AS A WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER, I view life through a creative lens. That means, even at a farm-themed event like the Rice County Steam and Gas Engines Show, I notice the artsy side.
I attended the show in rural Dundas on Friday. While most attendees focus on the field of tractors, the multiple ag-related demonstrations, the flea market and more, I also focus on creative details within the all of it. Like hand-lettered signage, handcrafted items, music, and, yes, even the couple dancing to bluegrass tunes performed by Steam Machine.
The arts, whether literary, visual or performing, enhance our lives, bringing joy, comfort, diversion, entertainment, introspection and much more.
I value the talents of those who create. I create with words and with my camera. Put a paintbrush or crochet hook in my hand and I would be hard-pressed to make anything worthy of notice. But, gosh, do I admire creatives like Kay Dudley of Faribault who brought her crocheted animals to the flea market. Likewise, I admire the skill of the woodworker who built the sturdy yard chairs for sale.
On the other end of the show grounds, I found more to appreciate in the 1912 farmhouse. Embroidered linens displayed in the kitchen caught my eye. I know how to embroider, although decades have passed since I picked up a needle, embroidery floss and a hoop to stitch a design into cloth. I really ought to resume that craft.
In another room of the farmhouse, a doll laid upon a quilt, reminding me of my paternal grandmother who stitched endless quilts for her family, me included. I was quite the seamstress as a teen, sewing many of my clothes and dresses for Grandma, too. She could quilt, but she couldn’t make her own clothes. I always found that interesting. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in years.
I was especially interested in the original painting of a rural schoolhouse scene propped on a table in the farmhouse. The vintage art, scored at a Goodwill store for $5, is exactly the type of art I collect.
In my collection is a North Dakota threshing scene painted by my father-in-law and among my most treasured pieces of original art. So when I saw a hand-carved threshing scene displayed in the music building at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engines Show, I was reminded of Tom’s painting. I display it this time of year atop the entertainment center in my living room.
Original paintings and other original art, including signs, always draw my appreciation. There’s just something about a handcrafted sign that makes me pause, take notice, remember. From signage on tractors to signage on buildings to signage among the food vendors, I noticed the creativity.
Every piece of art I spotted added to my enjoyment of this southern Minnesota farm-themed show. Certainly I value the ag and history aspects of this event. But I value, too, the creativity.
FYI: Click here to read my first general overall post on the 2022 Rice County Steam and Gas Engines Show. And click here to read my second post highlighting tractors.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
From milkshakes to Blacksmith Shop, it is absolutely wonderful. Thank you 😊
Yes, lots to see and do here. I’m happy to share this rural event with readers.
Yes. That is good, Audrey 🙏😊
Of course you value the creativity! I would have loved to have been with you but at least I got to see all the art (and the huggable crochet ) through your lens and words. Love the painting.
Oh, Ruth, it would have been fun to meander the grounds with you.
Fun post…thanks for sharing the creative side at this event.
I thought it was an aspect that needed to be brought out.
This was delightful trip for me as you documented some really interesting pictures.
Glad you enjoyed this art tour, Paula.
There is a creative twist to just about anything and everything – loving your post 🙂 I want a purple elephant now – oh so cute and fun too! Happy Day – Enjoy
It seems several of us like that purple elephant.
Such a variety of things to see and experience. Your photographs, as always, bring the event to life.
Thank you. I tried to show all facets of the event.