Trekkers is celebrating its 20th anniversary of outdoor-based mentoring programs this year. To celebrate the milestone, 50 artists with ties to Maine have created lobster buoy art for Trekkers’ first ever B.U.O.Y. (Building Up Our Youth) Auction. Using collage, fabric, paint, ink, metal, wood, rope and other media, the artists have expressed their individual styles and personalized a wooden lobster pot buoy.

Trekkers will host an opening reception to honor the artists Tuesday, July 1, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Maine Lighthouse Museum, 1 Park Drive. The event is open to the public and admission is free; all of the artists’ buoys will be on display at the museum until July 21.

The project, which began last January, was inspired and coordinated by local artists Otty Merrill and Jenifer Mumford. Contacting colleagues and friends, they recruited artists to participate in this new project in support of Trekkers’ work with local youth. The artists’ response was overwhelmingly positive, and soon 50 were signed up to participate in personalizing their own buoy art. In addition to highly acclaimed artists, the list of participants also includes two of Trekkers’ students; and one of the original founders of the organization.

Industries Manager Ken Lindsey at the Maine State Prison Showroom produced the wooden buoys for this project.

A second anniversary event will be a reception Wednesday, July 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to welcome Paul Theroux, Trekkers’ featured guest speaker for a presentation at the Strand Theatre later that evening. Tickets for the pre-event reception are $45 and are on sale at the Trekkers office in Thomaston.

From July 1 to 21, 40 of the one-of-a-kind pieces of buoy art will be featured in an online auction at The remaining 10 buoys will be featured at the live event July 16 at the Strand starting at 7 p.m. Kaja Veilleux of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries will be the auctioneer.

Lead Sponsor for the summer events is SummerMaine Classic Vacation Rentals; and Supporting Sponsor is Crandall, Hanscom & Collins, P.A. For more information about Trekkers or the B.U.O.Y. Auction, call 594-5095 or visit, where the full list of participating artists may be viewed.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or