Over 20 artists contribute work for Burnt Island art auction July 12

Preview of the painting at Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce starting Friday, June 30
Posted:  Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 6:45am

These artists are doing it for the “greater good.”

So says local artist Donald Demers, who has organized a live art auction on July 12 to raise money for the restoration of Burnt Island Lighthouse and the keeper’s quarters. Burnt Island Lighthouse, located off the mainland near Boothbay Harbor, will celebrate its bicentennial in 2021 and curator Elaine Jones and others have helped raise money over several months to get the restoration work done before the next decade begins.

“To me, it is a special place,” said Demers of Burnt Island. Demers and his art students have painted on the island for the past 15 years. “You could say it has cultivated my interest in painting maritime, nautical subject matter.”

Demers said the decision to organize the auction, to be held at Spruce Point Inn, was an easy one.

“Artists usually spend most of their time trying to sell their work,” said Demers. “This auction give us a chance to give back, to do something inspirational for a noble cause.”

Over 25 artists (including two photographers) have donated paintings done on the island for the auction. For two days in early May, Demers and seven other artists captured the island on canvas from various vantage points. By late May, other artists had donated paintings of the island for the auction and were on display for a special showing on the island.

Artists, some from other New England states, who have donated their works to the “Keep the Light Burning” art auction include: Julie C. Airoldi, Kevin Beers, Brad Betts, Karen Blackwood, Todd Bonita, John Butke, John Caggiano, Katie Cundiff, N. Alastair Dacey, Don Demers, Mary Erickson, Laureen Hylka (Wondolowski), Jean Kigel, Corinne McIntyre, Bob McKay, Roger Milinowski, Diane Randlett, Fran Scannell, Salley Smith, Tony van Hasselt, Amy Williams and photographers Robert Mitchell and David Kynor.

A preview of the paintings will be held at the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce office on Townsend Avenue beginning Friday, June 30.

Tickets for the auction are available in advance at $60 per person at Grover’s Hardware and at the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce (cash or check) or through PayPal at www.keepersofburntislandlight.com. They can also be purchased at the door for $75. If a painting is purchased, the buyer’s admission fee will be credited towards that purchase.

Demers has donated the door prize for the event — an 8-inch-by-10-inch oil painting.

The Wednesday, July 12 auction will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and include hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music and lively bidding on the artwork. Auctioneer will be John Bottero from Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

Other fundraising events for the restoration project have been scheduled. Visit www.keepersofburntislandlight.com for more information.

For those wishing to make a direct donation to the project, make checks payable to Keepers of Burnt Island Light and mail to: Keepers of Burnt Island Light, P.O. Box 738, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538.