‘Art of the Hero’ exhibit celebrates hometown heroes

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Bigfork Art and Cultural Center presents “The Art of the Hero” exhibition Nov. 6 to 23.

The exhibit celebrates a number of local selfless, unsung heroes and the organizations they love. It was born out of a call across the Flathead Valley seeking hero nominations. A selection panel made up of Cultural Center board and community members selected 10 individuals and/or organizations to honor for 2018.

The non-traditional exhibition features photographs of the heroes and their organizations, personal mementos, memorabilia, heartwarming stories, students’ art, poems and more. Original photography by Shawna Benson and Mandy Mohler is featured with the exhibit.

Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A recognition ceremony and reception with food and wine will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the center. The public is welcome to attend. It is free to members and $5 for nonmembers.

2018 Flathead Valley Heroes

• Jim Bob Pierce, chief pilot and director for Two Bear Air Rescue. Two Bear Air Rescue provides world-class aviation support for search and rescue teams in Flathead County and other agencies across the region. Pierce has logged thousands of hours in rescue missions and saved many lives.

• Jesse Mahugh, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County, is dedicated to empowering and transforming the lives of children facing adversity.

• Jeremy Mahugh, co-founder of DeliverFund, which trains and advises law enforcement and fire department staff to help citizens experiencing traumatic events and life-changing crises.

• R. Andrew (Drew) Buckner, chaplain for Braveheart Chaplin Ministry, which provides direct and behind-the-scenes emotional and logistical support to law enforcement, fire department staff, and citizens facing trauma and life-changing ordeals. ?

• Kedryn McElderny, director of Flathead LGBTQ + Youth Alliance, which provides a safe space or LGBTQ youth and young adults. The alliance supports high school and middle-school students throughout the valley, along with their parents.

• Leah Lindsay, community leader, volunteer and B98 Radio host; Lindsay volunteers thousands of hours to bring awareness and raise funds for community projects such as CASA, Princess Ball, Montana Firefighters, Conrad Mansion, Disaster Relief of Montana and many other charities and organizations. ?

• Historical Documentary Team: Tabby Ivy, Denny Kellogg and Ed Gillenwater, with support from musician Don Beans and Sandy and Monte Sanford of Saga Graphics, the team was the creative force behind a book and DVD about the Hockaday Museum of Art’s “Timeless Legacy” exhibit honoring the women artists of Glacier National Park. Additionally, the History Team proposed to capture and preserve the history of Bigfork in a book and DVD.

• Kim Rose, Threads founder, and Debbie Petek and Jamie Wenzel, lead volunteers. Threads, operated under the Bigfork Ladies Service Club, is a nonprofit clothing and personal care items store for Bigfork High and Middle School homeless students and those living at or below the poverty level. ?

• Sharon Tillett, community leader and volunteer; Tillett owns and operates New Image Concepts, Salon & Spa to help women and girls proceed with dignity after life-altering health issues arise. She also volunteers countless hours and contributes to charities including Intermountain, VFW, Special Olympics and many more.

• Mike Shea, community volunteer. A volunteer firefighter at Bigfork Fire Department, Shea has been a part of saving many lives. He also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Bigfork Food Pantry and the Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce.

• Harry Wilson, community leader and volunteer. A long-standing supporter and board president of and donor to the Hockaday Museum of Art, Wilson is also being honored for saving a child from drowning on the Swan River last summer.

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