Bid on and take home handcrafted, unique, award-winning designs
Looking for a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted barbecue grill, water fountain, outdoor bench, or wine rack? Find a wide variety of projects designed and fabricated by SLO County youth at the 2018 California Mid-State Fair Industrial Arts Display and Auction.
Check out 50+ projects on display in The Barn on Equestrian Lane. You’re sure to find one or two must-have items, so plan to grab a bidding card and head over to the Industrial Arts Auction in the Livestock Pavilion on Thursday, July 19. The auction takes place on Cattlemen and Farmer’s Day, following the awards ceremony at 1:30 p.m.
The popular annual event is sponsored by Airgas, along with contributing sponsor Cuesta College. Designed to showcase the many talents of local student fabricators, the Industrial Education Program involves SLO County high school industrial and technology education instructors overseeing the students as they design and create projects. Basic and advanced techniques are used – projects must have been completed in the past year – with results including trailers, utility racks, shop benches, porch swings, coffee tables, and more.
“We have wonderful vocational and technical programs at our local high schools and Cuesta College,” Event Organizer Blake Wallis said. “All of the schools have outstanding facilities and they have been able to get these facilities through the tenacity and dedication of the instructors. The instructors are great about staying up on the learning curve, and these students are being immersed into a field of technology that is current and state-of-the-art.”
Entries are eligible for prizes and awards, and will remain on exhibit through the duration of the fair; first and second place projects may enter the auction. The Airgas Industrial Education Program was started nearly 25 years ago, and the amount raised for the students at the annual project auction increases yearly. Wallis and Debbie and Joel Twisselman have been involved with the Industrial Arts Display and Auction for many years – Wallis for about 25, and the Twisselmans for about 20.
Awards are given in numerous categories including: Best of Show, Industrial Arts Sweepstakes, Best Fair Theme, Junk-A-New, and Basic Welding. Sponsors include: Airgas, Bow Valley Agri-Land Services, Central Coast Barns & Buildings, BHE Renewables, Coast Pipe, La Panza Ranch, JMR Manufacturing, Lowe’s, Advancement for Youth in the Industrial Arts, Madalene Farris, and R. Franklin Farming Co.
And what does it do for the student when someone purchases his or her project?
“If you buy an item at the auction, there is nothing else like it,” Wallis said. “The item is built by a local individual, and it’s going to last for years. When you see the expression on some of these fabricators’ faces when people start bidding on their handcrafted work, it’s really something else. They see someone is buying the item, and they realize they might be able to make a living doing this.”
Meagan Friberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org