Year 2000

Geese Poster is a Symbol for the Millennium

2000 poster artwork by Kirsten E. Moorhead
2000 poster artwork by Kirsten E. Moorhead

The handsome, noble geese that look out from Common Ground’s 2000 poster and other products represent “wonderful creatures, wonderful birds,” says illustrator Kirsten E. Moorhead. Ever since she met her piano teacher’s two China geese, she’s loved the animals.

“They’re extremely versatile farm animals,” she explains, “as they provide both eggs and meat, and they even serve as guard animals. They’re prevalent culturally – sometimes subtly, sometimes not. Consider our familiarity with such characters as Mother Goose, and with such phrases as ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,’ and ‘the goose that laid the golden egg,’ and ‘silly as a goose.’”

“These elegant, impressive animals were not considered silly in Ancient Rome, where they alerted people of imminent invasions,” Moorhead continues. “They’re terrific, proud, confident in any situation … a good symbol for the Millennium.”

Moorhead, who spent her early years in Massachusetts, moved to Maine when she was in second grade. She’s lived here for more than 20 years and has lived in Portland for about half of that time. She received her B.A. in studio art from the University of Maine, Orono.

Moorhead returns to her grandfather’s small farm in Massachusetts often, where she has cared for chickens, picked beans, and taken part in many other joys of farm life. She is now assembling a portfolio of her illustrations, most of which are more casual and whimsical than the poster geese, and she plans to contact publishers and hopes to become a children’s book illustrator. “Hopefully, someday, if the illustrating goes well,” she says, she’ll buy her small farm, her own little piece of “Paradise.” And Paradise, for Moorhead, will include lots of farm animals: goats, chickens, and, of course, those “elegant, impressive animals … geese.”


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