Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Art Hall

Like most fairs of its kind, the Cumberland County Fair has an Art Hall for people to display their homemade handiworks.  For the cost of a quarter per item (generally), you can submit your work to be judged in numerous categories.  WInning means a ribbon and as much as a couple of dollars in prize money.  
In years gone by, ladies would enter things like quilts, embroidery, cross-stitch, and clothing - anything they had made to pass the previous long winter.  One can only imagine competition was fierce.  
Antique quilt

Few people make quilts anymore but if there are any to find, it is certainly in rural Illinois.  There is the popular antique quilt category but there are always a couple of newer pieces that are entered.  
I'm not much of a seamstress but I always enter my photographs in several categories, including Illinois Farm scene, and Fair scene.  Alas, my cousin Rachael almost always beats me. In addition to a good photographer's eye, she is also a great artist and enters several of her paintings and drawings. 

See, she got the blue ribbon - again!
One of the other fun categories to see is the collections section.  Pack rats and antiquers alike can enjoy the set of buttons, campaign pins, pencils, old photos, costume jewelry and snow globes.

Button collection
Costume jewelry
You never know exactly what you will find in that section. Or who will win.  Last year my uncle decided to enter one of the fishing nets he made and he took home a red ribbon!
It is wonderful to see the talent on display at the Art Hall, but it is also comforting to know that there are people who still know how to tat, quilt, and weave.