Milton artist Larry Schultz grew up with fairs and 4-H, and it shows in his award-winning artwork.
Schultz was at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis last week painting fair scenes and visiting with fairgoers. He took frequent breaks from his painting to autograph fair posters in the fair's souvenir booth.
Schultz submitted the winning design in State Fair's Fairtastic Poster Art contest earlier this year.
"The judges were simply in awe of the final artwork," said Jill Albanese, competitive exhibits coordinator for Wisconsin State Fair. "We are thrilled with the bright, colorful, original quality of the final entries for the first year of the Fairtastic Poster Art Competition and congratulate all the finalists on excellent work — these pieces were just phenomenal."
Schultz grew up in Milton, a small, rural town known for its agriculture and community, and developed a passion for art, drawing and detail as a young boy.
"I credit my Mom for my interest in art," he said. "She wouldn't call herself an artist, but I was so impressed with her paintings that I wanted to try it myself."
He remembered asking her to draw a house for him when he was very young. "She didn't just put a few lines on the paper, she drew a detailed picture that looked just like our house."
Schultz went on to enroll in art projects in 4-H in Rock County along with other projects including ponies, rabbits and dogs.
"I love to paint farm animals and, because of my experiences with 4-H and fairs, many of my paintings feature young people showing farm animals," he said.
He established himself as a Wisconsin artist early on and took particular interest in applying his love for the outdoors to the canvas.
Schultz has dedicated his life to his art, teaching classes, conducting painting workshops and designing murals, and has been awarded numerous recognitions and honors.
"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to showcase the passion and excitement I have for the Wisconsin State Fair through my art," he said. "It's an honor to be named Grand Champion Artist of the first Fairtastic Poster Competition."