilty Feminist, while I finished my work. (I’m a feminist but I plan to make all of my future subversive statement via crop art from now on.) Also it’s hard to eat and to crop art at the same time. The minuses – I do feel one step closer to buying a cat and dying alone.

But while my other hobbies (live music and protesting) are COVID cancelled, I might have to take a serious look at seeds! It sounds like they may do the class again – it’s worth going. In fact, it would be a fun holiday gift/party.

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