Artist, Cheri O’Brien’s dynamic public art installation, A Day at the Fair, has transformed the entry tunnels of the Monroe Fairgrounds. Cheri created the commission using powder-coated steel animals and glass images that are inspired by the barn displays, carnival rides, and fair icons and that are synonymous with the Evergreen State Fair and the year-round activities that draw more than 300,000 participants annually.
The installation features O’Brien’s whimsical, contemporary, narrative folk style in both glass and steel. Powder-coated ribbons and rosettes flank the tunnel walls along with reverse glass painted portraits housed in steel animal frames. “I have created this installation inspired by my experiences of attending the fair and hope that the images of racecars, ribbons and roosters provides a new fond memory for those who walk through the tunnels that will enjoy a day at the fair. ” said O’Brien.
“I have been coming to the Evergreen State Fair since 1965, first as a little girl having saved my pennies for the rides, taffy, corn dogs and Purple Cows, then later as a teenager proudly winning 3 blue ribbons in 4H, said Cheri O’Brien. When my daughters were born, we brought them to the fair to pet the farm animals, go on the kiddie rides and yes, drink Purple Cows. In 1986, I entered the adult art competition and won Grand Prize. It was then that I really started my professional art career.”