Homer, AK--More Than Just a Van Down By the River!
Have I ever mentioned that I'm the boring one in my family? My sister Jamee has been a fisherwoman, worked at the SouthPole base station in Antarctica, and is currently a sailor, working on research vessels that travel from Chile to Antarctica. She's piloted inflatable boats in rough waters, taken blubber samples from whales, and herded penguins, and when she's not doing all of these things, she's living in Homer, Alaska with her new husband, a scientist and former Survival Research Laboratories genius. Homer is something of an artistic meccca. In addition to being the former home of snaggle-toothed folkie JEWEL (who lived in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER), and Motel 6 pitchman Tom Bodett, there are a ton of wildlife artists and interesting hippie dropouts living there. Until now, my favorite thing about Homer was the halibut taco truck that served up some of the best food I've ever had to locals (and some of the more intrepid tourists).
My new Homer favorite is Erik David Behnke, an artist with Down's syndrome. He wields a mean magic marker, producing charming wildlife art. He shows his work nationally--you can catch it in galleries from Anchorage to Kansas City, and you can find a slew of postcards, posters, books, and original art on his website. The image above is taken from his poster for the 2001 Winter Special Olympics. Erik isn't the only talented member of his family--his brother Christopher is a hearing impaired bagpipe player.
LINK thanks, Jamee!