Hannah Scansen, the creator of a cardboard collage exhibited at MontanaFair, can identify with free art materials. As she contemplated what to enter in the Montana Fair Mixed Media Fine Arts Category, she thought of all the things around the house.
“We have cardboard, and it’s free so we should do something with it - it was a recycling thing,” she said. Her mother named the collage “The Cycles of Life, Recycled.”
The collage focuses on everyday things that can make life special. Nine squares vertically and six squares horizontally, the collage’s images encompass a leaf, a tree, several flowers, people holding hands in a traditional child’s cutout, Bibles, a scene with a cat, crosses, love letters, a mailbox awaiting mail, hearts, a cliff jumping scene, and an artist’s palette with a paintbrush at the top right hand corner.
“My sister and I love to draw, so we had to have these little scenes of the cat and the cliff jumping. My sister wrote, ‘Do Crazy Things!’” On the cat scene is written, “Curiosity killed the cat, but Satisfaction brought him back!”
Ms. Scansen says she wanted all of her favorite things in the collage. There is no pattern, she says, to the large cardboard work, covered in twine, boxes and even a bandana design made out of cardboard. She mentions the famous “Sound of Music” lyrics: “Brown paper packages tied up with string; these are a few of my favorite things,” which inspired her to amass her favorite images and themes and incorporate them into a personal and meaningful work of art. She says it took her just under one hour to complete each square, but lots of time to assemble the squares in a harmonious way.
Home-schooled, Ms. Scansen plans to attend Montana Bible College in Bozeman next month. She says she wanted to include the iconic Rimrocks of Billings and the Yellowstone River, which are at the top left of the collage. Hiking on the Rims and recreating around the river are two more of her favorite things.
Karen Tanner, the superintendent of fine arts for MontanaFair, says that people drive from as far away as Hamilton, Bozeman and Columbus to show their works at Billings’ Fair Art Exhibits.
“We had a record year with entries,” she says, holding a clipboard and brushing her hair away from her large eyeglasses. Her phone accompanies her everywhere at the Fair.
“I think the digital photography is a big draw to the art exhibits at the Fair,” she says. “Four judges, professional artists from Yellowstone County, will announce the winners and they will be posted on the website, www.montanafair.com.
She says some changes are in store for next year: “Next year, all entries will be submitted online.” The entry fee is $5 for one or more entries per department. Ms. Tanner’s department is fine arts.