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Maine Wildlife Biologist Wins Fair Art Contest
2013 Fair Poster: Call for Entries
Register Now to Volunteer for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair
Want to Help Organize the Fair?

Lyndsey Monroe Marston
Lyndsey Monroe Marston.


Maine Wildlife Biologist Wins Fair Art Contest

Lyndsey Monroe Marston is a wildlife biologist, but a very domestic situation led to her selection as the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair art contest winner.

Marston says that she did not train formally as an artist but loved drawing and painting from the time she was a child. Later, at John Bapst High School in Bangor, she took every art class offered. She also loved wildlife, though, and decided to go in that direction rather than study art at the University of Maine.

All that time growing up, however, she drew, beginning with “funny notes left on the kitchen table or taped to the fridge for family. They soon grew to annual holiday cards, birthday cards, and invitations.”

When she was 14, her family got a dog named Enza. In 2009 Enza was diagnosed with cancer, which led to her 2010 death at age 14-1/2. Between the diagnosis and the death, Enza was the subject of many of Marston’s drawings.

“I started drawing to occupy myself,” says Marston, “but soon realized it might help support our little family. I opened my Etsy shop that spring and have been selling prints and original drawings ever since.”

Marston continues to draw Enza as “one of the many ways I remember her.” She named her business, 3 Legged Dog Ink (www.3leggeddogink.com), after Enza, who was hit by car when she was young and lost a paw in the accident. Prosthetics enabled her to live a long, active life, says Marston.

Her art goes beyond dogs. Marston has illustrated the “Last Word” column in Bangor Metro, and her cow drawing illustrates the “Eat Kale Not Cow” organic T-shirts of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York, which “rescues farm animals [from cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment] and gives them a wonderful life,” says Marston.

Etsy (etsy.com, a website for selling handmade items) is a great resource for selling her work, says Marston. “You get as much out of Etsy as you put into it,” and as she learns more about how to use the site, she is selling more work.

For a while Marston’s medium varied between acrylic and watercolor. Now she has settled mostly on marker and watercolor pencils. “It’s much cleaner and neater to do,” she says – a style that suits the Fair needs well.

She illustrated the appetizing garlic scapes on this year’s Fair artwork with marker and watercolor pencils after seeing the scapes at her friend Molly Crouse’s MOFGA-certified organic farm, Nettie Fox Farm in Newburgh, near Bangor. (Previously, Crouse was a farmer-in-residence at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center.) The scapes “seemed like they were all the rage lately,” says Marston. “They were so perfect in their little bundle. I couldn’t help but draw them.”

Marston grew up in Veazie and has stayed close to the greater Bangor area, but last fall she and her husband, Curtis, quit their jobs and headed out on an extended road trip to visit national parks and other sites, and friends. Their truck has built-in living quarters in the back and four bikes (two road and two mountain bikes) on the roof. As we went to press, the couple was in Alaska for a month helping a friend finish his Ph.D. research on glaciers at Denali National Park. After this “crowning achievement to our long adventure, we hope to wind our way back to Maine,” says Marston. Both she and her husband love Maine and are committed to living here and giving back to their communities. Upon their return, they’ll be looking for good jobs – she in wildlife biology and her husband in civil engineering.

Marston will be signing posters at the Common Ground Country Fair this fall. Look for the time in the schedule of events, which will appear in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, and at www.mofga.org.

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2013 Fair Poster: Call for Entries

Do you have the poster design we are looking for? Maybe. The Common Ground Country Fair is looking for artists’ submissions for the 2013 Fair poster. Each year we hold a poster design contest to select the poster for the following year. Artists who reside in Maine or are MOFGA members are invited to enter designs in the contest. The selected design will be centerpiece of the 2013 Fair poster, Fair T-shirt and merchandise, and promotional media, including the Fair pages on MOFGA’s website. The artist will be featured in this newspaper, along with a press release that focuses on the artist and the art. Also, the winning artist will receive $1,000.

Artists may submit two entries, which must arrive in the MOFGA office by 4 p.m. on Friday, August 3, 2012. For complete guidelines, including technical specifications, eligibility requirements and timeline, please visit the Fair Art link on the Fair page at www.mofga.org or contact the Fair office at commonground@mofga.org or 207-568-4142.

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Register Now to Volunteer for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair

Volunteer registration for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair is now open. Volunteer opportunities are available before the Fair during set-up; through the Fair weekend of September 21, 22 and 23; and afterward for clean-up. Individuals, families and groups are all welcome.

Individuals and groups can register on the MOFGA website. Look for the “Fair Volunteers” page in the Fair section.

We rely on hundreds of volunteers, contributing in myriad ways, to produce MOFGA’s annual celebration of rural living. Whether you have a specific skill, experience in a trade, or simply an abundance of enthusiasm and creativity, there’s a volunteer role for you with the Fair. Contributing in every imaginable way – from carpentry to commercial plumbing and electrical, landscaping, traffic control, preparing meals, collecting and sorting recyclables and trash, collecting tickets, serving meals, helping speakers, staffing information booths, selling T-shirts, and more – volunteers do just about anything and everything necessary to make the Common Ground Country Fair happen.

Volunteers who work a 4-hour shift receive a “grown and made in the USA” organic cotton Fair T-shirt, Fair admission, and a delicious meal served by the Common Kitchen. Work additional shifts and receive additional meals and days of free admission.

For more information about volunteering at the Fair, visit the Fair Volunteers webpage, www.mofga.org/TheFair/FairVolunteers/tabid/311/Default.aspx, or contact the MOFGA office at 207-568-4142 or volunteers@mofga.org.

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Want to Help Organize the Fair?

Would you like to help coordinate some aspect of the Fair? The Planning Team has openings for volunteer area coordinators, assistant coordinators and understudies in a variety of areas. Opportunities exist to contribute before, during and after the Fair.

For example, signs must be put in place before the gates open on Friday morning. Same with tables and chairs for the speakers tents and workshop spaces. Getting those sorted and distributed is a big job that gets done on the Wednesday and Thursday before the Fair. After the Fair, there’s a lot to repack and store for next year. We would appreciate fresh and rested hands to help with this.

Do you like to cook for a lot of people? The volunteer Common Kitchen team has openings for coordinators.

Perhaps you’re a runner. The team managing the foot race would welcome experienced “road race” helpers.

In fact, many areas of the Fair have well established teams seeking new team members, or new coordinators who would welcome more help.

As the Fair evolves, new opportunities for contributing arise. We would love to have someone with audio, video and computer skills to record many of the presentations and workshops for later broadcast online. Or maybe you would like to coordinate buses to the Fair to help reduce auto traffic. Better still, perhaps you see an opportunity to help with something we’ve missed.

To take a leadership role in producing our big annual celebration, please contact the Fair office at commonground@mofga.org or 207-568-4142.

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