Their purpose is to mark the location of underwater lobster traps, but later this month, they’ll become creative masterpieces.
The Stirling Historical Society in Greenport recently recruited 20 artists, most of them local, to paint vintage lobster buoys that will be auctioned off during a benefit gala this upcoming Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hanff’s Boat Yard on the corner of Main and Sterling Streets.
“Greenport is a wonderful town with a great nautical history and the Stirling Historical Society is really the keeper of that history,” said Cindy Pease Roe, a Greenport painter who conceived the idea for the event and is organizing it with Gail Horton, president of the historical society.
Tickets to the gala cost $75 and include a raw bar, local wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment by local musician Grant Werner. Each of the 20 buoys, which were purchased from Triangle Sea Sales in Greenport, will have a minimum starting bid of $100. The evening’s proceeds will benefit the historical society’s efforts to install heat, air conditioning and a security system at Berber House, its archives building.
Featured artists are Ms. Roe, Ms. Horton, Megan Barron, Kathleen Bifulco, Randee Daddona, Rich Fiedler, Lori Guyer, Isabelle Haran-Leonardi, Eddie Martinez, Brenda Miller, Greenport mayor David Nyce, Emilia Olsen, Parker Roe, jada rowland, Ann Sage, Frank Uellendahl, Caroline Waloski, John Wissemann, Nancy Wissemann Widrig and Amy Worth.
Artists were given free reign to design their buoys, Ms. Roe said. Many feature depictions of the water, boats and mermaids.
She plans to paint the scene from her oil painting “Hanff’s Boat Yard” on the buoy she’s decorating.
“The buoys reflect each artist’s style, but they tie into the area very well and what Greenport is all about,” Ms. Horton said. On her buoy, she’s painting the names of all the boats built at Hanff’s Boat Yard from its inception until today.
“I live in Greenport and work in Greenport,” Ms. Roe said. “I would like to see the historical society raise enough money to improve their facility. Whatever they do really benefits Greenport in the long run — and anything that benefits Greenport, I’m behind.”
Tickets to the Stirling Historical Society’s Summertime Gala are available at Ireland House, C21 Greenport, Greenport Wines & Spirits, Salamander’s, Clarke’s Garden, Special Effects, Vines & Branches, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company and Sweet Indulgence. Guests are asked to wear nautical attire. Call the historical society at 477-3026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.