Milton artist adds fun to state fair

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Dennis Hines | July 31, 2014

MILTON -- Larry Schultz began working as an artist by painting horses.

“I realized the horse market is glutted with horse artists. Every horse owner has a relative who paints horses,” Schultz said. “I was doing all right, but I said I better expand. So, I said, 'I'm from Wisconsin, so I'm going to paint cows.'”

He also added pigs and chickens to his repertoire and combined those talents into one poster that will be featured at this year's Wisconsin State Fair, which will be held from July 31 to Aug. 10.

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Schultz was named the grand champion artist for the Wisconsin State Fairtastic Poster Art Competition, beating out 27 other artists. Schultz's winning design is featured on the fair's commemorative posters and postcards. Proceeds from sales of the poster and postcards will be used to help support youth activities at the fair.

“It's pretty awesome since it's the first (poster contest) they've ever had,” Schultz said.

“To be chosen from 28 artists through the whole process, it feels special since it's your own state fair.”

Participants were asked to submit a pencil drawing of their poster, and then the four finalists were asked to submit a color sketch of their design in April. The winner of the contest was announced in June. Each of the four finalists received $400, and Schultz, as grand champion, won $1,000.

Schultz said his design featured various aspects of the fair including animals, activities, food stands and carnival rides. He said it took him about 80 hours to create the design for the poster.

“I wanted to incorporate as many elements that could fit in (the design) for the state fair. When you think of the Wisconsin State Fair, you think of some of the big events like the big draft horse race, and, of course, since we're the dairy state you would like to have a cow in there and all the other animals,” Schultz said. “You think of the food like cream puffs and chocolate covered bacon on a stick and cheese curds and all the rides like the gondola that travels across the fairgrounds.”

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