Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 3:14 pm | By Nate Gotlieb firstname.lastname@example.org
MANKATO — A local graphic artist recently created an original artwork that the Minnesota Community Action Partnership used at its annual training conference.
Mankato resident Todd Ouren volunteered to design the artwork, which featured former President Lyndon B. Johnson in front of the White House signing the Economic Opportunity Act. That bill created community action agencies.
The partnership unveiled the work on the opening day of the conference this month in Duluth, which more than 500 people attended.
“There was a collective sigh in the room,” the partnership’s Pam Johnson said of the unveiling. “People were really pleased with the image.”
The partnership also used the work on posters and T-shirts, and a canvas of the piece sold for $1,000 in a silent auction.
Ouren came to design the artwork through Ann Macgregor and Shelia Ous of the Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council, who served on the conference’s planning committee. Macgregor and Ous had met Ouren earlier this year before the council’s annual Warm Your Heart fundraiser.
Ouren’s wife, Betty, works for MinnStar Bank, which was the main sponsor of the fundraiser, and Todd volunteered to design the artwork.
Macgregor said that David Bradley, the executive director of the National Community Action Foundation, appeared impressed by the Johnson piece, adding it could become a nationally used work.
Ouren has worked as a graphic designer for more than 20 years and has illustrated more than 100 children’s books. He works as a graphic designer for Occasions Group in North Mankato.