Preserving Ogunquit’s Artistic Legacy: OMAA’s Art By The Sea Auction 

Charles Woodbury
By Lisa Aubin
Chair, 2020 Art By The Sea Auction & Fundraiser 

If you know Ogunquit, you know our beautiful town features amazing restaurants, retail shops, lodging establishments, sandy beaches, scenic spots like the Marginal Way, and a reputation for warm hospitality (fun fact: Ogunquit has hosted a number of celebrities as well, including a young Bette Davis, who was a lifeguard here in 1926, as well as Sally Struthers and a star-studded who’s-who of performers who’ve appeared on the Ogunquit Playhouse stage).

Since the 19th century, this seaside community has welcomed and inspired artists of all kinds, from painter Charles Woodbury, founder of Ogunquit’s first art colony, to Hamilton Easter FieldMarsden Hartley and many more. For 67 years, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art—or OMAA, as we fondly call the museum—has been a gem in our community. Perched at the top of Narrow Cove, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, OMAA not only features a stunning sculpture park with more than 17 gardens but a full schedule of exhibitions featuring modern and contemporary art, as well as a rich collection of art and sculpture by members of Ogunquit’s famous art colony and other important American artists.

OMAA hosts its biggest fundraiser, the Art By The Sea Auction and Gala, every August. It’s a high-energy event featuring an auction of works by some of the area’s most noted artists; it also raises funds for OMAA “White Glove” projects—museum conservation efforts and other specific needs.

This year’s Art By The Sea auction and fundraiser is virtual, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything will be online. But works by your favorite artists—including Claire BigbeeJeff Fitzgerald and others—will still be available for purchase. The auction also includes works from the estate of former OMAA trustee Michael Kenslea.

This year’s auction goal is $300,000. It’s an ambitious target but one that means OMAA can keep operating, especially at a time when in-person visits and events are limited.

Bidding opens August 15 and continues until the gavel drops at 5 pm, August 29. Visit our auction website, www.omaaartbythesea.com, to bid!

We’ll keep you updated on auction highlights over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!


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