Westbrook Notes – 3/27

Student art exhibit at Mary Brooking studio

Painting students of Mary Brooking will display their work in an exhibit opening on Saturday, March 29, at Mary Brooking Studio in Westbrook. Brooking teaches her acrylic landscape painting course, “The Sky is Not Blue,” at the Westbrook Community Center, and has recently opened the studio at 863 Main St. (rear entrance), where she will teach drawing beginning in April.

The public opening will feature wine and hors d’ouevres. The students’ paintings will be for sale, along with Brooking’s own work. The exhibit will be judged by Jeremy Greene, artist and former owner of the Art Guru in Gorham. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners.

Brooking’s studio is open to the public daily “by appointment, or by chance” by emailing mary.brooking@gmail.com or calling 252-9897 or 854-5855.

Historian to hear grave dowser

Wayne Holmquist of the Raymond-Casco Historical Society will speak about dowsing for lost graves when the Westbrook Historical Society meets on Wednesday, April 2, at Westbrook Community Center, 426 Bridge St. The program will follow the 1:30 p.m. business meeting.

Holmquist, a dowser who looks for graves, is recognized by the Maine Old Cemetery Association.

School to celebrate Rick Hautala

Southern Maine Community College is hosting a celebration of the life and works of the late Rick Hautala, a best-selling author of horror books, longtime SMCC instructor and a resident of Westbrook.

Fans, friends, students and faculty will get together in the Learning Commons at SMCC’s Campus Center from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. March 27 to reminisce and read from Hautala’s works. Hautala wrote dozens of books, including the international best-seller “Nightstone,” as well as “Twilight Time,” “Little Brothers,” “The Wildman” and “Occasional Demons.”

The Horror Writers Association gave him its Bram Stoker lifetime achievement award in 2011. In addition to his writing, he taught literature for many years at SMCC and tutored students in writing. A graduate of the University of Maine, Hautala died last year of a heart attack at the age of 64.

Guests at Thursday’s event include Hautala’s wife, Holly Newstein Hautala, and best-selling horror authors Christopher Golden and Nate Kenyon.

New store

opening celebrated

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland homeowner Abdi Ahmad was scheduled to celebrate the opening of his new store, Shamo Dollar Store, on Wednesday, March 26, at 9 a.m., at 4 Scammon St. in Saco, in the Saco Valley Shopping Center.

Ahmad and his wife Ayan Said became homeowners through the Habitat for Humanity program in 2011. They live in Westbrook and are natives of Somalia.

“I moved to Maine and had to start all over. I had the vision to achieve my goals, and Habitat for Humanity gave me the opportunity and capital to make it work,” said Ahmad in a press release.

St. Anthony’s

trivia challenge

St. Anthony’s Parish, 268 Brown St., is hosting a trivia challenge from 5-8 p.m., on Saturday, March 29. Teams of six to eight members are asked to form, and a children’s version might also be available if needed. Grilled cheese sandwiches, soup, and dessert will be served.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $10 per person, $25 for a family. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 857-0490.

Husson to host Westbrook open house

Those interested in career-focused undergraduate and graduate education will have the opportunity this weekend to learn about educational opportunities at Husson University’s new Southern Maine campus in Westbrook.

The open house is set for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, at the Westbrook campus, 340 County Road. For more information or directions, visit SouthernMaine.Husson.edu or call 800-562-1294.

Woman’s club

to meet, dine

Westbrook Woman’s Club will meet on Tuesday, April 8, at Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church, 810 Main St. A complete turkey dinner will be served at noon. Reservations are required by Thursday, April 3, by calling Jean Thomas at 797-7873. The club’s annual meeting will convene at 1 p.m.