Lesley Pickering from the Raise the Roof art auction.
Lesley Pickering from the Raise the Roof art auction. Debrah Novak

Raise the Roof with art auction

YOU might get the opportunity to own a piece of Yamba's history this weekend with the Raise the Roof Art Auction.

At the end of 2016 the Port of Yamba Historical Society desperately needed a new roof, but to get one, they drained their reserve of funds.

Secretary of the Port of Yamba Historical Society Lesley Pickering said one of the artists who was displaying at the time the roof leaked, John Jackson "The Rock Doctor", donated a work to help raise money for the society.

"I said a raffle would be silly for this level of work," Ms Pickering said.

"I wanted to raise the whole profile and do something special, that's how (the auction) all started."

It was then that Mr Jackson donated a second painting which he had completed at Surfing the Coldstream with the help of the people at the festival.

Mr Jackson isn't the only artist who has been incredibly generous in giving their work to the society for the auction

"The artists have been generous in their spirit, not just in their donations," Ms Pickering said.

"There is an original Ken Done, it's a small sketch ... he was the first artist I approached because he was up here visiting.

"The next most interesting is a John Beeman work because John doesn't exhibit in our area.

"He's an internationally recognised artist, his paintings sell in New York."

It's not just works from acclaimed artists in the auction, but prints from the museum archives.

"There is one of the very famous Tommy Walker, who we've had a display about in the museum," Ms Pickering said.

"We think he was the first person to be photographed surfing in Australia.

"I have an enlarged print of him doing a handstand on his surfboard at Yamba Beach."

Another piece of local history up for grabs are the mysterious fish watercolours found in a suitcase under a bed at the Pacific Hotel.

"They only have three initials, JTP, and it's still not fully substantiated who this person is, the Australian museum is researching it, the Australian Maritime Museum is researching it," Ms Pickering said.

"The person obviously had an enormous interest in biology, they are technically correct and some have a lot of information in regards to size, where they are found and their edibility."

Ms Pickering said she has chosen 10 out of more than 200 watercolours that were found.

The viewing and silent auction begins at 4pm and the live auction starts at 6pm at The Old Kirk in Yamba.