UNITY, Maine — A praying mantis on a pumpkin patch. A rooster letting it rip. A team of draft bulls dressed to impress. Each year a new design is chosen to represent the Common Ground Country Fair. And like a concert T-shirt, the original artwork is a coveted keepsake emblazoned on posters, shirts and even onesies. They sell out fast.

Arika von Edler ’12 is the designer of the official Common Ground Country Fair image.Arika von Edler ’12 is the designer of the official Common Ground Country Fair image.When the agricultural celebration opens for the 39th year on Friday, a frolicsome goat munching on wheat and clover will wink at passers-by from all corners. The fair’s organizer, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, selects one design from scores of entries that captures the rural magic of Maine. Though hard to determine a single image for the wide-ranging fest, “we look for something that conveys that good feeling,” said fair director April Boucher.

This year, winning artist Arika von Edler, a College of the Atlantic alum, drew from experience. She worked on organic farms in Maine for years and based the painting on a goat she encountered on a friend’s dairy farm — Udder View in Columbia.

A portrait painter by trade, the 27-year-old turned her attention to an animal for the first time.


“I painted the entire thing with one paint brush,” said von Edler, which helped created a fuzzy, furry look via acrylics.

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