Contact: Elise Demboski
Impressions Marketing
770-649-7699 /



DALTON, GA, September 5, 2008—Karastan celebrated its 80th anniversary with a “Rug-ged America” Photo Contest, which ran from May through July of 2008. In keeping with the company’s “Make a Statement” ad campaign, top photography schools were asked to make a statement of their own by photographing a Karastan rug in three distinct environments: a residential environment, a public place and an “American” setting. All entries were posted on Karastan’s website and voted on by more than 11,000 visiting consumers.

Cash prizes of $3,500 were awarded to the photographers that received the most online votes in each category. Taking top honors in the “Residential” category was Sharon Rankin, a recent graduate of the Antonelli Institute in Erdenheim, PA. Rankin featured Villa Veneto from Karastan’s Antique Legends Collection in a serene, inviting image of a cozy solarium, complete with indoor swimming pool and roaring fire.

Rankin was also the winner of the “American” category. Shot with a fish-eye lens, the setting was inspired by “the glory days of American muscle cars and incorporates a 1971 Chevelle SS and a 1968 Mustang,” says Rankin. In keeping with the theme, the image also features a cheerful chocolate “Lab,” one of the most popular dog breeds in the country, perched upon Karastan’s richly decorated Villa Veneto rug.

The winning photographer in the “Public Space” category was Natasha Kertes, a March graduate of the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. Awash in light and vivid color, Kertes’ image depicts a couple dancing atop Karastan’s Tiana Glacier Blue rug on a sun-drenched beach. The overall concept, explains Kertes, was “the enigmatic narrative suggested by the figures, whose intimacy we seem to interrupt. The themes of the photo were love, infatuation and the harmony of colors both in nature and in a product—in this case, the Karastan rug.”

In announcing the “Rug-ged America” winners, Connie Berry, Karastan’s director of marketing, said “The creativity and ingenuity, plus the level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail captured in all of the entries, was remarkable. We are thrilled to be able to acknowledge such promising photographic talent and congratulate all for making such an expressive statement with their art.”

The winning photographers and their images are featured on All rugs featured in the photos were donated to the photography schools in appreciation of their participation.

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Karastan’s Villa Veneto rug was featured in the winning “Residential” photo taken by Sharon Rankin, a recent graduate of the Antonelli Institute in Erdenheim, PA.
Sharon Rankin, a recent graduate of the Antonelli Institute in Erdenheim, PA, placed Karastan’s Villa Veneto rug in a “Glory Days” setting which won top honors in the “American” category.
Winning in the “Public Space” category was Natasha Kertes, a graduate of the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, who used Karastan’s Tiana Glacier Blue to capture a special moment on the beach.

Karastan is part of Mohawk Industries, a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications. Mohawk offers a complete selection of broadloom carpet, ceramic tile, wood, stone, laminate, vinyl, rugs and other home products. These products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry, which, in addition to Karastan, include Mohawk, Ralph Lauren, Lees, Bigelow, Dal-Tile and American Olean. Mohawk’s unique merchandising and marketing assists customers in creating the consumer’s dream. Mohawk provides a premium level of service with its own trucking fleet and over 250 local distribution locations.

508 East Morris Street
Dalton, GA  30721
Press Contact: Elise Demboski
770-649-7699 /