Today I met with my independent study advisor to discuss my ideas for a cyanotype installation that will be on display this coming April. I sat down, looked at her and said “fair royalty”. She had no clue what I meant, which absolutely floored me. This whole time I had thought that I wanted to bring art to a rural setting, to show the people who were raised similarly to me that art can and does impact their lives, that it is as much about them as it is about urban spaces. What I realized today is that I’m actually doing the opposite, I’m bring the country to the city, showing a world to others who don’t know it exists. In a way I am marrying my two selves: country Katie Jo and city Kaitlyn Smith.
Last semester I was able to print one lone cyanotype on glass (pictured below); I instantly fell in love, running up to my professor and asking to spend spring semester making them with her. The challenge then became finding a subject matter worthy of such a precious medium. I couldn’t stop thinking of home, of the blue collared Americans I’ve spent my whole life around and how much they contribute to our society. I began to think about the people who do the most and are thanked the least: farmers. Eventually this train of thought lead me to fair royalty, an incredibly prestigious honor for those of us in rural communities. I decided to take portraits of “royals” lit regally in the style of Caravaggio that I will soon be printing on glass.
This is only the first batch; I’m hoping to have between twenty and thirty images when it’s all said and done. My goal is to have a variety of ages, not just young twenty-somethings. I would also love to see a good representation of different Ohio counties (even State Fair representatives). If you or somebody you know was junior fair royalty please contact me and I can give you more information for becoming apart of this project; I would love to work with you.
2011 Rabbit Queen
2011 Jr. Fair King
2010 Rabbit Queen
2004 Goat Prince
2011 Dairy Princess
2011 1st Runner Up Jr. Fair King
2012 Jr. Fair King
Cyanotype on glass (don’t mind my incredibly awkward hand):