Amateur, Advanced Amateur and Lots
The Crop Art exhibit is divided into two general areas -- "Amateur"
and "Advanced Amateur." Both of these areas are subdivided into
categories or "Lots."
What's the difference between and Amateur and Advanced Amateur? An
Amateur has to win four Blue ribbons -- in four years -- to be able to
compete in the Advanced Amateur Lots. This has the effect of getting the
really good Crop Artists up to another level, so the Amateurs can slug
it out amongst themselves.
Lots of Crop Art
The Amateur and Advanced Amateur areas have the same categories or
Lots. For example, there is a "Special occasion commemorative" Amateur
Lot and an "Special occasion commemorative" Advanced Amateur
Odd numbers are for Amateur and even numbers are for Advanced
Amateur. There are many different Lots in the Crop Art exhibit. Here are
some of the Lots:
- Lots 1 and 2:
Natural colors, no paint allowed
- All seeds, nothing else. This is usually the category with the most
entries. No "irregular" forms. Usually that means the crop art should be
square or rectangular.
Lots 3 and 4:
Paint allowed on 30 percent of the art
- Seeds can be dyed or painted. Backgrounds can be painted.
Lots 5 and 6:
Irregularly-shaped, can be
- These can be cut-outs or sculptures -- as long
as they are covered with seeds. Paint is allowed in this Lot.
Lots 7 and 8:
Flat surface arrangements
dried plant matter over 70 percent of the surface. The background (up to
30 percent of the surface) can be painted.
Lots 9 and 10:
Dried leaves and fruiting structures
- These can be cut-outs or sculptures -- as long as they
are covered with seeds. Paint is not allowed in this Lot.
Lots 11 and 12:
Special occasion commemorative
- This is a very flexible category. Entries can commemorate a national
holiday or someone's birthday, or a child's birth announcement. There
were a couple Halloween commemorations in 1999. There have been Fourth
of July commemorations. Lincoln's birthday is also a popular
Lots 13 and 14:
Seed and plant craft objects
- Three dimensional objects made of or covered in plant material. Corn
shuck dolls, rattan ornaments, rattan bells, straw baskets. Can be
natural color, died or painted.
Lots 15 and 16:
Wearable crop art
- Jewelry or
clothing. Can be natural color, died or painted.
You can enter as many Lots as you like, but you are allowed only one
entry per Lot. Some Crop Artists enter as many as four or more
There is also a "Novice" Lot for first-timers, a "Junior" Lot for
kids aged 12-and-under, a "Senior" Lot for those 60-and-older, and an
"Out-of-State Residents" Lot. For these categories, the entries can
include almost anything included in the other categories. Paint, dried
plants, irregularly shaped surfaces.
Maximum dimensions for entries is 24 x 40 inches or 30 inches in
There is no entry fee for the Crop Art competition.
There are many ribbons awarded. Not all places are awarded in each
- First place: Blue
- Second place: Red
- Third place:
- Fourth place: Yellow
- Fifth place: Pink
- Merit award:
- Best of Show: Purple
A Purple ribbon and a plaque is awarded to the Champion -- the best
Crop Art of the show -- usually the winner is from the Advanced Amateurs
division, although an Amateur can win it. Another Purple ribbon goes to
the Reserve Champion. A sweepstakes winner -- the person with the most
high ribbons in the most categories in the Crop Art show -- is also
awarded a Purple ribbon and a plaque.
"What are those?"
All Crop Art entries must have a 4 x 6-inch legend card attached. All
seeds used must be listed with a seed sample. That way Crop Art judges
and viewers can tell what each picture is made of.
The real rules
The information in this article is condensed and adapted from the official Crop Art rules. You should get the real deal by reading the Ag-Hort-Bee Rules
and Premiums. They are updated and posted online in early May for the August Minnesota State Fair.
The the rule book is available as a PDF in the Ag-Hort-Bee section of the State Fair's web site at www.mnstatefair.org. It used to be available in paper form, but -- well, you're reading THIS on the Internet, aren't you?