A Robert Bateman sketch is one of the works of art being auctioned to purchase 600 acres of forest on Cortes Island.

Art auction supports Cortes ‘Children’s Forest’

Money raised at The Artist’s Journey Art Auction will be used to publish Forest Alphabet

An art auction will be held on Saltspring Island Friday Nov. 23 to raise funds to purchase 600 acres on Cortes Island that has become known as “The Children’s Forest.”

Money raised at The Artist’s Journey Art Auction will be used to publish “Forest Alphabet,” a book featuring the original artwork of 33 Cortes Island children. In turn, sales of Forest Alphabet will be used for promotion and fundraising towards purchase of the Children’s Forest. The book has been endorsed by Robert Bateman, Tzeporah Berman and Ann Mortifee.

The initiative is being organized by the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society which was set up recently to purchase Island Timberland holdings immediately adjacent to Carrington Bay Regional Park Reserve. Society spokesperson Christine Robinson says: “These forest lands will be held in trust for all the children of Cortes Island in perpetuity. These five parcels of land, totaling approximately 600 acres, are in the heartland of Cortes and are ecologically significant and contain provincially designated sensitive ecosystems. These forests are also home to many rare plant communities and species that are listed on both the provincial and federal species at risk lists.”

Robinson says the Artist’s Journey brought visiting artists to the Children’s Forest this summer where they were joined by local artists and created beautiful works of art inspired by the forest. Ann Mortifee will officially open the auction of these works at 3 p.m. Friday at Saltspring’s Artspring Center. The public is invited to join Ann and husband Paul Horn for afternoon tea in the gallery while viewing the artwork. Ann will speak at 7 p.m. on her venture into the Trust for Sustainable Forestry and the children of Cortes will end the evening by announcing the auction winners at 9 p.m.

Artists of all disciplines have contributed to the auction making for an exceptionally interesting and eclectic collection of work. Their contributions have been posted online at  corteschildrensforest.org. To place a sealed bid e-mail to slmense@telus.net and put “Art Auction” in the subject line. E-mail bids will be accepted until 9 a.m. Nov. 23. Sealed bids in person will be accepted from 3 to 7 p.m. Nov, 23 at the Artspring Center.