Long a symbol of strength and safety, the lighthouse is also providing a beacon of hope and beauty in northwest Ohio.
Throughout the summer, Sandusky has hosted “A Light in the Harbor,” an art project comprising 28 resin lighthouse replicas, each decorated by a local artisan and showcased throughout the city. On September 18, the works will be auctioned off for good causes: Proceeds will benefit the Firelands chapter of the American Red Cross; United Way of Erie County; and the Merry-Go-Round Museum, a nonprofit organization that restores and builds carousel horses.
“Vermilion, Marblehead, Lorain, Sandusky ... The lighthouse has long been an emblem of our lakefront,” says Vicki Vanden Bout, executive director of the Merry-Go-Round Museum, who helped spearhead the project. “The theme was a natural one.”
And like the originals, which have inspired stories, poems, paintings and songs, the replicas themselves are also works of art. The eclectic designs range from “License to Chill,” a party-themed creation sporting big flowers, bright colors and a parrot, to the celestial “Lighting the Night Sky,” a striking tribute to the constellations created with the help of a solar light inside.
Although this is the community’s first foray into a fund-raiser of this kind, Vanden Bout says she’s optimistic about the bids, which can be placed online.
“There’s an Ohio State lighthouse,” she says. “Who knows? Maybe we’ll get $5,000 for it.
“We can always dream,” Vanden Bout adds with a smile.
For more information, visit www.alightintheharbor.com