The Missouri State Fair opens this Thursday! And while many people know the fair for livestock exhibits, concerts in the Pepsi Grandstand and rides on the Midway, there are lots of other gems to discover at the Missouri State Fair.
One of those gems is a tribute to Missouri's Dairy Industry, a tribute in the form of a large cow sculpted from hundreds of pounds of butter. Learn more about the "butter cow" in this article (visit the Sedalia Democrat's website for pictures too!) by Dennis Rich of the Sedalia Democrat:
That’s how much butter Missouri State Fair butter cow sculptors Janice Hargrave and Scott Linsenbardt expect to use as they work over the next few days to complete work on this year’s well-churned face of the fair - a hulking version of Rodin’s famous work, The Thinker.
The brother and sister duo, both artists from Sedalia, took their first shot at butter sculpting last year, after being approached by fair officials looking for new artists to assume the sometimes messy job.
“We are spreading the butter today. It has been fun,” Hargrave said on Saturday, the second day of nearly a week of work that will go into getting the sculpture, located in a climate-controlled room at the Gerken Dairy Center on the fairgrounds, ready for opening day.
With an assist from Hargrave’s daughter, Amy, 16, the team began the project in earnest last week, building a roughed-out metal rebar and mesh armature that acts as a supporting skeleton for the piece. The application of butter, donated by the Midwest Dairy Association, began Friday night. Hargrave said much of the butter in this year’s sculpture was recycled from their work last year, an equally-sizable Jersey cow with a friendly, comical expression.
“We might have to ask for a little more this year,” she added, using a rounded plastic scrapper to form the legs of their high-cholesterol masterpiece.
Hargrave and Linsenbardt, who also regularly show in the fair’s annual Missouri 50 art exhibition, agreed that, while whimsical, the butter cow is another opportunity to bring art to fairgoers.
Linsenbardt said he enjoyed sitting outside the Gerken Dairy Center last year as passers-by peered through the windows that look into the cooler where the sculpture is housed through the fair.
“It was fun watching the kids’ eyes light up and they start asking how much it weighs or how we did it,” Linsenbardt said.
“Being able to share it with people is definitely the best part, and we like that it something the whole family can appreciate and hopefully enjoy,” Hargrave added.
The 2011 Missouri State Fair opens Thursday and runs through Aug. 21. Learn more at www.mostatefair.com.