Final Gallery Nights event of the season tonight

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  • “Starburst” by Deb Stika. (Courtesy photo)

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    Artwork by Olivia Stark. (Courtesy photo)

  • “Starburst” by Deb Stika. (Courtesy photo)

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    Artwork by Olivia Stark. (Courtesy photo)

Whitefish Gallery Nights continues Thursday, Oct. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown Whitefish. This year’s event features 11 galleries and dozens of local artists.

This will be the final Gallery Nights event of the 2017 season. 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, for the last 15 years, has been using the final gallery night of the season as an exhibit opening to showcase and celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, and tonight the tradition continues.

Dia de Los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a multi-day festival in Mexico honoring departed ancestors, friends and family. There are journeys to cemeteries to spruce up neglected gravesites, lively marketplaces selling breads, candies in the shapes of skeletons, and family altars lovingly assembled. Halloween-like festivities are taken to the streets and peaceful vigils convene in cemeteries.

Stumptown Art Studio uses this occasion to inspire art students from schools around the Flathead Valley to create 2-D and 3-D paintings and sculptures. Teachers work with their students for this annual Stumptown Art Studio event featuring a festive Mexican-style art exhibit that captures the essence and spirit of Dias de los Muertos.

As a special art activity for the evening, everyone is invited to take part in painting their own sugar skull designed canvas. Paints and canvases are provided, with some sample images to inspire.

This night is for the entire family; all ages are encouraged to attend.

The Dias de los Muertos exhibit can be seen throughout the month, until Nov. 5, at the nonprofit community art center at 145 Central Ave. in Whitefish. Open hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The Purple Pomegranate, a fine craft specialty store, is featuring a retrospective show by Whitefish artist Deb Stika during the month of October.

Stika has been doing mosaic in the Flathead Valley for 20 years. During this period she acted as art director for the Windows on Whitefish project, which included teaching more than 200 members of the community to mosaic.

Stika is moving on to other creative endeavors, so she is taking on the monumental task of cleaning out her studio. Come in to the Purple Pomegranate and see the work she has uncovered and put up for sale.

This October show is called MISC. and includes all kinds of work: picture frames, garden charms, mobiles, imagination cubes, monograms, critters and more. Are you interested in mosaic materials and supplies? Ask Stika for information.

Stika will be meeting and greeting during the Whitefish Gallery Nights event from 6 to 9 p.m. Her work will be displayed during the opening and throughout the month of October.

The Purple Pomegranate features handcrafted artware from artists across the United States. Representing more than 150 American artists, the store’s eclectic offerings include jewelry, ceramics, musical instruments, turned wood, glass art, fiber art, prints and paintings.

The Walking Man Frame Shop and Gallery will be featuring artist Olivia Stark during the final Whitefish Gallery Nights event of the season. Stark will be showing a series of new work, “First It’s Mine, Then It’s Yours,” which reminds the viewer that art is subjective and invites transformation of thought and fixed ideas. Linger long enough to experience the unique language that each piece offers. Colorful, abstract expressionist collage and acrylics ready for open interpretation. Light refreshments and spinning jazz on the turntable will also be offered.

Going to The Sun Gallery presents local bronze artist Jack Muir for Gallery Nights. Muir was born and raised in Great Falls, and went on to co-found Kalispell Art Casting. His sculptures exude emotion and interest through design, texture and patina.

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