For the 14th consecutive year, Indiana dairy farmers have sponsored the cheese sculpture at the Indiana State Fair. The 2019 sculpture was unveiled on Friday. Over 300 hours of work turned over a ton of cheese into a work of art that attracts thousands at the Fair.
She has been called the Michelangelo of Mozzarella, the Picasso of Provolone, and the Monet of Munster; but, around the Indiana State Fair, Sarah Kaufmann is just known as the cheese lady. This year’s creation is in line with the fair’s super hero theme. “Well, dairy farmers are our super heroes,” said Kaufmann. The sculpture also includes a large jug of milk and Buttercup the Dairy Association mascot. “I made the dairy farmer all big and muscly from eating all his 3-a-day dairy products,” she stated.
The sculpture, which is on display in the Ag Hort building, is a promotional and educational display that showcases the Indiana dairy industry. “All the milk was produced here in Indiana and processed into cheese by Pace Dairy in Crawfordsville. This is the same cheese you can buy in the Kroger dairy case,” noted Kaufmann. During the creation of the sculpture, Kaufmann interacts with Fair visitors and answers questions about cheese and the dairy industry in general.
What makes this even more unique is that Kaufmann is one of only a handful of artists in the nation that works with cheese. “Very few artists besides me are doing cheese sculpture,” she stated. This year she had help from several students at the Herron School of Art. Kaufmann hopes this experience will spark their interest in working with cheese.
After the Fair, the cheese will be recycled into biofuels.