Rescue inspires artwork

LIHUE — Petr Bucinsky of Anchorage, Alaska almost tripped over a monk seal that had blended in with the rocks at the foot of the Shipwreck’s mount, Sunday afternoon.

“I was walking near Shipwreck’s Beach to go fishing, and I nearly tripped on it,” Bucinsky, a violin-maker, said. “It had a hook stuck in its mouth and there were lengths of fishing line wrapped around its body.”

The incident prompted a series of phone calls as Bucinsky and Tracey Pilch, an arts professor in Anchorage, sought to find the appropriate parties responsible for rescuing the young seal from its entrapments.

After numerous attempts, they found the right people and the seal was relieved of its entanglement, prompting Pilch to do an acrylic painting of the distressed mammal.

Pilch said Bucinsky found the seal, and after witnessing the rescue, wanted art to be a catalyst for charity.

“I wanted to raise awareness of this Hawaiian monk seal,” Pilch said. “We’re here until Monday, but I wanted to have the painting out so people can bid on it with the funds going to people who work with monk seals. I do this all the time in Alaska, and we’ve successfully raised funds for charities up there, including food banks.”

After securing permission from the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa where the couple are staying, Pilch said the 30 by 40-inch acrylic painting will be available for inspection and bidding with the deadline for bidding being 3 p.m., Sunday. Proceeds will be contributed to the Monk Seal Foundation, Kauai.

Pilch is no stranger to Kauai, having contributed items for bidding during the recent Prince Kuhio celebration at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, the proceeds from those artwork benefiting the Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

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