Buddy and Doranne Lane of Signal Mountain have hosted Varvara Stoupen for 18 years, but no longer consider themselves her hosts. Varvara is like family to them, and even though she is in her early 20s, she still comes every summer. It is so much a part of the summer ritual for this family that none of them would dream of missing it. Ashley and Paul Weidlich of Signal Mountain hosted a boy, Sasha, for years, and Lynn and Greg Talbott hosted his sister, Alona.
Joy and Dwight Montague of Lookout were part of the original team that began CCP. Although the child they hosted is grown and married, they recently visited Olga, their Belarusian daughter, and her husband in Stockholm.
The CCP raises money through selling artwork created by Belarusian children. In fact, this endeavor has been the starting point for many Belarusian artists who go on to pursue art. This artwork is most impressive. It is not easy to get out of the country, but Lookout Mountain resident Eve Soltau managed to cut through endless red tape and get special papers allowing her to transport it to Chattanooga.
Enter Erick Wood. More than a mere restaurateur, Erick Wood, owner and chef at Talus, is both an artist and a discriminating art collector. As such, he is stunned by the art created by students at the Republican College of Arts in Minsk, Belarus. The word college is misleading, as this is a school for middle school to high school aged children. “These talented Russian artists must test to remain in the prestigious school yearly,” said Mrs. Soltau. “They know the condition of their country and the radiation that inhabits so much of the soil and they give the art to CCP to sell to help youth in their country attend respite camps to aide in their health.” Chances are, they could easily sell their work for their own profit.
Almost 20 pieces hang on the walls at Talus. They are both haunting and impressive. The paintings are available for viewing and purchase. A perfect time to view the art is on Tuesday, September 13. From 6:30-8:30 p.m. Talus will donate 10 percent of dinner sales to CCP.