Women repaint road signs

Michelle Aarvig, left, Shannon Edmundson and Carletta Gordon-Stokes take a break from touching up and sealing the Susan Eyer-Anderson Cary road sign Saturday, Sept. 19. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

Hand-painted road signs, which were originally donated by Susan Eyer-Anderson in 2017, are getting maintenance and care, thanks to a trio of local women.

Shannon Edmondson, Michelle Aarvig and Carletta Gordon-Stokes have adopted the unique boards. They began work on the Cary Road sign Saturday, Sept. 19, touching up the images and sealing the paint against the coming winter weather.

“We wanted to maintain the beautiful artwork that Susan Eyer-Anderson donated to our little town of Anza,” Edmondson said. “We decided to adopt a sign.”

Eyer-Anderson was well known as the “Anza Phantom Artist” that created and secretly installed signs all over Anza in 2017. The signs featured the town and street names, complete with horse, sunset and patriotic images. A professional artist, she shows her fine acrylic Western-themed canvases and signed prints at shows all over Southern California and beyond.

Eyer-Anderson, a longtime Anza resident, moved from the valley in August and relocated to Big Bear with her husband Dave and their menagerie of parrots and horses.

“You have no idea what it means to me to have these wonderful ladies do this for the signs,” she said. “This is a very special community that deserves love and attention during these times of turmoil. These ladies rock.”

Gordon-Stokes said that the exterior grade paint was purchased and mixed at the True Value hardware store in Anza.

“We touched up with black paint and then coated with a clear gloss of Minwax,” she said. “Susan posted on social media some weeks ago saying she hoped someone would coat the paintings with Minwax periodically. I responded to say I was interested in helping. Shannon saw my response and reached out to me. She and Michelle saw how bad the paint was chipping on the Cary Road painting, we decided to touch up the black paint before sealing it.”

The women received hundreds of well wishes on social media as they worked.

Plans to tackle the remaining signs are in the works.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.