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Round Up: Arts 2015

News and events from around the Northern Rockies

A corner of Michael and Meagan Abra Blessing’s Bozeman, Montana, studio. Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

From the Editor

Ode to the Arts

Written by Seabring Davis  

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

Hearth and Soul Building a Timeless Legacy An Uncommon Cabin in the Woods Timeless Fusion Mountain Tradition A Modern Vision Summer Camp Perfect Harmony Winter Getaway: Red Lodge, Montana Beyond the Cabin A Fine Balance Good Country Authentically Western A Home for the Ages Where the Living is Easy Music in the Mountains The Flight of the Hummingbird Living the Dream Integrating Nature Mountain Exposure Eclectic Parkitecture Uniting Color Historic Symmetry The Year Of The Horse A Yellowstone Club Retreat Dining Out: The Taste of Whitefish Letter from the Editor: How Big is Your Bucket Letter from the Editor: Falling Short Western Design: Rustic Allure Dining Out: Fish Food Western Design: In the Studio with Painter Hugh Wilson Western Design: Home Base From the Editor Dining Out: Tradition, with a Twist Letter from the Editor: I Know Where the Fish Are Letter from the Editor: Big Sky Country Letter from the Editor: Forging Ahead Dining Out: Barn Dance Letter from the Editor: Like an Open Road Letter from the Editor: The Language of Fishing Letter from the Editor: Cast Again Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season Dining Out: Saffron Table Dining Out: Lone Mountain Ranch Serves Up a Sense of Place Western Design: Uniquely Rustic Western Design: JLF & Associates Letter from the Editor: Season of Possibility Dining Out: A Montana Tradition, Chico Hot Springs Letter from the Editor: Design Trends Dining Out: The Ranch at Rock Creek Redefines Montana Cuisine Dining Out: Seasonal Bliss Western Design: Refined Rustic Letter from the Editor: Winter Wave Letter from the Editor: Blending Seasons Western Design: A New Mountain Lodge Western Design: Historic Haven Western Design: In the Studio with the Viers Western Focus: Classic Connection: Miller Architects Western Design: Reviving the Barn From the Editor: Seasons of Simplicity Dining Out: Innovation Meets Tradition at Bisl Letter from the Editor: What is art? Dining Out: Holland Lake Lodge, Rustic Wonderful Letter from the Editor: The Secret Weapon Letter from the Editor: Fly Fishing for the Greater Good Western Design: Mountain Zen Western Design: Creekside Contemporary Living Big Sky on HGTV The Spirit of the West in Jackson, Wyoming Letter from the Editor: First Snow Dining Out: The Old Hotel Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer Letter from the Editor: The Angler’s Sojourn Dining Out: Simply Good Food From the Editor: Hit the Road Making a Statement: Miller Architects Letter from the Editor: Winter’s Toll Letter from the Editor: Evolving Home Dining Out: Comfort Food Western Design: Cowboy Modern Western Design: The Idaho Club Letter from the Editor: Talking Art Dining Out: Conserving Montana One Table at a Time Dining Out: Cosmopolitan Cuisine at TEN Dining Out: Ranch to Restaurant Letter from the Editor: Waiting for Summer Letter from the Editor: Arts Economy Letter from the Editor: First Frost Letter from the Editor: Why Art? Letter from the Editor: Up Close and Personal Letter from the Editor: A Tradition of Talent Letter from the Editor: Winter Reflection Letter from the Editor: Staying Power
July 2015


The annual arts issue is always a tricky edition for our staff to produce. There are so many artists to consider and so many whose work merits coverage. Ultimately it begs the subjective debate: What is art?

Beautiful. Creative. Innovative. Expressive. All these adjectives encompass the arts that we strive to celebrate in these pages: visual arts, theater, photography, literature and music. These pursuits flourish in the region and merit ongoing recognition
for the value they add to our communities and our lives.

According to a 2013 Montana Department of Labor report, one out of every 60 people in Montana’s labor force is a working artist. Unfortunately, we can only feature a few of these talented and inspirational artists in Big Sky Journal. Even with 144 pages that cover the works of artists from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, it only riffles the edge of the deep pool of artistic endeavors in our area.

Reading through the diverse stories of painters, photographers, actors, writers and musicians, I’m aware of the bigger space that art carves out in each of our lives — one of connection, community, vitality and the freedom to see another person’s perspective and then to wonder about our world.

At the risk of sounding sentimental, I hope you’ll recognize the impact of art beyond borders, as our sharp and observant contributors bring some of the region’s most interesting creative initiatives to your eyes.

Feel the impact of negative space that ceramic artist Andrea Moon cultivates in her inspired sculptures, "Compositions in Clay." Experience the evolutions of deceased Wyoming artist Harry Jackson as writer Alexis Adams chronicles a career that takes Abstract influences passed on by Jackson Pollock and incorporates them in Western sculpture and Photorealistic portraiture. Charles Finn attempts to summon both the beauty of Montana’s Centennial Valley and the ground breaking conversations that happen at the Taft-Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities Education in the feature “Listening to the Landscape.”

Beyond our domestic borders, the works of Montana artists are acting as icebreakers for conversations in China that span the spectrum from climate change and health care to culture at the U.S. ambassador’s residence, thanks to the Art in Embassies program. Step into the studio of painters Michael Blessing and Meagan Abra Blessing as they find success by implementing the skills they learned from the Montana Arts Council’s Artrepreneur program. Grasp the distilled awe
Joanne Berghold captures in the photo essay from her current book, Without Compass.

So, back to that question: What is art? I hope you’ll find an answer here, and that you will turn the page and find another answer, and another still in the next story. Enjoy this ode to the arts of the Northern Rockies.