By Peter Vankevich
The David Williams House, headquarters of the Ocracoke Preservation Society, was packed Saturday evening as people at the “Ocracoke Through Your Eyes” art auction kept their eyes on bid sheets and the works of art donated by local and off-island artists.
At the end, the chatter turned to a rising young artist, Daymon Scott Esham, a fifth grader at the school. Not only were people complimentary about his painting of a heron, but his piece had the highest bid, taking in $450.
Nine bids were placed on “The Heron.” This article will be updated when the total amount is calculated.
“I liked his painting,” said one of the bidders at the end, “but the amount was a little too rich for my blood.”
It wasn’t too rich for his aunt, Jennifer Esham, who took home the prize.
Daymon’s favorite class is art. He selected his subject, in part, because his aunt Jennifer is the proprietor of Blue Heron Realty.
She has plans for it.
“This painting is going into our main office (located in Spencer’s Market) for all of our renters to see,” she said.
Daymon has two excellent mentors.
His school art teacher, Kitty Mitchell, earlier in the day was effusive about his talents.
“He is very talented, especially for someone his age (10),” she said.
His other informal teacher, Charma Casey, of Bunn, Franklin County, is a long-time family friend, frequent visitor to the island and collaborator in art creation with Damon.
“I love getting together with him and painting,” she said.
A self-taught artist, Casey enjoys both Daymon’s enthusiasm and willing to take tips on improving his technique.
“He drew in pencil the heron without once using an eraser, mixed his own paint and finished it on his own,” she said.
Artists look forward to contributing one or more of their paintings to support the OPS as shown in the increase in 110 entries this year:
For this show, artists use small canvases that depict the island in paint, collage, photography, mixed-media. Amateurs and professionals alike submit work and bids can be placed online prior to the actual auction. New this year was an outreach initiative to welcome submissions by students such as Daymon.
For more information on this event and other OPS programs, contact the administrator, Allison O’Neal at 252-929-7375, email@example.com.
Point of disclosure: Peter Vankevich is a board director for the Ocracoke Preservation Society.