A one man art show was held at the Abaco Inn on December 29. The paintings were the work of Rolf Sauer and were being sold for a worthy cause. Mr. Sauer and his wife, Susan Maxman, are second-homeowners on Elbow Cay’s North End who built their home here five years ago and now spend six months a year here. Mr. Sauer was selling his paintings to raise funds for the Bahamas Lighthouse Preservation Society.
Mr. Sauer began his career as an architect but, being very interested in ecology, he turned his vocation towards landscape gardening and became one of the first ecology planners in the United States. He works with the Friends of the Environment in the promotion of natural plantings and at his home he has planted a collection of native species which he has labeled with both their common and botanical names.
The attractive paintings on display were mainly different views of the Hope Town Lighthouse and harbour while others were of native plants, showing the artist’s love of botanicals.
Mr. Sauer’s wife, Susan, said that her husband has always been able to draw beautifully and then two years ago, now that he is retired, he took a painting course from Walter Bartman. Mr. Bartman is a well-known and respected artist in the United States who comes to Hope Town every year to teach artists from both here and abroad. Many locals have benefitted from his classes over the years.
After taking this course, Mr. Sauer decided to continue this newly acquired skill. He loves to paint views of the lighthouse using ink and watercolours. “I go down to the harbour early in the mornings because people sleep late in the harbour and I can paint undisturbed,” he quipped. The lighthouse is, of course, a very popular subject with visitors to take back as mementos of their visit to Elbow Cay.
Mr. Sauer sold several paintings that day to boost his donations. Several more of his paintings have been left with the manager, Tom Hazel, at the Abaco Inn and may be purchased at very reasonable prices, either framed or unframed by visiting the Abaco Inn or calling 366 0133. Some stunning photographs taken by his son, an orthopedic surgeon, are also on sale for the same good cause.
The famous Elbow Reef Lighthouse, which is undoubtedly the most recognizable landmark on Abaco, is one of the last manual lighthouses in the world. In 2012 members replace several broken window panes at considerable cost, but work to keep this lighthouse in pristine working condition is ongoing.