Lakeside’s Vibrant Artist Community

By Beacon Staff

It’s home to leather workers, iron craftsmen, painters, sculptors, potters, jewelry makers and more. And fortunately, you can find some of their work all in one place: ARTrageous.

ARTrageous is an “art and crafts” store featuring works from more than 80 local (and regional) artists. It’s located on U.S. Highway 93, next to the Spinnaker Bar & Grill, and across from Volunteer Park.

Inside ARTrageous, you can find original, handcrafted items of just about any style, medium and price. And with items constantly changing, it’s not uncommon to find Asian-influenced handmade jewelry next to a deer-antler basket, next to hand-sewn throw pillows, near a breathtaking watercolor painting of some majestic landscape in the area.

And although ARTrageous sells fine art, it doesn’t just sell art for art’s sake. Much of what it offers is functional art in some way. For example, you can find handmade salt and pepper shakers, or thick, one-of-a-kind wood-cutting boards, or “up-cycled,” shabby-chic window frames turned into family organizers (with a chalkboard and magnet boards where the glass panes once were).

There’s also plenty of locally made jewelry, accessories, scented candles, home décor, photographs and more. You’ll also find handmade knitwear, finely embroidered jackets, hand-painted postcards, a copper elephant sculpture with burgeoning patina, and even a fox stole (hanging up near the raccoon-skin hats).

And in many ways, browsing through ARTrageous is a thrill for all the senses. Aside from inspiring visual aesthetics, you’ll also find handcrafted, natural lotions, soaps and sachets that please the nose as well. You’ll encounter lavender, sage, Montana sweetgrass and other fine scents around every corner of the store. And you can feel the warmth of aged barnwood, and textiles as smooth as silk and as supple as buckskin.

At ARTrageous, life imitates art: it’s a showroom of collective local artists – and it’s also a collective of ownership by partners Barb Miller, Debbie Spaulding, Mayla Stufft and Julie Wulf. Each of these owners/artists brings a unique history, artistic skill and sensibility that help make ARTrageous a unique, inspiring place since it opened in May 2012.

And while ARTrageous features the works of more than 80 artists, it is always looking for more – especially local artists and artisans interested in teaching classes and seminars at its unique location. If you’re interested, please call (406) 844-2804.

If you don’t leave ARTrageous with something from the store, or knowledge from one of its hosted events or classes, you’ll likely find yourself reminded of scenic moments. Or find yourself teeming with “I-can-do-that” notions. Or re-thinking “that-would-look-good-in-the-living-room” ideas.

And no matter what, a visit to ARTrageous is always worth it because you’ll leave with something truly priceless: inspiration.

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