Cannon is best known for his detailed cartoon maps in the Star Tribune as well as his humorous all-ages graphic novel, “The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy.” Born and raised in St. Louis Park, his art career began at a very early age, drawing with Mr. Sketch markers on scraps of foam core from his uncle’s photography studio. He went on to study studio art at Grinnell College in Iowa and resettled in Minneapolis after short stints living in London and Manhattan. In 2004, Cannon co-founded Big Time Attic studio with Zander Cannon (no relation) and Shadi Petosky. The trio tackled a wide range of projects such as animating online games for Cartoon Network and designing the Eau Claire-based family fun center Action City before each artist went their separate way. Cannon focused his career on cartooning, writing and illustrating the arctic adventure graphic novels “Far Arden” and “Crater XV,” the former garnering an Eisner nomination (the comic world’s equivalent of an Oscar). The last decade has found him splitting his time between drawing children’s books and creating illustrations for clients such as Apple, Harvard and the US Naval Academy, and publications like The Village Voice, Minnesota Monthly and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. He lives in Mounds View with his wife, Maggie, their son, Ulysses, and cat, Cottleston Pie.
The commemorative poster and other merchandise featuring the art are now available for purchase (limited-edition signed prints are sold out). They will also be available during the fair at State FairWear Gift Shops and Bargain Book and State Fair Poster Carts on the fairgrounds (see a map). Proceeds will support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation 501(c)(3) mission to preserve and improve State Fair buildings, fairgrounds and educational programs.
The 2021 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art is the 17th in a series of artwork created by Minnesota artists for the Great Minnesota Get-Together. In past years, artists have included: Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (2004), Mary GrandPré (2005), Nancy Carlson (2006), Michael Birawer (2007), Edie Abnet (2008), Leo Stans (2009), Deborah Voyda Rogers (2010), Steve Thomas (2011), Joe Heffron (2012), Marie Olofsdotter (2013), Emily L. Taylor (2014), Adam Turman (2015), Michael Sweere (2016), Ta-coumba Aiken (2017), Kristi Abbott (2018) and R. J. Kern (2019). View gallery of past artwork.