2020 Buoy Artist
Mark Bartlett- The drifter (Humpback)
Norm Campbell- Jackie-the-Lantern
Mary Chambers- Small Colorful Birds
Mary Chambers- Bull Kelp
Kaylee Cunningham- Catching Fish Instead of Catching COVID-19
Shanti Friedman- The Tidepool
Fiona Ferguson- Garden Greens
Jerrod Galanin- Electric Raven (blue hair)
Pat Kehoe- Intertidal World (abalone & starfish)
Ashia Lane- Lupine
Helen Mercado- Killer Whale
Amelia Mosher- Inspired by Hokusai’s famous wave painting
Lucy Pizzuto-Phillips- Kingfisher
James Poulson- Deda Art (Mona Lisa)
DJ Robidou- The Whale is Passing Through
DJ Robidou- The Octopus is Wrapped Around
Mark Sixby and Liz Zacher- Octopus (2 octopuses)
Allie Spurlock- Seafood of Alaska (black and white)
Jan Steinbright- Something to Crow About Miss Priscilla
Iko Sullival- Spring Delight (humming bird)
Adrienne Wilbur- Change is an Opportunity for Change (nails)
Didn't win a buoy?
You can still donate $$
2021 Brave Heart Buoys & Art Fundraiser!
Several Sitka artists have kindly donated their time and talent to create art and paint buoys for us again this year! For a close up look at the buoys and art, visit Island Artists Gallery at 205 Lincoln St. Find your favorites and then place your bid in our online auction August 18-September 1, 2021. Click here to visit our auction site or use the QR code below.
To learn more about the artists' concepts for their buoys and art, click on their names below.
by Anne Doyle
by Sarah Lawrie
Be of Brave Heart
by Angie Eaton
It's for the Birds
by Libby Stortz
by David Gross
Hot air balloon
14" x 25"
I am Grateful for the Birds
The Fabric of Our Lives
by DJ Robidou
by Amy Sweeney
by Francis Brann
Little Bear Tooth Print
by Jerrod Galanin
20"h x 16"w
Tléix’ Kéet Print
by Jerrod Galanin
14"h x 11"w
Cutout Pottery Bowl
by Robert Rose
13"w x 6"h
by Cara Murray
by Fiona Ferguson
Ocean & Space
by Columbus Wichman
Child's Buoy Chair
by Steve Lawrie
14" x 18.5"
The Fish's Perspective
Puffins Gone Fishing
by Pat Kehoe
A Cluster of Ravens
by Pat Kehoe
Wool Braided Rug
by Cleo Brylinski
31.5"w x 45"h
by Alice Hanson
18"w x 56"h
Hand-carved Buoy Bearer
by Randy Ferguson
8.75"h x 3"w x 2"d
Brave Heart Bowl
by Michele Friedman
10.5"w x 5.5"h
Thank you to all the incredible artists who donated their time and talent!
We appreciate you!
OctoKnot by Anne Doyle
“OctoKnot” took 30 hours to complete. It was inspired by a love of the intelligent creature, my Marine Biology background, and having been born and raised in a small fishy town in Southeast Alaska. My challenges I came across were finding the amount of hours needed to work on the piece being a full-time mother and homeschooling my two kids this year. I owe a major shout-out to both my parents for having a huge hand in taking the kids on play dates so I didn’t have to juggle making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while painting too often.
While I’ve painted most of my life, this was my first time working on a round surface and it was a fun challenge to create a piece that was interesting from every angle. I even popped in an added little “surprise” in the middle of the tangle of tentacles that made it have a nice connection to Sitka.
My favorite part of this project was knowing it was going to a good cause and getting the opportunity to be a part of it. Having moved to Sitka a couple years ago, I’ve admired the many artists who have participated in the Braveheart Buoys and am so grateful to have the chance to also share my art with Sitka.
Ocean and Space by Columbus Wichman
Nothing too exciting about both Ocean and Space with the exception that we know so little of each. How exciting is that! This buoy shows the vastness of everything by doing so little. It's made up of designs that just kept appearing as I put the paint to the round ball. Let your imagination explain what you see.
Be of Brave Heart by Angie Eaton
This buoy represents the spirit of the bear indicating it's time for healing or using healing abilities to help others, inspiring those who need it, inspiring courage to stand up against adversity.
The bear is emblematic of grounding forces and strength. Being a powerful guide to support physical and emotional healing by taking action and providing leadership.
The Fish's Perspective by Cinnamon Dockham
"The Fish's Perspective" is a bald eagle (actually 2, one on each side) as it is coming in for the kill. I like to think about balance and predator/ prey relationships are one way nature maintains harmony.
Sitka Spring by Cinnamon Dockham
"Sitka Spring" has a bunch of "Sitka" subjects in one buoy. Mt. Edgecumbe, humpback whale, sunset, herring, etc. I'm still. "new" to Sitka, and find inspiration in the seasons.
To see more of Cinnamon's art, visit:
Island Artists Gallery
I am Grateful for the Birds by Gaylen Needham
Watching birds brightens my day. It was fun researching different birds for this project. I didn’t start out to do a monochromatic color scheme. I started with the owl and the rest just made sense. I love the simplicity of the White paint on a stark black background.
A Cluster of Ravens by Pat Kehoe
Puffins Gone Fishing by Pat Kehoe
It’s all about the food. Ravens with the berries they love, and Tufted Puffins after the needlefish that they love. St Lazaria is my favorite place in the world for watching the puffins feed and swim. We are so fortunate to live in a place where we are able to watch both Ravens and Puffins.
More of Pat’s art can be seen at
Island Artists Gallery
Wool Braided Rug by Cleo Brylinski
Braided rugs are considered by many to be uniquely American and are thought to have been originally made and used by American colonists.
I learned to make braided rugs when I attended a neighborhood workshop taught by Janine Holzman here in Sitka, years ago.
This 31.5" x 45" rug is made from strips of old clothing and blankets that are braided then sewn together. It is 100% wool. I love making rugs of all kinds, but braided rugs are special; they are durable and made to last a lifetime.
Woven Tapestry by Alice Hanson
My name is Alice Hanson. I’ve been handweaving for over 40 years, ever since doing an introductory course with a professional tweed weaver in Scotland. After my husband and I came to Southeast Alaska, he built me a beautiful 4-shaft counterbalanced floor loom, similar to my first Scottish tweed loom. It has been in constant use ever since, first on Wrangell Island, then Sitka.
I’ve been a self-guided weaver, using mostly cotton, wool, other natural fibers and mill-end yarns, happy to follow my curiosity about the infinite variety of weaves, patterns, textures and colors that can be explored using simple handloom technology. I’ve always been more interested in the hands-on weaving process rather than the final product, but there have been rugs, blankets, curtains, wall-hangings, tablecloths, towels and napkins, shawls and scarves, along with innumerable samples made just for the joy of discovery.
The table-runner, or wall-hanging, donated to support Brave Heart volunteers is an example of Overshot weave in a pattern called “Maltese Cross.” This weave was a favorite in Colonial American times since a great variety of patterns can be produced on the same 4-shaft loom used to weave everyday plain homespun fabrics.
This 18" x 56" tapestry is made of cottons with one gold rayon slub. It should be hand-washed and hung dry, with a warm iron if needed.
Alice owns Zimovia Weaving in Sitka.
The Fabric of Our Lives by DJ Robidou
The patterns on this buoy were inspired by fabrics in my project bin.
Textiles have always provided a vision that represents the concept of Integrity. Individual pieces woven together to form one all-inclusive design. We are the pieces in the act of being woven together, to support and encourage one another throughout the journey.
Be of Brave Heart.
Cutout Pottery Bowl by Robert Rose
I've been making pottery here in Sitka for 40 years and enjoy the carving process to enhance the artistic quality of my work. This 13"w x 6"h bowl is high fired stoneware, great for a table centerpiece!
Garden Buoy by Fiona Ferguson
I've always been drawn to botanical subjects in my art, and while brainstorming ideas last year, was inspired by my place of employment—the community garden run by the Sitka Local Food network. Since then, I’ve kept on painting vegetables, because I realized it was rather fun, doing commissions and making a sign for the garden itself. So I kept to my theme this year and covered the 10" buoy in colorful food once again. I think it brings to mind the importance of locally grown food not only in nutrition and lessened emissions, but also the way it connects a community—much like this fundraiser—in the appreciation of a locally created product.
Buoy Bearer by Randy Ferguson
This 8.75”h x 3”w x 2”d hand-carved caricature is carved from basswood with small gouges and knives and painted with acrylic. They’re fun to create and I know the carving is coming alive when it makes me laugh!
Lion Buoy by Sarah Joan Lawrie
“The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.” -St. Augustine
Some information about my buoy: I ran into Michele on the Cross Trail, and she told me the theme for the Brave Heart buoys was "be of brave heart". It is a bit cliche, but immediately I thought of a lion. Lions have an ancient connection to human symbology and over the course of visual history have represented courage, majesty, strength and fortitude. Starting with the 40,0000 year old Ice Age Lion Man, lions have been an essential component in visual representation since the dawn of artistic expression.
I watched the 2021 inauguration and was moved by Amanda Gormans The Hill We Climb. I admire her bravery and, to me, her words rang with truth. The phrase from Amanda's poem on the buoy reads "If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, love will become our legacy and change our children's birthright"
The process of creating this was a real challenge, it is no joke for a person habituated to creating on a flat surface to translate that to something round! I used pencil and paint pens to create this piece.
Child’s Buoy Chair by Steve Lawrie
I had cut a buoy in half to start on a different project. My granddaughter Clark saw one of the halves and sat perfectly naturally in it ; the original thought was instantly exchanged for a kids chair!
It's for the Birds by Libby Stortz
I wanted to celebrate Sitka birds for the buoy. I’m not entirely sure why I settled on these 2 birds except I know that Violet Green Swallows around Sitka do make nests in peoples birdhouses and I know lots of birds appreciate being fed and getting out of the rain and cold in the winter, just like we do. In Sitka a chickadee sat on my shoulder once ,which was pretty damn amazing and special for me, especially since I tend to see William in all the birds.
Infinite by David Gross
Inspired by the constant motion seemingly limitless conditions we live in... the rise and fall of the sun, moon, land and sea.
Hot air balloon by Laura Kaltenstein
Painting on the buoys is a challenge because the design needs to be 3 dimensional, and easy to see depending on the height they are displayed. So it is a bit like doing a sculpture, and the possibilities are endless, because shapes can be cut out of the plastic, or other materials can be incorporated. Of course the excuse to go find the buoys out on beaches provides inspiration. I use acrylic paint, which has weathered fairly well on my porch for about 5 years, but in this climate, they are best kept indoors. To prepare them for painting can be quite a lot of work. I sand them as smooth as I can, considering they are beach finds. When they are finished I give them a couple coats of outdoor polyurethane. That final stage is when the colors really brighten up. That shine makes all the work worth it, turning some beach "trash" into something creative and satisfying to look at.
Family by Amy Sweeney
I began work on this buoy in March of 2021, during an online workshop led by Pat Kehoe of Island Artists Gallery cooperative, where I am a member and sell my work. Pat had assigned all her available buoys to other artists, except this one, which had a big crushed-in section in its side. I decided to take on the challenge, and my first decision was that this buoy would have to have both interior and exterior art. Octopuses are special to me, and I had just seen the documentary “My Octopus Teacher”, so I thought the interior of the buoy could become an octopus den, with a representation of egg skeins and the next generation of octopuses.
I cut a shaped opening around the caved-in section using woodworking tools. The exterior design is executed in acrylic paint, sealed with polyurethane. The interior is also painted with acrylic paint, and the egg skeins were created from closed cell foam commonly used by fishermen for insulation, and alcohol based markers. Since the large opening will likely admit some rain while displayed outside, I drilled drain holes in the bottom so rainwater won’t collect inside.
This project was a great opportunity to support Brave Heart Volunteers and their work in the community, as well as create with a wonderful group of artists. My gratitude to all who made this project possible, and to the eventual owner of this piece.
Amy owns Cloudbreak ARTWORKS and you can see her art at
Island Artists Gallery
Little Bear Tooth Print by Jerrod Galanin
This lovely 20”h x 16”w is a limited edition giclée print using archival pigment on cotton rag paper. It features a bear design inspired by Jerrod's son, David Rafael Ooxhk’ú Galanin. The Tlingit Kaagwaantaan elders gave him the name Ooxhk’ú, which means Little Bear Tooth.
Tléix’ Kéet Print by Jerrod Galanin
This stunning 14”h x 11”w is a limited edition giclée print of a Tlingit killer whale, using archival pigment on cotton rag paper.
Jerrod is a Tlingit artist and Brave Heart Volunteers Board member. "I come from a long lineage of Tlingit artists spanning multiple generations. My art is more than a career—it is a calling. I am in awe of the Tlingit art form’s visual language, how it can embody both simple elegance and infinite complexity at the same time. ...I want to share with the world the beauty and sophistication of my culture and its art. I strive to push myself to be the best at what I do while honoring the beauty of what was and what has yet to be. As a Tlingit artist, I want to inspire and invite you to see this beauty. I work in many materials, including silver, copper, fur, wood, skins, and more, and employ both traditional and contemporary techniques and materials as I explore my voice, strengthen my design, and express my experiences."
Jerrod's art can be found in galleries across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. You can see more of his work at jerrodgalanin.com
Brave Heart Bowl by Michele Friedman
Getting muddy and creating with clay brings me joy. Being a volunteer and on the Board of Brave Heart Volunteers also brings me joy. Being of Brave Heart means giving back to a community of people whom I love. This 10.5"w x 5.5"h bowl was made with B-mix clay and fired at cone 10, it’s great for a large salad or mixing bowl. Enjoy!
Cosmic Blooms by Cara Murray
"I painted the 14.5" buoy ‘cosmic blooms’ to just radiate as much joy and light as possible. Color is what we need right now and this was my soul intention when painting this piece."
Inspired by life and layers, Cara Jane Murray creates with the eye of a multidisciplinary artist and muralist. Cara’s spirited work explores the imprints of strife and jubilation. Limitless in medium, the strength of her art is rooted in its ability to evoke the inspired human spirit in all of its blunders and triumphs. Her positive, uplifting style serves to remind us that we are both great and small in this wild world.
Born and raised in Southeast Alaska, Cara’s style illustrates an extensive graphic design background combined with a love for contemporary folk art and the expansiveness of Alaska. Both maker and mother, she resolves to stay open, clear and connected to a sense of place while remaining fluid in her spiritual experience.
Cara believes art will continue to serve as the most honest and expansive form of communication that can ever be shared and this is how she gives, heals, rallies courage, loves and illuminates her heart.