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Larson maps out perfect Festival poster Larson maps out perfect Festival poster

By CAROLINE LOBSINGER Staff writer Bonner County Daily Bee

DOVER — When Maria Larson got the first message from Festival at Sandpoint executive director Dyno Wahl, she never returned the call.

After all, she’d talked to friend Tom Walton with whom she performs in the jazz group A Touch of Jazz and figured she knew what the call was about. The group had been selected to perform at a Festival function.

The next message was from longtime friend Susan Dalby, who congratulated her and told her she was so thrilled for her. Larson, who was en route to Ellensburg, Wash., to visit family, was puzzled but figured Dalby had meant to call someone else.

“We’re driving down the road and I looked over and Maria had a big question mark on her face,” Larry Larson said.

It wasn’t until she finally connected with Dalby on the phone a short time later that Larson finally understood what all the phone calls were about — she had been selected as the 2013 Festival at Sandpoint poster artist.

“I’m very humbled and grateful,” Larson said of her selection. “I keep expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and tell me that I’m not really the poster artist.”

Larson said she was thrilled by her selection, adding it’s something she’s hoped and dreamed of for years. She’d even gotten as far as putting a design on paper, with sketches found at various places around her studio, her husband said.

“Once she was picked,” Larry Larson quickly inserted to Maria Larson’s laugh, “that idea got thrown out the window.”

Maria Larson was quick to note, however, that the design wasn’t going to waste — instead it was being used as the T-shirt for the family concert.

The design she ended up using for the Festival poster was one she’d had in mind for the past 10 years but had never put down on paper, Larson said.

She wasn’t sure how the logistics of the idea would work but she knew she had to try.

The idea stemmed from an ongoing theme during that time of using old maps of area lakes as the background for her work. Once it sunk in that she had indeed been picked to design the 2013 poster and had carte blanche to design anything she wanted, Larson knew she had to incorporate the maps.

She also knew she wanted to incorporate the large cutouts of musicians that greet concertgoers attending the Festival at Sandpoint. In 2006, she’d been asked to refurbish the cutouts, which Larson said were looking a little worse for wear and had fallen into disarray.

“When asked to be poster artist, I came up with this design to use a map and decided I’d put these guys on stage and have them playing music and that’s what I did,” Larson said.

While some works she looks back on and wants to revise and change, Larson said she’s happy with the poster design and pleased with how it turned out. She wouldn’t, she added, change anything about it.