To celebrate Trekkers historic milestone of 20 years of Building Up Our Youth through outdoor-based mentoring programs, 50 artists with ties to Maine have created lobster buoy art for Trekkers’ first ever B.U.O.Y. Auction. Online bidding of 40 of these one-of-a-kind buoys will continue through Monday, July 21, at 11 p.m. at

Each buoy is a unique representation of its artist’s individual style. Buoys have been transformed via collage, fabric, paint, ink, metal, wood, rope and other media. The buoys can be viewed online or in person at the Maine Lighthouse Museum, 1 Park Drive.

The artists include Kate Braestrup, a community minister, law enforcement chaplain and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “Here If You Need Me”; American artist Greg Mort, widely recognized as a leading influence in contemporary art with a fascination with space and the universe weaving itself through his paintings; and millennium artist Jon Mort, a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design who is known for his startlingly realistic graphite images and is a highly sought-after portrait artist. Buoys also been created by Björn Runquist, a painter who was featured in Maine Home & Design in April 2010 as one of Maine’s 60 artists “to collect now, while you can”; and Simon van der Ven, an artist and educator who is married to Braestrup and whose son, Peter, was part of the Trekkers program.

Also participating in the project are two Trekkers students; and one of the organization’s founders, Peter Jenks, who was one of the adults on the first Trekkers trip in 1994. He has been holding the Trekkers in prayer ever since, as priest at the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston, and he is the father of several Trekkers. The list of project participants also includes two of Trekkers’ own students, Jennifer Carter, whose buoy “June” reflects her love of color and the new life that spring brings; and Trekkers’ Student Board Member Reagan Goulet, whose buoy "Iridescence" was inspired by her painting and drawings of jellyfish since her 10th grade Trekkers trip.

The B.U.O.Y. project, which began last January, was inspired and coordinated by local artists Otty Merrill and Jenifer Mumford, both of whom have buoys up for bid. Industries Manager Ken Lindsey at the Maine State Prison Showroom produced the wooden buoys for this project.

All proceeds benefit Trekkers, an outdoor-based youth mentoring program that works with 7th through 12th grade students. Since 1994, Trekkers has worked with more than 600 students, providing long-term mentoring services, educational programs and academic support. For more information about Trekkers or the B.U.O.Y. Auction, call 594-5095 or visit

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