All eyes are on Great Falls, Montana, the town of 60,000 that will come alive during its 54th Western Art Week. It was on March 19, 1864 that the Western master Charles M. Russell was born in St. Louis, and it was in Great Falls that he spent the second half of his life; he died there in 1926.
A key highlight will be the 36th Annual March in Montana Auction & Dealer Show, presented by Coeur d’Alene Galleries and Coeur d’Alene Art Auction (March 16–18). On offer there will be Western and sporting art, cowboy and Indian collectibles, and arms, with particular strength in Native American weavings, the art of William Standing, and woodcarvings by Montana’s John L. Clarke.
Illustrated above is a scene of the Salmon River painted by Jessica Bryant. She writes, “Known as the River of No Return, the Salmon is the longest undammed river in the contiguous U.S., dropping over 7,000 feet and flowing 425 miles, all within Idaho. I camped here last April, as the spring runoff swelled the creeks into a raging confluence with the Salmon. My campsite was on a large rock outcrop, just above this view. The force of the creek below transferred a con-stant, low vibration through the rock. It was simply magnificent to spend a few days experiencing this spot.”
Lots of other activities will be making Great Falls hop this March. The C.M. Russell Museum will present Charlie’s March Roundup (March 17–18), which features a preview party and two nights of sales offering art and collectibles, along with educational activities.
Overlapping it is the Out West Art Show & Sale (March 16–18) encompassing more than 70 artists and multiple galleries. Produced by the Out West Art Foundation, which mentors Montana’s high school-age artists, its offerings include two auctions plus Quick Draw and Quick Finish events.
Running concurrently nearby:
- Legends West Art Show
- Great Western Show
- First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park Annual Art Exhibit & Sale
- Western Heritage Artists—Footprints on the Trail
- Studio 706 Spring Show
- Wild Bunch Art Show
- Celebration of Native Plains Artists Show
As if that were not enough, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art will be open as usual, presenting its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.