The Western Flyer, made famous in John Steinbeck’s “The Log from the Sea of Cortez,” is being restored at the Shipwrights Cooperative in Port Townsend with Ginny Wilson, Tim Lee and Tuff the dog on the crew. A tour of the project is one of the items in the Jefferson County Historical Society’s AHA Auction wrapping up this weekend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

The Western Flyer, made famous in John Steinbeck’s “The Log from the Sea of Cortez,” is being restored at the Shipwrights Cooperative in Port Townsend with Ginny Wilson, Tim Lee and Tuff the dog on the crew. A tour of the project is one of the items in the Jefferson County Historical Society’s AHA Auction wrapping up this weekend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Auctions benefiting two Port Townsend nonprofits end Sunday

Historical society, arts group raise funds for programs

PORT TOWNSEND — For two nonprofit organizations, this could be a big shopping weekend.

The newly merged Port Townsend School of the Arts and Northwind Arts Center — to take the name Northwind Art as of Jan. 1 — will wrap up their auction, titled “Weave It Together,” with a pre-show and gala at 5 p.m. Sunday, online and free at Northwindarts.org.

Sixty-one items range from $25 up to priceless, in the case of mandolin virtuoso David Grisman’s item, a private lesson that comes with an electric mandolin.

Also Sunday, the Jefferson County Historical Society’s AHA Auction comes to a close at noon via JCHSMuseum.org. Bidding on the AHA — art, history, adventure — packages has gone on all week, with bids $40 up to the thousands.

Two nights at Kalaloch Lodge and tours of the Alpenfire cidery, the schooner Adventuress and the Western Flyer restoration project in Port Townsend are among the packages.

This is the first time historical society Executive Director Shelly Leavens has hosted an auction, but her intentions were clear: to entice people to explore Jefferson County culture firsthand — and safely.

Leavens worked with donors to design tour packages with health precautions built in: small groups, fresh air, scheduled in 2021.

Another item in the adventure category, for example, is a hike up the Big Quilcene River with local poet and naturalist Tim McNulty sometime next spring.

“We wanted to focus on people having these incredible art and heritage experiences in the coming year,” she said.

Along with the donors of the outdoor items, local artists were also generous. They came to her, Leavens said, instead of waiting to be solicited.

Meanwhile, Northwind’s “Weave It Together” auction showcases original creations from painters, sculptors, ceramicists and textile artists.

A number of works can be seen at the Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St., and at the Port Townsend School of the Arts’ Grover Gallery, 236 Taylor St.

Many are visible through the wide windows. If visitors want to go inside to see the items plus the new exhibitions for December, both galleries are open noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz, senior reporter in Jefferson County, can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected].

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