Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mary Weiler Painting Silent Auction

To Cortes Islanders and friends

The Whaletown Commons Project is pleased to be holding a silent auction for a beautiful and historic painting by Cortes Islander, Mary Weiler (1915 - 1999). The painting, entitled "Entrance to the Gorge Harbour," was generously donated by the Cortes Land Conservancy to support the purchase of the Whaletown Creek property as park land for the Cortes Island community.

Mary Weiler was a well-known artist in British Columbia, a meticulous observer, and passionate painter of Cortes Island life. "Entrance to the Gorge Harbour," with its precipitous cliffs dotted with fir, is one of her later paintings. It is the work of a mature and confident artist and is reminiscent of Chinese landscape painting. It measures 24” x 29”, and is being offered in a handmade wooden frame by Cortes craftsman, Howie Roman.

Mary Weiler moved to Cortes Island in 1947 with her husband Otto. In spite of the isolation of the island in the days before the ferry, Mary continued to paint and to exhibit her work widely. She and Ottie raised a family of four, ran the Whaletown store for some years and the post office for many more. Mary was also a nurse and often served as the only emergency medical resource on the island. Both were were very active in the community, and are remembered here with great fondness. Mary left Cortes in 1974 after the death of Otto, continuing to paint for another 25 years. She also took up photography and was a pioneer in creative darkroom techniques. She passed away in 1999, leaving a large body of work, which is represented in collections around the world.

"The Entrance to the Gorge Harbour" will be on display at the Manson’s Hall until East Monday. The auction will close at 5:00 PM on March 24, 2008, and the winning bidder will take home this beautiful painting, a unique piece of our island history.

Bids by email will be accepted! If you cannot be here on the island to participate in the bidding, please send your bid in an email to:

Bids will be checked once a day, and you will be notified if you are winning or if you have been outbid. Date stamps on email will determine bidding order.

Wild and extravagant bidding is encouraged! All proceeds of this auction go toward the purchase of the Whaletown Commons and the acquisition of community-owned lands for Cortes Island!

For more information about the Whaletown Commons Project, please go to:

Many thanks for your participation and support.


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