By Peter Vankevich

On Ocracoke, there are few social gatherings in the heart of winter. One of them for many years has been the Ocracoke Preservation Society’s “Ocracoke Through Your Eyes” silent art auction held in January.

In the past, this important fundraiser has been held at its headquarters in the David Williams house at 49 Water Plant Road. The works of art, donated by both local artists and off-islanders were hung on the walls of the house that also serves as its museum.

Hors d’oeuvres, sweets, cider and wine added much to the ambience.

Because the OPS building was still being repaired from Hurricane Dorian damage in September 2019, the auction was moved to the Community Center. This year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the auction went virtual as the island and everywhere else has had to deal with the greatest pandemic since the Spanish flu of 1919.

The works of art were posted on the OPS special Facebook page and bidding closed 7 p.m., Jan. 23.

“We raised over $4,400 and despite the changes, we far exceeded our expectations,” said Andrea Powell, the OPS administrator.

This year, a total of 64 works of art were up for bid. Last year about 100 works for the auction brought in approximately $6,000.

The highest bid went to “Sunset,” below, by Patti Johnson Plyler at $295.

‘Sunset,’ by Pattie Johnson Plyler, received the highest bid at $295.

“Have a Swell Day,” below, by Charma Casey brought in $255, and a crib-sized Ocracoke Cracker Quilt, donated by Nancy Reynold, sold for $230.

‘Have a Swell Day,’ by by Charma Casey
This baby-sized quilt by Nancy Reynolds features the cracker design, unique to Ocracoke.

Another high bid of $225 went to “Community Love,” below, painted by John Simpson.

‘Community Love,’ by John Simpson.

With no overhead costs, all of the money received from the auction will go to support the OPS.