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Local woman adds “Luster”
to the National Horse Show

Brooke Vinyard
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(2/15) Every painting has a story. For Linda Luster, the updated version of the National Horse Show logo conveys the story of her own passion and life long pursuits. Luster, who lives in Rocky Ridge, was named the official artist of the 123rd National Horse Show last year. The National Horse Show, which was held Nov. 29 through Dec. 3 in Palm Beach, Fl., is the largest and most-prestigious outdoor horse show in America.

A close friend of Luster’s noticed an ad in The Chronicle of the Horse magazine for an artistic contest and recommended that she enter. While she didn’t give much thought to the contest, she sent in a link to her website as her entry. A committee of six judges reviewed a total of 15 entries and narrowed it down to four semi-finalists. From there, they chose Luster to be the official artist. Last October she received a telephone call while attending the Penn National Horse Show and was informed she had been proclaimed the winner. Luster said at the time of the call, she had forgotten all about the contest and had no idea what they were talking about.

“They were doing an interview.” Luster said “I had no idea, so I called back and asked to redo the interview!”

As the winner, Luster was required to re-create the original 1883 National Horse Show poster, giving it an updated look. The image was modernized to depict a female rider, as opposed to a male rider. Luster justifies her decision to make such changes, saying “Look at all the winners in the major competitions like the Olympic team, they’re all women.” The rider’s attire was also updated. The updated painting was later auctioned off to the highest bidder. She also designed the invitations to the 2006 black tie gala and was given a large booth to sell her work from during the week-long festivities.

In addition to being named the official artist, Luster received a silver medal from the United States Dressage Foundation for her skills in the equestrian field. She has also graced the cover of ‘The Chronicle of the Horse’ magazine nine times since 1982.

Raised in an army family, Luster developed a strong interest in both art and the equestrian field at a young age. After taking her first lessons at an army base stable, Luster made her way to focus on dressage, which she would train in for sixteen years. Like riding, painting has portrayed a large role in her life. From childhood and throughout high school, Luster worked in an open studio with esteemed painter Jack Clifton where she learned to foster her skills in painting. She earned a bachelors degree in painting and printmaking from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1974. She went on to receive a degree in commercial photography from Cape Fear Technical Institute in Wilmington N.C.

While living in Raleigh, Luster took a job with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources in the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Branch as a photographer, and then became the exhibits designer for the North Carolina Museum of History. Luster continued to paint until 1984, when she and her husband Doug moved to Maryland; it was then that she gave up art and began her equestrian pursuits. She took her first job as a horse groomer and rider at the Willowlake Farm in Mount Airy, where she cared for over 20 horses. She eventually became the trainer, training both horses and riders to the FEI level. In 2000, Luster and her husband bought a 10-acre estate in Rocky Ridge, where they renovated a house, and built both a barn and home studio. Luster then resumed her career as an artist.

Today, Luster works out of her home studio, creating 15 to 20 commission pieces a year on average. Linda Luster’s passion for painting and experience in the equestrian field, allows her to capture an essence of beauty in all of her work, resulting in the immense achievement in the artistic world.

For more information on Linda Luster and her work you can visit her website at www.lindalusterstudio.com.