It's amazing and surprising that state shapes make such interesting art subjects! Our state art paintings have become some of our most popular sellers and, in the process, we hear a lot of unique stories about why people have bought them! I thought it would be fun to share a few of the reasons customers have shared with us, and maybe inspire a few ideas in the process! By the way, they make great gifts for the holidays or any time of the year for that matter!
A Gallery Wall Collection. We caught our "resident model" -- aka Joe -- hard at work so we snapped a quick photo of him! The grouping shown here of nine states was for a recent photo shoot. We borrowed a few pieces before they were being shipped out to their new homes. But if you have a connection to this many states, it makes a great gallery wall collection to say the least! Even a grouping of three or four states makes quite an impact!
A Going Away/Welcome Gift. We received an order for one of our large Michigan state art pieces. She told us it was for a going away party for a neighbor. She was having everyone on the block sign their names on the pallet as a "guestbook" of sorts. What a great piece for the relocating family to take with them! We've had several real estate agents give these as closing gifts too, both as a way to welcome new owners to the state and to say goodbye to those moving out!
Personalized, Meaningful Art. One customer said her motivation was two-fold. She wanted a way to make the art in her family room more personal AND incorporate the colors in her decor. She bought four of our 14" x 14" states states representing the places each family member had been born, combining the colors in her room (neutrals, blues and reds) for the grouping.
As part of a gallery wall grouping. Another great way to use these states is as part of a gallery wall grouping. This one also includes some number art representing the number of family members! Interestingly, Texas is the state we sell most often. I guess Texans have a special pride...who knows! It's also probably one of the most interesting and recognizable state shapes.
The beginning of our story together. One customer, who bought three states to hang above their bed, said that one was for her home place, another for his and the "middle" state was for where they met and lived now...the beginning of their own story together.
School Spirit. Another customer who had three kids in college ordered states for where each school was located. Customers have also ordered states for their alma maters...a fun addition to a man cave or she shed!
We have done paintings of almost all the states, but for reasons unknown to us, some states seem to be more popular, at least as subjects for paintings! As mentioned, Texas is probably the most requested state, but we also get a lot of orders for California, Michigan, Illinois, South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, New York, Tennessee, Georgia...well, the list goes on! Here are some examples of a few of them. Can you name them?
Finally, any discussion about state spirit requires mention of some fun facts, right? Here is one fun fact from each state (source: infoplease.com)...enjoy!
Alabama - George Washington Carver, who discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts
Alaska - The longest coastline in the U.S., 6,640 miles, greater than that of all other states combined
Arizona - The most telescopes in the world, in Tucson
Arkansas - The only active diamond mine in the U.S.
California - “General Sherman,” a 3,500-year-old tree, and a stand of bristlecone pines 4,000 years old are the world's oldest living things
Colorado - The world's largest silver nugget (1,840 pounds) found in 1894 near Aspen
Connecticut - The first American cookbook, published in Hartford in 1796: American Cookery by Amelia Simmons
Delaware - The first log cabins in North America, built in 1683 by Swedish immigrants
Florida - U.S. spacecraft launchings from Cape Canaveral, formerly Cape Kennedy
Georgia - The Girl Scouts, founded in Savannah by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912
Hawaii - The only royal palace in the U.S. (Iolani)
Idaho - The longest main street in America, 33 miles, in Island Park
Illinois - The tallest building in the U.S., Sears Tower, in Chicago
Indiana - The famous car race: the Indy 500
Iowa - The shortest and steepest railroad in the U.S., Dubuque: 60° incline, 296 feet
Kansas - Helium discovered in 1905 at the University of Kansas
Kentucky - The largest underground cave in the world: 300 miles long, the Mammoth-Flint Cave system
Louisiana - The most crayfish: 98% of the world's crayfish
Maine - The most easterly point in the U.S., West Quoddy Head
Maryland - The first umbrella factory in the U.S., 1928, Baltimore
Massachusetts - The first World Series, 1903: the Boston “Americans” (became the Red Sox in 1908) vs. the Pittsburg Pirates (Pittsburgh had no “h” between 1890–1911)
Michigan - The Cereal Bowl of America, Battle Creek, produces most cereal in the U.S.
Minnesota - The oldest rock in the world, 3.8 billion years old, found in Minnesota River valley
Mississippi - Coca-Cola, first bottled in 1894 in Vicksburg
Missouri - Mark Twain and some of his characters, such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Montana - Grasshopper Glacier, named for the grasshoppers that can still be seen frozen in ice
Nebraska - The only roller skating museum in the world, in Lincoln
Nevada - Rare fish such as the Devils Hole pup, found only in Devils Hole, and other rare fish from prehistoric lakes; also the driest state
New Hampshire - Artificial rain, first used near Concord in 1947 to fight a forest fire
New Jersey - The world's first drive-in movie theater, built in 1933 near Camden
New Mexico - “Smokey Bear,” a cub orphaned by fire in 1950, buried in Smokey Bear Historical State Park in 1976
New York - The first presidential inauguration: George Washington took the oath of office in New York City on April 30, 1789.
North Carolina - Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America, on Roanoake Island in 1587
North Dakota - The geographic center of North America, in Pierce County, near Balta
Ohio - The first electric traffic lights, invented and installed in Cleveland in 1914
Oklahoma - The first parking meter, installed in Oklahoma City in 1935
Oregon - The world's smallest park, totaling 452 inches, created in Portland on St. Patrick's Day for leprechauns and snail races
Pennsylvania - The first magazine in America: the American Magazine, published in Philadelphia for 3 months in 1741
Rhode Island - Rhode Island Red chickens, first bred in 1854; the start of poultry as a major American industry
South Carolina - The first tea farm in the U.S., created in 1890 near Summerville
South Dakota - The world's largest natural, indoor warmwater pool, Evans' Plunge in Hot Springs
Tennessee - Graceland, the estate and gravesite of Elvis Presley
Texas - NASA, in Houston, headquarters for all piloted U.S. space projects
Utah - Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural stone bridge in the world, 290 feet high, 275 feet across
Vermont - The largest production of maple syrup in the U.S.
Virginia - The only full-length statue of George Washington, placed in capitol in 1796
Washington - Lunar Rover, the vehicle used by astronauts on the moon; Boeing, in Seattle, makes aircraft and spacecraft
West Virginia - Marbles; most of the country's glass marbles made around Parkersburg
Wisconsin - The typewriter, invented in Milwaukee in 1867
Wyoming - The “Register of the Desert,” a huge granite boulder covering 27 acres with 5,000 early pioneer names carved on it
Let us know your own "fun fact" when you place your order!
See you then!
Jess and the team at Woodstock Rustic