Council members step up to frame Bennett prints

Three Aberdeen City Council members have stepped up to pay for the framing costs of silkscreen prints made by the late Elton Bennett.

Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson said that Bennett’s daughter, Barbara Bennett Parsons, had offered four prints to the city to be displayed at Aberdeen City Hall. Simpson said he was considering declining the offer of the prints because he didn’t want to spend city funds framing the artwork, which would be about $350 per print.

Council members Kathi Hoder, Pete Shave and Jeff Cook all volunteered to spend some of their City Council paychecks to get one painting framed each. Hoder said she’s considering spending more to get the fourth print framed, as well, but wants to take a look at the silkscreens being donated to the city first.

Hoder said she and her late father were big fans of Elton Bennett’s classic work featuring the nature of the Harbor and waterfront scenes.

Councilman Denny Lawrence said he thought it was interesting that the city couldn’t afford to pay for framing of the paintings, yet, he pointed to a voucher where the city spent $565 last month on frames for artwork for the city’s Water Department.

Finance Director Kathryn Skolrood said that the frames were for historic and current photos of the city’s water system that recently went on display. Councilman John Smith noted that $565 was spent out of the city’s water fund, paid into by ratepayers, which is separate from its operating fund used for daily budgeting expenses.