CAMDEN — More than 200 people gathered in the historic Camden Amphitheatre for the Camden on Canvas live auction July 31, raising upwards of $55,000 to benefit the Camden Public Library’s Campaign for the Future. Attendees bid on 20 freshly created plein-air paintings by well-known Maine and New England artists. The auction capped a full plein-air weekend that saw locals and visitors interacting with the artists painting outdoors in Camden and Rockport, and later browsing the exhibit of completed works in the amphitheatre.

“Our community was enriched by having the opportunity to gather in appreciation of one-of-a-kind paintings, featuring local scenes close to our hearts, all to benefit this remarkable library,” said Nikki Maounis, the library’s executive director. “The funds raised will go directly toward strengthening the library’s long-term ability to create young readers, foster lifelong learning, and sustain our historic building and parks. We couldn’t be happier.”

Artist Peter Yesis earned the auction’s top bid of $9,500 for “Shirttail Point Park.” Other participating painters included Alison Hill, Jill Hoy, Jonathan McPhillips, Nathaniel Meyer, Matthew Russ, George Van Hook, and Camden on Canvas collaborator Colin Page of Page Gallery. Auction proceeds were split between the artists and the library. Paintings can be viewed on the library’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

“Library supporters gave their all to make Camden on Canvas an especially successful fundraiser, often out-bidding each other well above a painting’s retail value,” Page said. “It was a thrill to be a part.”

Camden on Canvas was coordinated in partnership with Page Gallery, along with the support of lead sponsor Ken Gardiner, Edward Jones Investments – Camden. The library is also grateful to the many Midcoast business sponsors, volunteers, bidders, artists, and all who participated in this memorable event.

Those who wish to contribute to the library’s Campaign for the Future may donate on the library’s website at librarycamden.org/future or in person at 55 Main St.

Artist Colin Page painted a lobster boat and the library “en plein-air” from the public landing in Camden during the Camden on Canvas Weekend. Courtesy of Camden Public Library

The public admired the exhibit of plein-air paintings and mingled with the artists at the reception in the Camden Amphitheatre. Courtesy of Camden Public Library

More than $55,000 was raised to benefit the Camden Public Library and support the library’s Campaign for the Future. Courtesy of Camden Public Library