Courthouse Gallery opens “The Great Cranberry Isle Artists 1960–1985.”

John Heliker, “Clam Digger with Dog”

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth invites the public to an Opening Reception 5–7p.m. Wednesday, August 15 for “The Great Cranberry Isle Artists: 1960–1985.” This exhibition highlights work by the artists who spent their summers on Great Cranberry Isle between 1960 and 1985, including Marvin Bileck, Gretna Campbell, Dorothy Eisner, Louis Finkelstein John Heliker, Jeannie Howard, Robert LaHotan, William Kienbusch, John Lorence, Emily Nelligan, Carl Nelson, and Charles Wadsworth. The Cranberry artists began to arrive in the 1950s. Charles Wadsworth and his wife, Jean Howard, came to visit family friends in Bar Harbor. On an offshore outing, they discovered affordable land on Great Cranberry and bought it. A year later, they acquired timber in Bar Harbor from the trees cut down during the Great Fire of 1947 that swept across Mount Desert Island. The trees were chained and floated over by boat to their shore where they set up a sawmill. The planking became clapboards for their multi-level house, which clung to the stone ledges and featured a studio for each of them. The rest of the artists followed soon after, converting boat houses into studios, most having a connection through Cooper Union, until twelve or so artists were working during the summer on Great Cranberry Isle. There will be a Gallery Talk 6 p.m. September 5, “The Great Cranberry Isle Artists: 1950–1985”
with Carl Little and John Lorence. For more information visit