by Elle Maynard
Interested in an entertaining distraction from the winter doldrums? Buoy the Winter Blues may be just what you need to set you sailing toward spring. Brainchild of Gay Gillespie, longtime supporter of Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA), Buoy the Winter Blues has become a much anticipated annual event and important fundraiser for the organization. Invited artists are supplied with a cedar lobster buoy, handcrafted by Maine Wooden Buoys. Each becomes a canvas, and artists are encouraged to create innovative and decorative final products which become part of a silent auction. In past years, buoys have varied in design from clever to whimsical—and have been painted, forged, and even bedazzled!
The auction is now in its’ third year, and the number of local participating artists has increased annually with over sixty entries expected this year! Artists, both professionals and dabblers, donate their time to decorate the buoys, their generosity allows 100% of the auction’s proceeds to be utilized by the WRWA. According to Community Engagement Manager, Steve Connors, the auction supports the Watershed’s education and science initiatives—including a program in the Westport Schools, which serves more than 2,000 students in grades K-12.
The decorated buoys will be on display at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery beginning Saturday, February 27. The event is open to the public who are encouraged to view the display at the Gallery or online at www.westportwatershed.org. All are invited to bid on a favorite buoy (or buoys) during the silent auction that will take place on Saturday, March 5. A celebratory reception will follow. With more than 300 in attendance at last year’s reception, the event has become a respite for many winter-weary residents on the South Coast!
The Westport River Watershed Alliance, founded in 1976, has grown from 15 concerned individuals to an impressive 2,000 members. The Watershed encompasses 100 square miles and includes the communities of Westport, Tiverton, Little Compton, Fall River, Freetown, and Dartmouth. WRWA is an established leader in the grassroots environmental movement and is considered a role model for many communities.
Westport River Watershed Alliance
1151 Main Road
PO Box 3427
Westport, MA 02090
Dedee Shattuck Gallery
1 Partners’ Lane
Westport, MA 02090
Elle Maynard is a life long New Englander and current resident of the South Shore, Elle is always on the lookout for creative ways to keep winter-weariness at bay.