Mid-America staff members win big at county fairs
We have so many creative people on our team at MAP. Two of those individuals were recognized last month at their local county fairs for outstanding achievement in the arts.
Congratulations to Sara and Becky!
Sara Paulsen, a designer for the Pioneer Enterprise and Calmar Courier, entered two paintings at the Franklin County Fair and both were awarded blue ribbons.
Sara reports that she enjoys lots of different art projects, such as drawing, painting, scrap booking, and other crafts.
When it came to a choice of subject, that was pretty easy, says Sara. "Faith is also an important part in my life so I like to include it in some of the projects I work on. I decided to use two different songs I heard on the Christian radio station along with hand lettering and color to express the lyrics within the song. The two songs I used were "We believe" by the Newsboys and "When Mercy Found Me" by the Rhett Walker Band."
She says she chose colors based on what each song spoke to her about, so one has more bold and vibrant colors and the other has colors that remind the viewer of water.
Sara says her work is a labor of love that she would do even if she didn't win blue ribbons, and just a great way to be creative and just spend some time in reflection. "As I work on the artwork I think about the lyrics and how they also represent things that have happened in my life," she says.
Ida County Courier designer Becky Bruning took five photos to the Ida County Fair and received a mix of blue and purple ribbons. She was "very shocked and thrilled" when she found out she won the Best Overall Photographer award.
Most of her photos were close-ups of everyday things such as flowers, frost, and moss on a gravestone.
Becky, who has been interested in photography since high school, says she finds her hobby to be very relaxing. "If I go on a hike with my camera, I'm not stressing out about the list of things I should probably be doing instead. I'm focusing on the beauty of how the sun shines through a flower or how out of place trash looks strewn amongst nature."
She likes how photography "gets me out of my own head and focused on something bigger than myself," and makes her notice things that would be missed altogether. "What inspires me when I take pictures is wanting to tell a story differently, which is why most of my still life pictures are taken close-up," she says. "It forces you to see the object from a different perspective."