Sorensen Studios Brings the Arts to Southwest Iowa

With assistance from Dave McLaren, south central Iowa SBDC director, a talented duo is working to build an artistic destination in southwest Iowa.  Ray (Bubba) and Maria Sorensen recently opened Sorensen Studios, specializing in photography and painting, at the corner of Highways 92 and 25 in Greenfield.

Ray has received national attention for the patriotic murals he has painted on a giant rock, known as the Freedom Rock, which sits on the side of Highway 25 approximately one mile south of I-80 (exit 86).  He has painted this rock for the past 10 years as an act of patriotism to honor the American soldier.



Maria recently graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in journalism and an emphasis in electronic media.  For years, she has been expressing her love for the arts through photography. 

Maria said she and her husband knew they would need assistance when they began tossing around the idea of starting their own business.  They started meeting with the SBDC's McLaren regularly in April 2008.  Maria stated:

"We started asking friends and family and they suggested meeting with a professional, so we found our way to Dave McLaren with the SBDC. He responded to us right away and had assignments for us to be working on after the very first meeting. We had no idea how much work and research a business plan was going to require, but Dave was so helpful in walking us through it."

With assistance from Dave McLaren, the Sorensens formed their new business in May 2008 and with local bank financing, they fulfilled their dream of opening a photography and art studio.  "When we took our finished business plan to the bank, it was the greatest feeling ever. The bank was so impressed with the plan and our preparation," stated Maria.

Sorensen Studios specializes in senior photos, family portraits, wedding photography, and pet portraits.  The studio also provides an outlet for Ray's prints and original artwork.  In the future, the Sorensens hope to expand their offerings to include painting classes, and matting and framing of their artwork.

Looking back, the Sorensens are extremely appreciative for the assistance provided by the SBDC.

"I'm so glad we decided to go to Dave because people really took us serious from the very beginning when we mentioned we were working with the SBDC," Maria explained.  "Without Dave and the SBDC, I don't really see us where we are today. Dave and the SBDC has been the key to all of our success so far, and we believe it will continue to be the key in the future." 

To view photos of Ray's work, including the Freedom Rock, visit