An Essentially Bigfork Day: Art & Elves

By Beacon Staff

It’s a Bigfork day; from when the sun first comes out, to sunset. Granted, this year, rain clouds meant lightening gray, and darkening gray, but it was still a full day: the elves coming out to decorate the village, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and the 12th annual Art Walk.

“There’s always a reason to visit Bigfork,” says ARTfusion owner Pamme Reed. Reed listed 10 galleries participating this year: Bjorge’s, Brett Thuma, Buffalo Trails, Eric Thorsen, Frame of Reference, Kathy McDonnell Extraordinary Jewelry, Local Color, Riecke’s Bayside Gallery, Sacred Dancing Gallery, and ARTfusion, not to mention the shops and restaurants hanging up wreaths and lights and encouraging walkers to get started on their Christmas shopping.

Bigfork hosts two art walks a year: one on Mother’s Day weekend and the Holiday Art Walk on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Both draw visitors and locals alike into the community during the slower shoulder seasons.

“Without the galleries and without the theatre, you wouldn’t have the draw here,” says Bigfork Art and Cultural Director Marnie Forbis. “There’s the lake, but that’s not necessarily Bigfork.”

The Holiday Art Walk also marked the opening of the Bigfork Art and Cultural Center’s Members Only show.

“Just a little bit of everything,” says Forbis. She notes they’re showing 92 pieces ranging in type from acrylics, to cattle marker, oil, watercolor, pastels, silk painting, and photography. Cattle marker is similar to an oil pastel and is used (you guessed it,) to mark cattle.

The members show started 15 years ago, and they hold two a year, the second during Bigfork’s spring Art Walk. This year there are artists featured from Bigfork, Kila, Kalispell, Whitefish, Somers, and Columbia Falls.

“It’s all Flathead,” says Forbis. The Center doesn’t jury member submissions. It stipulates the art must be hang-able, ready to display, and limits the number of submissions per artist.