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Ellsworth art student makes her mark on postal cancellation

Josie Mark with Ellsworth Postmaster Rick Obitz. -- Photo by Bill Kirk

Josie Mark's artwork will go across the nation and perhaps around the world after becoming part of a special U.S. Postal Service (USPS) cancellation in honor of this year's Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival.

Mark, who will be a senior at Ellsworth High School this fall and plans on furthering her artistic talents upon completing school, drew a half dozen possible illustrations for the cancellation at local Postmaster Rick Obitz's request. She began the project early last month.

"I tried to incorporate cheese and the State of Wisconsin," Mark said Tuesday, mindful of the festival's theme.

The chosen drawing, featuring an outline of the state with an interior resembling cheese and the words "100 years" in recognition of the local creamery's centennial, was made into a rubber stamp, Obitz said. The stamp was ordered through a USPS supplier, once the cancellation effort was approved by the postal service. Obitz had originally favored different artwork, a depiction Mark had done of a horse-and-carriage plus a milk truck, but the shading on that one wasn't suitable for the stamp.

The final selection also carries the legends "Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival Sta. (Station)" and "Ellsworth, WI 54011...June 26, 2010," as a special cancellation event is scheduled for Saturday, June 26, on the Pierce County Fairgrounds, site of the festival, the postmaster said. He'll be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day, using the stamp to cancel mail the public brings him.

Read more in the print version of the Herald June 23.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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