Marvelous May

It’s been a busy spring! I’ve been adjusting to my new role at Northwest Public Broadcasting and Spokane Public Radio as a journalist and covering stories across Idaho and Washington. My favorite piece I’ve worked on this month is A Pacific Northwesterner’s Guide to Mushroom Gathering.

Niki is putting the final animation and graphic touches on a new Kickstarter video for a client, and has made some amazing graphics for a local hospital that reflect the culture of our rural area.

Sophie may be 11 years old, but she and I hiked Kamiak Butte this week, a loop more than two miles. She is in great shape and great spirits, and we couldn’t be happier.

A woman in a blue shirt sits next to a red dog with an orange color in front of two pine trees.
Taking a break at the top of Kamiak Butte, Washington.

We’re in the middle of re-designing the Muse Media website so bear with us. Visit the “About Us” page for a sneak peek. Stay tuned for springtime video projects.

Meet Niki

I’m happy to announce that someone new is joining the Muse Media crew. Welcome, Niki!

Niki is a multimedia designer with over 20 years of graphic design experience. “I like to call myself a visual storyteller,” she says.

Niki holds a black camera up to her eye in this black and white photo.
Niki Roberts

From designing layouts and marketing materials for Eddie Bauer to creating custom animations for a Pac-12 university, Niki continues to push herself to create compelling visual work that allows others to be emotionally invested in what they see. You can check out her portfolio to see samples of her work.

Her hobbies include photography, knitting, and exploring the outdoors with her poodle, Gus.

More to come when we refresh the site with updated photos in late spring. Welcome to the team, Niki!

Clearwater

A newly published photography book showcasing the beautiful mountains and people of Idaho has been published by Washington photographer Gregory Walsh and Idahoan producer Virginia Lynn. 

Clearwater features photographs of the people and scenery of north Idaho.

Part of Muse Media’s mission is to showcase artists from Idaho, and I learned about this project because I was lucky enough to be part of it.

Walsh attended the showing of my short documentary Skeleton School in Grangeville, Idaho this past September and snapped a photo of the marquis outside after the show. 

Walsh said throughout his road trip along the Clearwater River, it was easy to point his camera in any direction and find something inspiring to photograph.

“I have found Idaho has some of the most pristine and beautiful places on earth,” he said. “I love the Clearwater River, it has a timeless quality to it, a peace and serenity as it meanders through the canyons and open spaces of central Idaho.”

The book is available for order in paperback form on Amazon, and the hardcover edition can be ordered through Lulu Publishing. Walsh said the project wouldn’t have been possible without Lynn.

An experienced talent and location producer, Lynn organized Walsh’s trip through the mountain forests along the Clearwater River. 

“While Idaho is indeed beautiful, it is the people of Idaho, like my neighbors, that make it a lovely place to live,” she said.

New Year, New Career

For the last two years, I have been happily working as a writer and editor for Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. We publish stories centered on science research, student projects, and college endeavors from the college’s 16 departments.

Back to the radio!

Next month, I will be starting my new job as a Multimedia Journalist for Northwest Public Broadcasting (NWPB). NWPB is a service project of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communications, with a mission to bring public radio and NPR stories to our area.

As a radio news reporter, I’ll be covering stories from across Washington state, up to British Colombia, and all over north Idaho. You can stream NWPB online, or download the app for Apple or Android.

Thank you to all my friends, colleagues, and family members who have supported me through the years. I am so excited to return to the radio airwaves, and to see what this new opportunity will bring.

Happy Halloween

Professor Glenn Mosley and me at the University of Idaho.

All Hallows Eve is upon us again. After a successful showing of Skeleton School at the Blue Fox Theatre in Grangeville, another showing is in the works.

My broadcast journalism professor from my days at the University of Idaho, Glenn Mosley, is working with the Journalism and Mass Media department to sponsor a showing of Skeleton School at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow, Idaho. He has screened the film and wants students and the community to see it! I am so happy to have support from my alma mater.

I chatted with broadcast media students at the University of Idaho about careers in the media field.

Today I spoke to his broadcast journalism class about what it’s like to be a journalism professional today. Many students are scared about the prospects of limited work and a competitive job pool, but I tried to remind them that the skills they are learning, like how to produce podcasts and create videos, are very valuable skills. The students opened up and asked me many questions, and I tried to use myself as an example of how they can get a job, but also create opportunity for themselves by pursuing their own creative interests.

Sophie says Happy Halloween!

Most likely, the second showing of Skeleton School will be in January 2022. I will update details as they emerge. In the meantime, have a Happy Halloween, from me and Sophie!

-L

Skeleton School Showing

After much planning behind the scenes, Skeleton School will be showing at the historic Blue Fox Theatre in Grangeville, Idaho on Saturday, September 25 at 1 p.m. I suggest arriving early to get a seat. There are plenty of lovely local restaurants in the downtown area to grab a bite to eat before or after the show.

Lauren Paterson stands under a theater marquee which reads "skeleton school."
Paterson under the Blue Fox Theatre marquee

Visit the event page on Facebook to RSVP and see more details about the event.

This special showing will likely be the only in-person screening event. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to complicate in person activities, please only attend if you feel it is safe to do so. You are welcome to wear a mask, or wait for the YouTube link to be available for watching the movie at home.

Sign up to receive an email when the Skeleton School YouTube link is live. Once you are on the list, you will receive Muse Media’s monthly email newsletter filled with media tips, creative projects, and more.

A huge thank you to Blue Fox Theatre owner Chris Wagner for his support, and Gerald Lucas for his tech assistance. Fun small town events like this would not be possible without the people who help make it happen!

-L

Skeleton School Trailer

Watercolor bird series

New prints are now available at the Muse Media Gallery shop on Etsy! Brighten your space with colorful blue and yellow birds.

This series was painted while I lived in Portland, Oregon. I wanted to create artwork for my office to match my bright blue couch with yellow patterned pillows.

A watercolor painting of a grey, white and yellow Western meadowlark perched on a brown branch.
Western Meadowlark in watercolor.

If you’re stuck on how to redesign a room, I find it’s often fun to pick a colorful art piece and choose colors from the same palette to shape the furnishings.

The birds were created using watercolor pencils and felt tip pen. The flock features birds found in the western U.S.; the Mountain Blue Bird, American Goldfinch, Western Blue Bird, and the Western Meadowlark.

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

-Maya Angelou

Prints ordered from the gallery shop will be delivered to you as a digital print, and can be printed as big or as little as you like. Visit the shop to see the new selection.

Skeleton School

My latest project, Skeleton School, is the ultimate labor of love. 

Last September, I finally wrapped production on a short documentary chronicling a tenuous levy campaign in the small rural town of Kamiah, Idaho.

My husband and I lived in Kamiah from the summer of 2017 to 2019. He was a teacher at the Kamiah School District at the time, and I was a substitute teacher while I freelanced as a media consultant. 

A movie poster with an aerial view of a school shows the title "Skeleton School."
Skeleton School has been submitted to several film festivals around the country, most of which are virtual.

I immensely enjoyed my time as a substitute teacher, more than I ever thought I would. I found my niche among secondary students, mostly subbing for middle school and high school, assisted with after school programs, and volunteered with school clubs.

To me there is something endearing and magical about how kids and teens are at the beginning of their whole lives. Their optimism and creativity is inspiring, and it is a joy to help them discover different skills and ways to navigate the world. 

What broke my heart was walking through the classrooms of this rural school and realizing, even though I too went to a rural school, these kids didn’t have nearly the resources I did. 

Opportunities for rural youth like sports, extracurricular activities, or even basic books continue to be a challenge for many rural school districts. This short documentary is a slice of life following teachers and staff anxiously awaiting a vital school levy in a divided rural community.

I did my best to remove myself from the story, and allow both sides to have their say. It’s important to realize that all stories have many voices. But I was part of the community of the town and the school, which gave me the relationships and the access to paint a picture of real people going through a hard challenge.

Although I’m a writer for a university by day, Muse Media serves as an outlet not just to freelance, but to produce my own creative media projects. For a short while during my time in Kamiah, I had a downtown office and art gallery.

a class of eighth graders stand in a gallery with grey walls and art hanging on the walls. They all smile towards the camera, and an adult woman holds a dog and is smiling too.
Ms. Hopkins’ eighth grade language arts class visited Muse Media to see our What Does Equality Mean to You Exhibition in the spring of 2019. The students saw art made by artists all over Idaho, in a variety of different mediums.

The film was filmed, edited, and narrated by me, and I’ll be forever grateful to my friends who sat through screenings, and my mentor Jon Palfreman. 

Since post-production finally wrapped in September of 2020, Skeleton School has been selected and shown and even as a finalist in several festivals. After the final notification date of September 01, 2021, I will make the documentary available publicly on YouTube and Plex

If anyone out there would like to arrange a screening or showing of Skeleton School for their organization, get in touch by emailing me at lauren@musemediaco.com. The trailer is below, and the full film will be available to view on September 30, 2021. Those interested in screening the film for an event can contact me for an exclusive early screening. 

For now, here is a sneak peek at what to expect. 

Muse Media Co. presents: Skeleton School

Selected for festival:

Venice Shorts
Montreal Independent Film Festival
Toronto International Women Film Festival
SHORT to the Point

Selected & named as finalist:

New Wave Short Film Festival
Tokyo International Short Film Festival
Roma Short Film Festival

Coming soon: Muse Media Podcast

It’s been a long time in the works, but it’s coming soon – Muse Media will be releasing a podcast!

Headphones are drawn in navy blue with sound waves connecting each side. Underneath, "Muse Media Podcast" is written.
The podcast logo is still in the works.

I’ve (almost) cobbled together 5 episodes focusing on different aspects of the media, including topics like yellow journalism, the Telecom Act, and the history of podcasts. The first season will most likely be released in June 2021. 

This is your chance to weigh in! Comment or email me and let me know if you would like to hear a special topic for the podcast. While the production of this first season is nearly complete, I’ll need more topics to research in the future.

Bold art from a small town

Raised in Kamiah, Idaho along the Clearwater River, artist Amelia Oswold said she didn’t discover her passion for art until her early twenties.

“When I found Any Warhol and the pop art scene, that’s when it really took off for me,” she said. 

A woman in a large cardigan stands on a mountain at sunset.
Amelia Oswald stands on a ridge in Kamiah at sunset.

Bright and bold colors are a hallmark of Oswald’s style, with kaleidoscope effects encompassing her often female subjects in a digital collage of patterns and shapes. She calls her brand The Bold Generation, and shares her artwork and videos through social media.

“I always try to have some kind of message, something relevant to society and our time.” 

Oswald said she is inspired by the loud and proud style of graffiti and street art, and even sticker bombed her hometown to forcefully blast a location with art. “Something about that impulsive display of creativity has always really excited me.” 

This week Oswald debuts her MVGIC Collection in the Muse Media Gallery. Her digital prints are available for purchase through the Muse Media Gallery Etsy Shop

“The theme is confidence in oneself, and the magic of life,” she said.

Prints from the MVGIC Collection are available through the Muse Media Gallery Etsy Shop.