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Mars needs Miranda's spaceship

Mars needs Miranda's spaceship
A ceramic spaceship painted by Miranda Porter of Stewartville at Color Me Mine is featured in the Disney promotion of the film "Mars Needs Moms."

When it comes to popular art and culture, there might not be a bigger name than Disney.

If that's the case, then Miranda Porter of Rochester has started her art career near the top of the mountain.

A ceramic UFO spaceship Porter painted last year at Color Me Mine in Rochester, where she is studio manager, has been selected by Disney to help promote a tie-in between the movie studio and Color Me Mine's ceramic studios around the world. The promotion is for the new 3D movie "Mars Needs Moms."

"It's kind of humbling," Porter said. "When I sat down and painted it a year ago, I had no idea it would ever be connected to a movie."

Lisa Schneider, owner of Color Me Mine, submitted photos of Porter's UFO last year to the company's corporate office. She was responding to a solicitation for pieces that could be used in the joint promotion by the company and Disney. As a result, Porter's hand-painted UFO is featured on a poster for the "Adopt An Alien" campaign Disney is running at Color Me Mine studios.

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Color Me Mine has studios in 25 states and Washington D.C., as well as in Canada, the Far East, Australia, the Netherlands and the Middle East. In other words, customers around the world stopping in the studios or viewing the Color Me Mine website are likely to see Porter's UFO. Anyone contemplating entering the "Adopt An Alien" promotion will see her UFO on the promotional poster.

"I was like, 'Oh wow, that's pretty darn cool,'" Porter said of her reaction to getting the news.

Porter, a 2004 graduate of John Marshall High School, did ceramics through school and college, and minored in art at Winona State University. "So I spent a lot of time getting my hands dirty in clay," she said. She's been working at Color Me Mine for 2 1/2 years, and she became the manager seven months ago.

"I enjoy being around creativity and helping people find their creativity," she said. "I like seeing what comes out of people."

"Mars Needs Moms" is an animated feature about a boy whose mother is taken away by a Martian space ship. It turns out the Martians are snatching earthly moms because they're having trouble finding enough good moms to raise their own kids. The movie is scheduled to open Friday nationwide.

"I didn't know what it was about at first — I assumed space," Porter said of the movie.

As a young artist, Porter said all the attention for her UFO piece is reaffirming.

"It gives me a lot of confidence, knowing the work I'm doing is quality," she said.

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