Whitefish Gallery Nights continues Thursday, Aug. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown Whitefish. This year’s event features 11 galleries and dozens of local artists.
Gallery Nights take place on the first Thursday of every month through Oct. 5. The evenings offer the community an opportunity to go out on the town and enjoy special guest artist features and presentations, entertainment, food, drinks and art deals and promotions.
Gallery Nights are free and open to art lovers of all ages, though parents are encouraged to be mindful of small children in galleries featuring breakable pieces.
Maps and gallery guides are available at all participating locations. For more information, visit https://whitefishgallerynights.org.
Highlights and featured artists for tonight’s event:
Stumptown Art Studio is hosting its second art exhibition featuring a group of Blackfeet artists from East Glacier, Browning and the region. An opening reception for the show will be held during Gallery Nights Aug. 3.
Featured pieces include paintings, ledger art, photography, printmaking to mixed media sculptures, leather and beadwork, all on display through the month, until Sept. 3. Stumptown Art Studio is open seven days a week to view the exhibit: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Storyteller Jim Watts portrays traditional, handmade drums, walking sticks and other embellished pieces. Staying connected to family and culture, and keeping that culture alive is important to him. He opened last year’s exhibit with a traditional prayer accompanied by drumming.
Blackfeet-Assiniboine artist David Dragonfly attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Missoula. The main influences for Dragonfly’s widely shown printmaking are his native cultures and the beautiful landscapes of the Blackfeet Reservation and the state of Montana.
Teri Loring Dahl is exhibiting paintings and photographs that are inspired from the horse and buffalo cultures of the past. She has traveled millions of miles, going to all the large Indian celebrations and rodeos in the United States and Canada for her images.
Valentina LaPier shares the landscape of her heart through her painted images, weaving together her life as an artist. Her artwork has become a vehicle by which she educates both Native and non-Native people around the world on the history of the different tribal images used in her work.
The paintings and drawings of Ernest Marceau Jr. portray the warriors of the past and other significant cultural influences. He says, “I try to portray my art in a manner to let the viewer look into the painting, showing illusion, to be able to travel through the painting, being able to visualize the spirit world, the shadows, the illusion and the illusion of the 19th century warriors.”
Artist Lindy Racine finds peace in the outdoors and tries to bring some of that tranquility and beauty into her acrylic paintings. Her artwork often brings together the aspects of the natural world and imagery from her Native American heritage.
Growing up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, Sammy Jo Bird was raised with the “ponoka’o’mitta” (Blackfeet for horse). She has always had a close relationship with the horse which has played a huge role in her art and in her life. Sammy Jo says, “The drive and passion behind my art is not only my love for animals but my love for people. I want my paintings to help people, make people smile and make a positive statement.”
Also joining the circle of Blackfeet artisans for the exhibit are Jeremy Johnson, Walter Running Crane, John Marceau, Renee Bear Medicine and more. Finding ways for the Native American people to come together, keeping the culture alive and telling their stories is a common thread for these artists.
Whitefish Pottery and Stillwater Gallery present “Discovering Systems,” an exhibition of ceramics by Stephanie Sanders. Sanders is currently wrapping up her year-long apprenticeship with Whitefish Pottery, and this show is a culmination of work made during that time. While apprenticing with Whitefish Pottery, Sanders had to discover a system to live and work at the studio while finding time every day to create projects of her own. Her intricate and delicate forms were carefully honed throughout the year. The opening reception for “Discovering Systems” will be held in conjunction with Whitefish Gallery Nights, and the show will run through the month of August.
The Purple Pomegranate, a fine craft specialty store, is featuring work by Kalispell artist Shelle Lindholm during the month of August. Lindholm has created a rambunctious collection of 20 new acrylic paintings for this show. The collection includes all things wild and wonderful such as dreamy deer and bears, dancing loons, imaginary gardens, tall pines, flamboyant birds, not to mention, somewhat silly longhorns, owls and kitty cats.
Lindholm uses paper cutting to create simple, lively animal forms. Etching and scraping into multiple layers of acrylics help to build lively color stories and strong personalities. The recent addition of adding fluid acrylics into the mix has elevated the luminosity in her work.
“Fluid acrylics are like regular acrylics on steroids! They can pack a punch or be very soft and ethereal. I like that versatility,” Lindholm said. “I love the fields and meadows of the Flathead. Morning drawing sessions of deconstructing plants, pods and blossoms has helped me re-imagine what I see on my daily walks.”
Lindholm’s frames are unique to her work as well. They are built by her husband, Dave. She hand paints them. Each frame has 6-8 layers of paint. A satiny patina is achieved using a durable, hand-rubbed paste wax finish.
The opening reception will be held during Whitefish Gallery Night. Lindholm’s work will be displayed during the opening and throughout the month of August.
Walking Man Frame Shop and Gallery will feature artist Linda Hendrickson and open the exhibit “Trail Treasures” during Gallery Nights. Live music will be provided by William Ingrid.
Sunti World Art Gallery will showcase international artist Dillon Huang and his original oil paintings at Gallery Nights. The reception is free and open to the public. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Dillon (Ding-Chao) Huang is an award-winning painter of impressionism, known for his technique and ability to fuse his unique Eastern education in fine art with Western ideas. Born in China in 1952, Dillon graduated from Guangzhou Academy of Arts Education in 1973. When he was 30 years old, he immigrated to Canada, impassioned to further his technique in impressionism and aspiring to continue his education in the West. Subsequent to his schooling at Alberta College of Art and Design, Dillon began showcasing his work in exclusive fine art galleries throughout western Canada. He was commissioned by Hayhurst Communications Alberta to design the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics Poster and was selected to participate in dozens of group and solo exhibitions in North America and China, as well as at Fung Ping Shan Museum in Hong Kong.
He believes that while the East taught him his techniques, it was the West that enhanced his creativity. Rooted in true impressionism and inspired by aspects of nature that are often unnoticed, Dillon uses traditional mediums of oil and canvas or ink and rice paper to convey his understanding of innate beauty.
With work published in “The Encyclopedia of World Famous Chinese Artists,” Dillon won the “Award of Excellence” in the Forte Cup 20th Century Asian Art Competition, where his selected work is now permanently on display at George Washington University. Dillon is an esteemed member of the Oil painters of America and Federation of Canadian Artists.
White Apple Gallery will hold the opening reception of Sheila Miles’ debut show during Gallery Nights. She is an accomplished contemporary Western artist and is represented in 17 public and museum collections. She currently lives in Santa Fe, and will be visiting Whitefish for the opening reception of her solo show of 16 new pieces at White Apple Gallery.
Stephen Isley Jewelry will feature Nate Closson’s paintings in the month of August, inspired by the beauty of the landscape that surrounds him.
Closson began painting at an early age under the instruction of his mother, a watercolor painter. This early exposure to art gave him a firm foundation in drawing and design, and a love for all things creative.
As a senior in high school, he won first place in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest. But it was during his freshman year of college, while taking a beginning painting class, that he painted his first plein air oil painting. It was only a little sketch of the San Diego coast, but it sparked a new interest in painting plein air and working in oil paint.
Since that time Closson has developed his skills to creating vibrant paintings that capture light and atmosphere, working both in the studio and en plein air.
Closson lives with his wife, Bryna, and their sons, Landon and Dashiell in Whitefish.
The next Whitefish Gallery Nights event will be Thursday, Sept. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Galleries and artists are invited to submit featured work and details to ThisWeek@dailyinterlake.com.