Sue Mueller's art shared at state fair
By Carol Stender
Date Modified: 09/20/2012 9:43 AM
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Sue Mueller is fast.
In just a half hour, using a photograph, she sketched the 4-H dairy meat goat grand and reserve champion showmans' pictures from photographs. The framed artwork was given at the Minnesota 4-H Purple Ribbon Market Livestock auction at the fair.
Mueller once sketched the grand and reserve champions of each species for the 4-H event. She wanted to continue doing the sketches, but has lacked the stamina due to health issues. Her husband, John Story, suggested she sketch the winners of one specie each year at the auction.
Dairy meat goats was the species Mueller sketched this time around.
She sketches livestock based on her experiences growing up on an Idaho farm on the Snake River. She's able to sketch livestock to scale by understanding the animals' muscle structure.
At the state fair, she used a photo taken of each top placing exhibitor after their show. Mueller can sketch from the photo quickly, she said. It takes longer to get her tools organized than to work on the picture.
Taking part in the purple ribbon market livestock auction event is a joy for the couple that started with Story. He's been part of the auction for 31 years.
He has a heart for 4-H. Story is an alumnus of the organization and recalls raising his first purebred hog when he was 10 years old. Five years later he was the swine show champion.
Story was a buyer for Fairway Foods and, through his work, purchased the champion hog at the National Livestock Show.
He came to Minnesota in 1980 and has worked with the livestock auction.
Story isn't the only person with a 4-H connection working for the auction and auction committee. Jeff Hawkins, president of Anchor Bank in the Twin Cities, got involved with the auction through his children's 4-H work in Dakota County. Helping with the auction is a way to give back to the organization, he said.