2022 Brave Heart Buoys & Art Fundraiser!

Several Sitka artists have kindly donated their time and talent to paint buoys and create art for our online auction, and we can't thank them enough for their generosity! These vibrant buoys can be seen hanging throughout town all summer long.

Find your favorites and then place your bids in our online auction August 23-30, 2022.

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Bumbling Around Sitka 

by Cinnamon Dockham

10" buoy


I like to think that with the extremely important job pollinators have in the world, they can glean joy from their work. I imagine our bees cheerily bumbling around the entire town from flower to beautiful flower, enjoying each unique nectar, color, and fragrance. The Sitka roses epitomize the perfect flower- brightly colored, big enough to support a curious bee or two, and the scent is divine.

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Whale of a Family

by Dj Robidou

12" buoy

A single or group of US,

Biologically and/or Spiritually bound.

It’s purpose to uplift, protect, take care of,

Anticipate...often without a sound.

An ebb and flow like the ocean,

It’s force, it’s beauty, it’s power.

All swimming together to reach the goal,

Giving no thought to cower.

Whatever it takes we ALL show up,

WHEREVER the need may BE.

It’s all part of the GIFT we’ve been given,

As INFINITE as the deep blue SEA.

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Frog Buoy

by Laura Kaltenstein

6" buoy


Laura Kaltenstein is a Sitka, Alaska artist. She has lived in coastal Alaska for 35 years. She mostly works in glass beads sewn onto felt to make brooches of sea stars, jellyfish, and little people with limpet shell faces. She works in acrylic paintings on wood, and on buoys recovered from beach clean-ups, in detailed designs.

Laura worked as a tour guide for hikers, bikers, and birders and now works as a Protected Species Observer for a dock construction company in many different Alaskan locations. She spends much of her time enjoying the outdoors and the wildlife of coastal Alaska, rain or shine.

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by Libby Stortz

5" buoy

After living in Sitka for over 30 years, I miss the luxurious experience of gathering and eating berries every year. We would eat them fresh and put them up for dormant months, tiding us over until the next harvest. Jams, jellies, pancakes, pies, muffins and tarts were little treasures. Our lives revolved around the harvests while watching and feeding birds living in and migrating through our beautiful town. Just like you do!


I’ve continued to be an avid bird feeder and love birding, so when I received this little gem of a buoy, I couldn’t help but combine these two sweet aspects of my time in Sitka. I can imagine the leafing out and blossoming of salmonberries with their huge, tart berries and the little nests the birds make between their branches in this season of plenty.

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Rock Climbing

by Columbus Wichman

12.5" buoy


I've been enjoying painting rocks lately. The round buoy turned it into more of a challenge. My other rock paintings have different objects on top of the rocks. The starfish just climbed on in such a natural way, so I stuck with the solo starfish and said....GOOD, I like it...DONE! Hope it pleases you as you look at it.

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Orcas in Balance

by Leslie Dupuis

14" buoy

Springtime in Sitka means the return of herring and all the charismatic megafauna that rely on them. Our easy inspiration came from the whales, but discussion about orcas one day led to the discovery that there are two versions of these popular pinnipeds: the anthropomorphized version and the realistic orca. The community news page is always full of excitement when groups of orcas are spotted close to town and people flock to the water’s edge in hopes of getting a glimpse of these magnificent denizens of the deep. However, in order to survive, orcas engage in predatory behavior that some people identify as being indifferent and cruel. Both the excitement and ambivalence we feel about orcas show a balance between reality and the human characteristics we assign to these creatures. This buoy reflects this balance. The white orca reflects the Anthropomorphized Orca: whether it is beautiful and magnificent as it speeds through the water, or cunning and cruel as it targets mother and baby whale pairs. The black orca represents the Realistic Orca that is living in the world as a large predator that has adapted to its surroundings and available food sources.

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by C Gale

8" buoy


This cast aluminum buoy is surrounded with glass and lead.

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The Spawn

by Anne Doyle

11" buoy


The Spawn is an awakening of spring. It’s the first sign that winter is ending. Sitka Sound has historically been considered the herring egg capital of northern southeast Alaska. A keystone species, the herring’s traditional and ecological importance within the ecosystem is depended upon by countless species that gather within Sitka Sound to feed upon the eggs and herring themselves. I wanted to help portray the excitement of the spring spawn with the movement and gathering of species and life under our beautiful sea.

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We All Shine

by Sharon Neema Shaban

11" buoy

I’m Sharon Neema Shaban, an AFS 2021-22 high school exchange student from Malinda, Kenya.  I did the buoy having a plan on my mind, but changed it once I started. The base colors on each side of the buoy show different skin tones and the dots show how regardless the color, everyone shines - so we’re all equal. Also, the green roots show how we’re bounded by the nature around us. Nature doesn’t pick a color, so why should we?

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Swaying Sea Anenomes

by Lola Hitchcock

12" buoy


My friend Clare Mullin and I used to paint rocks together and she came up with the original anemone design. I added dotting to the center of the anemone to add my personal touch.

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Pursuing Lunch

by Amy Sweeney

6" & 11.5" buoys

42" long


Whales chasing herring is a favorite theme I have been exploring for some time now. With this piece, I wanted to expand beyond the single sphere of one buoy, and I have always been fascinated by mobile art. These ideas led me to decide to try extending the art beyond the surface of the buoy. I settled on wire sculpture because it wouldn’t act too strongly as a sail when the piece was hung outside, allowing for gentler movement of the larger buoy. I hope that the swaying spiral movement of the whale buoy, combined with the spinning movement of the herring ball, enhance how the viewer perceives the full 360-degrees of the images.

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Straley's Sitka Summer

by Angie

12" buoy


Decoupaging the round, scarred surface of a buoy is a real challenge, but the subject matter made this project absolutely enjoyable. I chose to showcase the book, 100 Poems of Summer by John Straley, illustrated by Norman Campbell. The charming haikus eloquently capture Straley’s summer life in Sitka, as do the beautiful images of Southeast Alaska drawn by Campbell. I couldn’t help but smile while working on the buoy, as Straley’s verses stirred my own memories of nearly forty summers in Sitka and reminded me how much I love it here.

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Halitrephes Jellyfish

by Norman Campbell

13" buoy

48" tall


I was inspired by this creature of the sea… Few sea animals are so capable of flowing movement as the jellyfish…in a gentle breeze this former buoy captures a bit of the movement that jellyfish exhibit.

This piece is a collaborative effort between Norm and Toby Campbell and Steve Lawrie, who offered up ideas, as well as mylar to complete the intent of the work.

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Birds Buoy

by Anna Saiz

10.5" buoy


Check back for more information about Anna's buoy!

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Shining Spring

by Angie

11" buoy


While painting this buoy, I hoped to capture the happy essence and brilliance of Spring—namely the birds, butterflies, and blossoms that recolor our world after a long winter. The fun of painting each detail reminded me of decorating sugar cookies in my mom’s kitchen when she baked with her grandchildren. So, it seemed perfectly fitting to ask my own granddaughter Ruby to name the buoy; she calls it “Shining Spring.”

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Lykkelig Hjerte

by Angie

10.5" buoy

Lykkelig Hjerte means “Happy Heart” in Norwegian and this buoy is a tribute to my sweet Norwegian grandparents, Ed and Alma Iverson, who each had a servant’s heart and treated others with such kindness. Whenever I see Norwegian folk art in the traditional red, blue, and yellow colors, I instantly think of my childhood visits to their happy home.


There are two sayings printed on the buoy: “No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart,” and “Every day, do something that makes your heart sing.” My grandparents embodied these sentiments, and it was a joy to recall their radiant happiness and genuine goodness while painting.

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Daisy Meadow

by Angie

10" buoy

I painted this buoy in memory of my grandmother, Gammy Susan, who was a delightful mix of elegance, humor, and wisdom. She was also a talented artist. Gammy enjoyed working with oils, acrylics, and watercolors, and was admired for her lifelike portrayals of landscapes and flowers. One of my favorite paintings, a vaseful of dazzling daisies, serves as the inspiration for this buoy. I loved thinking about Gammy as I painted, and I love the name my granddaughter Arya suggested: “Daisy Meadow.”

THANK YOU to the corporate sponsors of our 2022 Buoys & Art Auction!

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There's still time to sponsor our auction! If your business would like a sponsorship opportunity, please call (907) 747-4600. 



  • Champion    $2,500+

  • Leader          $1,000

  • Advocate      $500

  • Partner          $200


To acknowledge your sponsorship, BHV will post:


  • your logo and website link on the auction website (8,500 views)

  • your logo on the BHV website for one year (200 new visitors monthly)

  • your logo in our Fall newsletter (850 subscribers)

  • your logo in social media posts (950 followers)