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Forever Stamp Features SUU Professor’s Painting

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150 years after Nevada became a state, a Sagebrush State artist with Utah ties has designed the U.S. Postal Service’s Forever Stamp celebrating the  anniversary.

Southern Utah University Professor of Drawing Ron Spears was commissioned by the USPS to design the stamp two and a half years ago. He said he submitted 15 initial designs before the final location for the painting was selected. The stamp, which was released late last month, features a sunrise at Fire Canyon in the Valley of Fire State Park.

“The colors out there are very warm anyway, with the reds and the warm whites that are there,” Spears said. “Then you have this incredible sunrise, which is also very warm light. It casts a very cool shadow, so that’s why you see the purples and the blues in the shadows.”

Spears, a Reno resident, said he isn’t sure how the postal service found his work, but calls the opportunity a once in a lifetime honor.

The stamps were released as part of a limited edition collection.

“I’ve heard different numbers, anywhere from 30 to 40 million stamps, and once those are sold, that’s all there are,” Spears said.

Spears said he’s excited so many people will get to see his work and added that he ordered some of the stamps for himself online after they sold out has his local post office.