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Letter from the Editor: What is art?

There are never enough pages to do justice to the diverse talen

Written by Seabring Davis  

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

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 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 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 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 Letter from the Editor: Staying Power
July 2012


Art can be decorative, transformative, influential. It can teach us to be observant, to preserve or revere the things we love, even memorialize a place or a moment in time. Art can mock and educate and change the way we think. But how do we know it’s real art?

For me, the real thing has staying power, it’s something that will stand the test of time and still be relevant in its beauty, commentary, composition and style, regardless of medium or genre.

Each year in planning the Arts issue we try to incorporate every medium of fine art from our region. The upside is that every page is dedicated to artists, photography, musicians, culture, events and the imagery of our creative communities. The downside is that there are never enough pages to do justice to the diverse talent in the Northern Rockies.

The sampling of talent in this issue showcases the broad range of works and the diverse power that lays in the hand of each artist whose voice comes out distinctly and with surprising clarity. Josh Elliott’s paintings capture places (“Shadows and Light”). Wildlife artist Amy Ringholz’s work imbues a timeless subject with new color and movement. Maggie Rozycki Hiltzner’s edgy fiber art (“Textile Twist”) combines kitschy embroidery with taboo subjects that challenge social norms. Artists dedicated to Native American ledger art rely on history, culture identity and irony in “Marks of Strength," while the faces of musicians in Glenn Oakley’s photo essay reflect personal experiences. Each offers a different perspective of our world.

On the historic end, the art of painter and writer Will James transports us all to a time and place that scarcely exists in our modern world — the way of the Lonesome Cowboy (Images of the West). Contributor Allen Jones writes of Will James’ authentic Western experiences:  “And if one of the foundations of art is authenticity, maybe it’s the only thing.”

Likewise, I would give a nod of authenticity to each of the artists in this issue; it’s the real thing.

Enjoy!