Last year for Faces of the Fair

By kalea hall


Every year, Linda Clifton and her daughter, Lindsay Clifton, of Toronto, Ohio, save the Fine Arts Building as the best for last when they come to the Canfield Fair.

They enjoy the new art that comes in, and they love participating in Faces of the Fair.

“We get to take part in the fair without entering livestock,” Lindsay said. “[Faces of the Fair] makes us feel a part of [the fair].”

Faces of the Fair is a montage of photos put together and formed into a picture representing the annual event. After six years of producing Faces of the Fair posters and postcards, the Fine Arts staff has decided to move on to a new project. This will be the last year for fairgoers to get their picture taken at the Fine Arts Building for the project.

“We will have something else, so anybody who is a fair lover can do it,” said Suzanne Gray of the Fine Arts staff.

Gray said Faces of the Fair began when she entered a montage of everyone in her family into the fair with her brother in 2008.

“The fair staff said, “Why don’t we try to do something like that?” Gray said.

So, the Fine Arts staff went around with cameras in hand and sought willing participants.

“The first year was like pulling teeth,” Gray said.

As fairgoers saw the final outcome of the pictures in 2009 and after, they were more willing to play a part in the project. Now, the staff takes photos all day long and receives more than 2,000 for Gray to put together into a Canfield Fair poster.

“The design has to be simple,” Gray said.

From the looks of it, all five of the completed posters do not look simple and have intricate detail. Also, all of them come with a rooster, the fair’s well-known symbol. This year, the Fine Arts Building is selling the vintage tractor poster with pictures taken during last year’s fair. Next year, the poster with a new design and photos taken this year will be up for sale.

All proceeds from the project go to the Fine Arts Building.

Since art is always changing, and with the long hours of taking photos and actually putting the poster together to form a design, Gray thought it would be a good idea for a change, but she is sad to see it go.

“I really like the project,” Gray said.

One touching Faces of the Fair story Gray easily remembered was the time a woman came to her and said the photo of her brother in the 2011 poster was the last one taken of him before he died. Gray went through the 2,000 photos she had and actually found the photo and was able to give it to the sister.

“I have met so many interesting people,” Gray said.

The Cliftons also are sad to see Faces of the Fair go but eager to see what the new project will be. Gray said the new project will once again get everyone involved.

“I love it,” Linda said. “It’s a community thing.”

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