East Dorset, Vermont — The Vermont Summer Festival has selected renowned equestrian artist Linda Luster of Rocky Ridge, MD, as this year’s cover artist for its official 2013 Program and Visitor’s Guide.
Luster’s beautifully detailed painting depicts a horse and rider overlooking the scenic Vermont Summer Festival show grounds at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. Thousands of competitors will once again enjoy those breathtaking mountain views firsthand during the course of this year’s six-week competition, which runs July 2 through August 11 and offers more than $750,000 in prize money.
“I just fell in love with the show grounds,” said Luster of her inspiration for the piece. “The way it’s set down in the valley, with the trees and landscaping; it’s beautiful. It’s like this secret little place that people go to and they can’t help but fall in love with it. That’s the feeling I tried to capture in the painting.”
A talented artist and passionate equestrian, Luster has devoted her life to horses, and her love for them is evident in the emotional depth of her paintings, which truly capture the spirit of each subject. Born with a true gift, she spent much of her youth learning her craft from renowned artist Jack Clifton, and eventually went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from the University of North Carolina and a degree in Commercial Photography from Cape Fear Technical Institute.
Shortly afterward she began what was to become a career in equestrian art, but that fledgling career was soon put on hold when Luster decided to take an extended hiatus from painting to focus on her other life’s passion – riding. During her break from painting, she pursued a career as a dressage trainer, working for Willowlake Farm in Mount Airy, MD, before opening her own facility, Good Will Farm, in Rocky Ridge, MD. She earned her Silver Medal from the United States Dressage Federation and has trained both horses and riders to the FEI level.
Sixteen years after putting down her paintbrush, Luster and her husband, Doug, restored an old home and built a barn and a studio where she rekindled her love of art and struck a balance between her two passions. She spent seven years devoting her time to both dressage and painting before retiring from riding professionally. Luster now paints full-time producing commissioned portraits and gallery pieces from her Maryland studio.
“I’ve always been an artist and I’ve always loved horses, so it was a natural fit,” she explained. “Returning to painting was part of my metamorphosis, and allowed me a way to stay with the horses while moving away from having them as my career.”
Luster’s artwork can be seen at horse shows across the eastern United States and has repeatedly graced the cover of the Chronicle of the Horse magazine. For more information on her work and paintings, please visit the Linda Luster Studio website.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. Known for its wide variety of area amenities including a large range of lodging options, restaurants to suit every taste, outdoor activities, and lots and lots of shopping, Manchester-area businesses warmly welcome horse show competitors to the area each summer.
The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival will feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 10. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, will be held each Thursday. The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby will also be held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.