State of the Art: Montana
Known as Big Sky Country, the diverse landscapes of Montana have been attracting artists and art lovers for centuries.
After arriving in Montana at 16, Charles M. Russell eventually settled in the town of Great Falls, which is now a haven for Western art. The C.M. Russell Museum houses the artist’s paintings and sculptures of wildlife, American Indians and cowboys, along with work by other notable Western artists. In March, the museum draws thousands of visitors when it hosts The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum. During the same week, Great Falls also plays host to the March in Montana auction, as well as the Out West Art Show. This cluster of events is now known as Western Art Week, and the 2019 dates are set for March 20 through 24.
The soaring peaks of Glacier National
Park are a boon of inspiration for artists. The Hockaday Museum of Art’s annual show A Timeless Legacy is devoted to that. This year, the exhibition will cross international borders with its Peace Park theme. Artists will visit both Glacier and the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, to inform their paintings for
the show, which has its main event August 11 and continues as an exhibition through December.
Fairs and festivals take place in the towns scattered across Montana. The Big Sky Country State Fair takes place this year July 19 through 24 at the Gallatin County Fair Grounds. In Bozeman, the annual Sweet Pea Festival takes place August 3 through 5. Bozeman is also home to dozens of galleries, including Old Main Gallery & Framing. In the summer months, the town hosts art walks on the second Friday of every month, where galleries open their doors and feature artist openings and refreshments. A single winter art walk takes place the second Friday of December.
The capital city of Helena, where Mountain Sage Gallery is located, hosts two annual art walks in the spring and fall. Bringing artists, galleries and the community together for free food and beverages, live music and door prizes, the remaining 2018 event takes place November 2 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Also in Helena is the Montana Historical Society. Created in 1913, the society promotes an understanding of Montana’s cultural heritage by preserving and providing access to historical resources, producing educational exhibits and public programs, and protecting and preserving historical sites and cultural resources.
In this destination guide, readers will find information of the galleries, museums and artists that make Montana home, including Montana Trails Gallery, Tom Saubert,
Troy Collins, Alan Snell and Karen Boylan.
Troy Collins Fine Art P.O. Box 1023, Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 830-0657, firstname.lastname@example.org www.troycollinsfineart.com
Residing in Hamilton, Montana, Troy Collins creates canvases with energy and insight from his studio nestled in the middle of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. As a nationally renowned landscape impressionist, Collins’ paintings have graced the halls of the California State Capitol, the Pentagon, the
U.S. Capitol, as well as many other locations throughout the United States. His work has been featured in more than 40 magazines, including Western Art Collector. He has also been chosen as one of the top 25 quick finish artists in the West and has been invited to participate at the C.M. Russell Museum’s Art in Action event for the last five years.
Collins’ style of painting, which focuses on both vibrant color and the effect that light and shadow have on his subject, allows his audience to connect with each painting’s color, texture and design elements in an intimate way. The result is an experience, which is completely unique and unforgettable. His focus, historically, has been on painting aspen landscapes, but he is finding a new affinity for creating more contemporary designs and figurative work. He has tried to become “more deliberate in his attempt to capture simple, elegant designs and a sense of romance.”
Collins’ adventurous spirit has afforded him the luxury to paint in a myriad places spanning throughout the West. His faith, family and the elemental beauties found in nature remain the top priorities in all of his original art. He says, ”My goal as an artist is to move the viewer to experience a flood of powerful emotions, to feel the energy that flows through me as I put brush to canvas: to convey my love of art and to passionately captivate and to inspire each person that views my paintings.” Upcoming shows include an exhibition at Mountain Trails Gallery during Jackson Hole Fall Arts Week and a Mockingbird Gallery show in Bend, Oregon, on December 7.
Montana Trails Gallery 7 W. Main Street, #102, Bozeman, MT 59715 , (406) 586-2166 www.montanatrails.com
Montana Trails is back in downtown Bozeman next to the Ellen Theatre. Established 25 years ago in 1993 by Steve Zabel, the gallery is a known destination for incredible shows of painting and sculpture from Montana artists as well as Western, wildlife and sporting art.
“We have an exciting lineup for the summer art walks this year and invite everyone to come by and see our new location,” Zabel says, adding, “Our showing of new works by David Frederick Riley
has been a success to start the summer. On schedule to show are favorites such as Michael and Nicholas Coleman, John Demott, Greg Kelsey, Beth Loftin, Michael Blessing, Greg Scheibel and Michael Haykin.
Our current inventory of over 30-plus Tim Shinabarger sculptures, new paintings by
Dan Metz, Julie Bell and Gary Lynn Roberts
will also be sure to satisfy our summer clientele.”
Montana Trails Gallery is also known for its historical and period collections, where we have works by Thomas Moran, Charles M. Russell, Joseph Henry Sharp, W.R. Leigh, E. I. Couse, Charlie Dye, John Fery, Karl Bodmer, Edward Curtis, Leon Gaspard, Olaf C. Seltzer, Frank Tenney Johnson and Larry Zabel. You can find rare works from private collections including artist’s Clyde Aspevig, Bill Anton, Jim Norton, Dan Mieduch, R. Tom Gilleon, Andy Thomas, Martin Grelle, William Acheff, Oleg Stavrowsky and Luke Frazier.
Montana Trails is a full service fine art gallery, specializing in finding, buying, and placing quality American paintings. They can provide framing and conservation advice as well as work appraisals and manage private collections. They represent buyers at most of the art auctions in the West.
Upcoming events include a show for Haykin on August 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. A three-artist show for Blessing, Kelsey and Loftin takes place on September 14 from
6 to 8 p.m., and a solo show for Scheibel takes place December 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.
A view of Whitefish, Montana. Courtesy Brian Schott.
Glacier National Park. Courtesy Brian Schott.
Kalispell at dusk. Courtesy Visit Montana.
Troy Collins in his “office.”
Troy Collins, Heaven Sent, oil on canvas, 18 x 12”
Troy Collins, Dreamland, oil on canvas, 24 x 48”
Top: Montana Trails Gallery, Bugle, oil, 48 x 60", by David Frederick Riley.Middle: Montana Trails Gallery, The Boys of Autumn, oil, 30 x 46", by Dan Metz.Right: Montana Trails Gallery, Shadows, oil, 18 x 24", by Julie Bell.