The M’s 2020 State Fair Purchase Award: Kyle Fokken

August 27, 2020

The M has a tradition of being the only museum to purchase a work from the Fine Arts show at the Minnesota State Fair. Curator of Exhibitions Laura Joseph along with M trustees Tom Arneson and Jim Denomie participated in a socially-distanced selection process this year.

The three landed on a mixed media assemblage by long-time Minnesota artist Kyle Fokken (born in the small Minnesota farming town of Clara City). Fokken is know for his use of found materials and what he describes as a “make do” aesthetic. He has public sculpture at Franconia Sculpture Park, among many other places across the state.

This particular piece, Class Act (Piggy Bank Series), stood out for its timely political commentary about the U.S. and the Second Amendment. That and Kyle’s history as a longstanding and respected Minnesota warrants his inclusion in the M’s collection.

Alicia Eler mentioned the piece in her overview of the show this year. What do you think of it?