State of the Art: Montana
The myriad of outdoor activities, massive mountain ranges and gorgeous greenery of Montana make it a natural playground for the Western artist—especially those who delight in depicting the great outdoors. From the Rockies to the Great Plains to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, there’s endless inspiration abound. And the state itself, nicknamed “the Treasure State,” literally shines with an abundance of natural resources like silver, gold, copper, garnets and sapphires.
Undoubtedly fueling and influencing the pull toward Western art felt throughout Montana is the legacy of C.M. Russell, who moved to the state in his youth to work on a sheep ranch and ultimately settled there for the remainder of his life. The city of Great
Falls, in the Northern Great Plains, is home to the C.M.
Russell Museum, its collection spanning the iconic artist’s entire career. Every March is the highly anticipated The Russell Exhibition and Sale, held during what is colloquially known as “Russell Week.”
The Hockaday Museum of Art, located in Kalispell, preserves the artistic legacy of Montana.
The museum returns with its fifth annual A Timeless Legacy event, celebrating the majesty of Glacier National Park with artwork from some of the most talented women depicting landscapes, wildlife and the Indigenous cultures surrounding the park. The public event and sale this year will be held August 10, while the exhibition runs August 13 through September 21.
A couple hundred miles south is Montana Trails Gallery in Bozeman representing
some of the most highly regarded Western artists of the day, including Tom Saubert, Luke Frazier, William Acheff, Amy Lay, R. Tom Gilleon, Tim Shinabarger, Mary Ross Buchholz, Troy Collins and Dennis Ziemienski, to name a few. The gallery also shows the works of coveted past masters like Russell, Eanger Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp.
Other artists and galleries based in Montana include Kelly’s Collectibles and Online Art Gallery, Terakedis Fine Art & Jewelry and landscape artist Lee Tisch Bialczak, who works in soft pastels to achieve her serene nature scenes and wildlife art.
Main Street in Kalispell, Montana, during the summer. Photo by Donnie Sexton. Courtesy Visit Montana.
A view of St. Mary Village at Glacier National Park.
Downtown Billings, Montana. Courtesy Visit Billings.
The entrance to A. Banks Gallery in Bozeman. Courtesy Bozeman CVB/ONLY in Bozeman.