Arts 2015 Feature Articles

Without Compass

Written By Rick Bass       Photography By Joanne Berghold      

HERE IS AN INTERESTING QUESTION: What if miracles are around us always, and it is not the miracles that are the rarity, but instead, the people who can see them freely, readily? We seem to be a species that appreciates art and beauty — and how rare and lonely, even isolate this is, in the fullness of nature — for…


Creative Business

Written By Christine Rogel       Photography By Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez      

IF YOU ASK MICHAEL BLESSING AND MEAGAN ABRA BLESSING, art is not a 9-to-5 job: It’s a waking hours job. These artists are usually up with the rising sun, beginning to paint most days as early as 4:30 a.m.  Their home studio is tucked into a hillside along a road that parallels the Bridger Mountains in Bozeman, Montana. Self-taught oil…


The Year Of The Horse

Written By Seabring Davis       By Doug Loneman      

WHEN FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR Max Baucus accepted the honor to serve as the U.S. ambassador to China, he wanted to share a piece of his home state of Montana with the world. Serving at “the pleasure of the president,” he and wife Melodee Hanes looked to the notable Art in the Embassies program as a way to bring a contemporary…


In the Studio with Andrea Moon

Written By Alexis Marie Adams       By Vincenzo Spione      

REMINISCENT OF BASKETWARE "WOVEN" FROM CLAY PARTS, Andrea Moon’s ceramic compositions are characterized by repetition, intricacy and obsession. Crafted from hundreds of coil strands pieced together to create volume and gently undulating forms, Moon’s pieces serve as airy vessels into which she pours her questions about self and place. “To someone else, my work may be a ceramic take on…


Billy Schenck Rides Again

By Johnny D. Boggs      

BILLY SCHENCK SPENT 33 SUMMERS in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but when he was asked to come up with a painting for this year’s Fall Arts Festival, he found himself stumped. “All the time I lived up there, I was never specifically inspired by the Tetons,” Schenck says from his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “I’ve always said I only did…


A Craftsman’s Studio

By Brian D’Ambrosio       By A.L. Swanson      

CREATIVITY AND ORIGINALITY are the heart and soul of woodworker Al Swanson, and these are manifest in his eponymous A.L. Swanson Gallery and Craftsman Studio in Helena, Montana.  The gallery walls are adorned with a luxurious collection of paintings. A large sweeping window reveals the building blocks and sawdust of the furniture-building component. To navigate the gallery is to experience a…


Listening to the Landscape

Written By Charles Finn      

IN 1964 A YOUNG MAN BY THE NAME OF John Taft came into the Centennial Valley, a 60-mile long swath of near-pristine grass and wetlands draped above 6,000 feet, east of the Continental Divide along the Montana-Idaho border. At the time, the young Taft was on assignment for the National Audubon Society, traveling the West to document environmental degradation. This was…


The Art of Time: Montana Watch Company

Written By Michele Corriel       Photography By Audrey Hall       Photography By Melanie Nashan      

THE MEASURE OF TIME, WHETHER INVENTED or merely harnessed for efficiency, has been with us from the start. Early man used the stars, the changing seasons and the setting sun to tell him when to move, when to plant and when to feast. Then came the sundial, the hourglass and the water clock. From there, the village bell tower told its…