Stop by the Naples Golf and Country Club on Route 114 this Saturday evening and get a load of some unique artistry; sample a few hors d’oeuvres, maybe a glass of wine, and peruse distinctive birdhouses decked out by artists in the Lakes Region.

If one strikes your fancy, you can bid on it and take it home. The auction is one of two major fundraising campaigns to support the Naples Public Library, which has experienced a rise in its services lately.

“Every summer we have to come up with a major fundraiser to keep our doors open,” said Alison Caulfield, auction organizer and library trustee. “We’ve recently added hours and staff, as well as upgraded our computers. We’re trying to keep pace with the 21st century.”

Caulfield said the birdhouse idea fell right into place, in large part because of the generosity of a local business owner and the plethora of artists residing in the region.

Jim Turpin of Coveside Conservation Products donated 24 of his company’s quality bird, bat and butterfly houses. The library was prepared to purchase them, but Turpin was kind enough to donate the houses.

And since the library already hosts a weekly gathering of artists, Caulfield’s call for painters back in March had no trouble finding a willing group to put their particular spin on the houses. 

“We gave the houses out with instructions to do whatever they felt would complete their particular artistic vision,” Caulfield said. “Some may very well be used for decoration purposes only, but many of these unique creations will likely find their way to backyards and gardens all over the area.”

Andrea Dacko saw it as a way to pay homage to those local landmarks so well known throughout the Lakes Region. 

“I’ve done projects like this before and have found that people always like something with local color in it,” she said.

“So I did a folk art rendering of the Naples Causeway, including the soon-to-be-forever-gone swing bridge, the Songo River Queen, and the Casino building.” 

A queen-sized quilt adorned with many Maine themes will also be part of the mix. “Three or four of the library’s volunteers put together a quilt,” Caulfield said. “Tickets have been sold all summer long; we’ll be pulling the winning ticket at intermission.”

Last year the library hosted an auction of beautifully decorated canoe paddles. But library officials and artists say the birdhouses have been a bit more fun, the possibilities wider-ranging. For example, one offering by Donna Church is a house hanging inside a large twig wreath.

“Instead of decorating the house itself, she made it part of another visual experience,” Dacko said. “That was a really different approach.”

Another submission by Linda Stearns shows two loons amid islands at night with a full moon hanging in the sky. Most of the birdhouse is covered in birch bark; small flat stones are affixed around the base.

To see the many offerings, visit www.naples.lib.me.us and click “NPL photo albums.” There is an auction preview at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar with the live auction commencing at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are required and are available at the Naples Library (693-6841) or at the door.

 

Don Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Raymond. He can be reached at: [email protected]