Artist’s work touring state

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RUMFORD – Betsy Bell of Mexico helped organizers in western Maine launch an Eat Smart Eat Local campaign by submitting a work of original art to “The Art of Eating Well” poster contest.

Bell has shown her art in Maryland and Maine. She manages the Pennacook Art Gallery in Rumford. Sen. John M. Nutting, chairman of Maine’s Agriculture Committee, congratulated Bell at Maine Ag Day for expressing her commitment to local agriculture through her art.

Artists throughout Maine were asked by the Western Mountains Alliance to respond to the challenge of creating a simple, iconic image that conveys the importance of supporting local agriculture. Twenty-seven artists responded.

The State House hosted an exhibit of their artwork as part of Maine Agricultural Day in April, following previous shows in Farmington and Skowhegan. It is Western Maine Alliance’s plan to exhibit the posters around the state for the next year to inspire people to support local farmers.

The posters will be on display at the Skowhegan Area Middle School gallery in May; Morris Farm, Wiscasset, in June; Androscoggin Savings Bank, Livermore Falls, in July; Common Ground Fair, Unity, in September; and at Goodwill Hinckley gallery, Hinckley, in October.

The winning poster, produced by Jennifer Hartung of Farmington, is now the face of an ambitious program of the alliance to create a viable local food system.

Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and implemented by Paula Day of the Maine Alternative Agriculture Association, the project seeks to have foods from local farms served in schools and large institutions in Franklin and Somerset counties. The project is sponsoring technical workshops for farmers, a public awareness campaign and an educational component.

The winning poster can be seen at www.westernmoun tainsalliance.org. Anyone who would like to bring the exhibit to their area should contact Day at 696-8044 or e-mail maaa@gwi.net.

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