Sisters Present Artwork in Whitefish Gallery

By Beacon Staff

WHITEFISH – Lori and Mikie diMuro’s Whitefish gallery show focusing on family dynamics, is itself a product of their own familial relationship.

Despite late preparations and almost 1,300 miles of separation, the two sisters developed a cohesive oil painting display that opened at the Walking Man Frame Shop and Gallery as part of last Thursday’s gallery night, held on the first Thursday of each month.

“I was initially going to do this show myself, but realized I wouldn’t have a full body of work ready in time,” Mikie, a Kalispell resident, said. “We (Mikie and the gallery owners) were looking at a couple of local artists to do the show with me, but didn’t think their styles would really complement mine. That’s when I mentioned my sister, and it went from there.”

The two explained their similar styles and ability to pull together the show, saying they’ve kept in close contact with one another and are both strongly influenced by their part-Italian heritage which led to an interest in Italian painting and, consequently, similar styles.

Relations, which focuses on the dynamics of family, will be showing at the Whitefish gallery through Sept. 29. It features 13 paintings by Lori, who said her collection ranges from recent paintings to some that are two to three years old. Mikie said her 11 paintings focus on “the dynamics you might perceive with more than one figure in the painting.”

The overall style of the show can be classified as figurative, the sisters said.

This is the first joint showing for the two sisters who have both done oil painting on the side of other jobs for several years: Mikie mostly since she moved to Kalispell 12 years ago, and Lori “as long as she’s been around.”

Both credited artistic parents with producing a painting, sibling duo.

“The first time I painted was probably when I was sick for a little while as a kid and my mom gave me a paint-by-numbers with oil paint,” said Lori, who made her third trip to Montana for the gallery showing from her home near Atwater, Calif.

Mikie said her parent’s, who were “excellent bakers,” also led her to her part-time business making and selling special order cheesecakes and her signature wedding cakes, with cheesecake layer.

Oil painting is their medium of choice because of historical tradition, malleability and its forgiving qualities, and one other, less expected reason: “the smell of an oil painting; that’s one of the best parts.”