By Mona Painter
Turnagain Times Cooper Landing Correspondent
Spelman Evans Downer and Nancy Downer are in summer residence here on the Kenai River at Mile 49.5. He goes by Spelman when he’s in California and Chairman of the Arts Department of Copper Mountain College, but here we call him Evans. Evan’s Gallery Turquoise, adjacent to the Downer summer home, opens July 21 in two sessions from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Multimedia from 10 p.m. to noon. The closing on Aug. 4 will be the same two sessions with the gallery open on July 22, 28, and 29 from noon to 6 p.m. Evans paintings, photography, and multimedia pieces will be on display as well as paintings by contemporary artist Laura Myntti. Outside the above hours, you can call 907-595-1434 for an appointment to see the gallery.
From a review is the following description of Evan’s work: “His oil paintings are deceptively abstract. His early paintings, in particular, may reflect the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock. Actually he never creates a painting freehand; he always uses an aerial photograph as a base upon which he colors and builds up the topography with a molding paste. Although Robert Bechtle and the school of photo-realism influenced his technique, he has evolved far beyond that to create vividly colorful paintings that are inspired by geology, typography and city street plans.”
Mayme Ohnemus hosted a luncheon party at Sunrise Inn to celebrate Gene Craig’s 89th birthday a day late on July 12. Gene moved from Anchorage to Cooper Landing full time in 1989 after her husband Bill died and she retired as Vice President of Passengers Services for Reeve Aleutian Airways.
In 1997, Mayme Ohnemus and Gene partnered to begin the highly successful Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners. The group cleans the Dumpster sites in Cooper Landing, Hope, and Moose Pass every week and donate their wages to benefit our community. Visiting relatives of SSDC usually find themselves working with the crew on Monday mornings. Recently Dean Birmley’s sister and brother in law from New Mexico, Ethel and Red Holt, joined in with Al and Pat Fleetwood’s visiting daughter, Julaine Fleetwood, from Washington. Al and Pat drive down from Anchorage most Mondays to help the crew. Four of Jack Britton’s cousins from Washington State were part of the group too. Mayme said it took a little fanfare to get the big yellow pin on the youngest, Gary Balch, “but he tolerated it.”
The Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners are still going strong after having earned close to $100,000 for various community projects, averaging nearly 12,000 miles per year in travel, and over 4,000 volunteer hours per year. Not to mention over 500 lunches together. SSDC Agent Ohnemus is hosting a celebration luncheon Aug. 30 at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge with a program to follow. You don’t have to be a SSDC to join in the festivities, but by Aug. 20 you must RSVP to Mayme at 595-1214 and prepay $15. for your lunch.
Head Librarian Brearley Wilson sent out library sweepstakes letters last week encouraging ticket sales by mail. They sell 150 tickets for $100 each with 23 winning tickets ranging from $125 to the last ticket drawn which is worth $2,000. Each ticket is good for two people to attend the event at the community hall on Nov. 3 beginning at 6:30 p.m. This includes refreshments by Alaska Five-Star Catering of Soldotna. Beer, wine, soft drinks, and coffee are available for donations. The library address is P.O. Box 517, Cooper Landing, AK 99572.
Raffle tickets for the king size quilt made by the Monday Quilters to benefit Cooper Landing Historical Society and the museum are now available at the museum or by calling me at 595-1248. The quilt is pieced in shades of blue, gold, brown, and green flannel with block centers featuring local critters: bear, wolves, owls, and eagles. The tickets are $2 each. A second drawing will be held for a scenic raft trip for two on the Kenai River courtesy of Alaska Wildland Adventures. These drawings will also be held on Nov. 3 during the library sweepstakes party. The historical society address in Cooper Landing is P.O. Box 542.
Photo: Mayme Ohnemus / Hope
The Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners with visiting relatives last Monday, July 9, at the Cooper Landing Dumpster site.