Art in Autumn

From new studios to buzzworthy installations, here are some of the Flathead Valley's must-see fall art exhibitions and cultural events

By Beacon Staff
Nancy Cawdrey's "Bison bison," part of her Forever Glacier series. The painting is sponsored by Clearwater Montana Properties.

In the Flathead Valley, fall is a time when the arts-and-culture scene fills calendars with an impossible catalog of events, beckoning us into storefront studios and warming us with its mesmerizing hues.

From studio openings to museum exhibitions, buzzworthy art installations and film premieres, autumn is a season that highlights the forested landscape’s colorful redesign as well as the region’s fruitful artistic offerings.

The Flathead Beacon has dedicated this week’s issue to accent some bright spots on the dimming horizon and remind readers that a glittering mosaic of talent and inspiration awaits.



Nancy Cawdrey. pictured in her new Whitefish studio and gallery on Oct. 11, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Artistic Verve, Versatile Venue

Cawdrey family opens Whitefish studio, featuring artist workshops and event center

By Tristan Scott

Walking into Whitefish’s newly opened art studio and gallery is akin to Dorothy stepping into Oz — the landscape turns a vibrant Technicolor, populated with familiar creatures that don’t conform to convention, and the adventure begins.



Looking south on Electric Avenue in Bigfork during Fourth of July parade festivities in 1924. Courtesy Central School Museum Archives

Creating a Sense of Place

Artists collaborate for two years to write, organize, film, and archive the stories that make up the history of Bigfork

By Molly Priddy

When it comes to creating a sense of place, collaborators Tabby Ivy, Denny Kellogg and Ed Gillenwater have discovered two key factors: one, the character of the physical place itself, and two, the stories and lives of the people who call it home.



Dozens of James Bakke’s photos are now on display the Museum at Central School. Courtesy Photo.

‘Capturing a Moment in Time’

New exhibit features the recently discovered photography of Whitefish painter James R. Bakke

By Justin Franz

Three years ago, Terry Abell approached local photographer Bret Bouda with a box of slides. The photographs had been unearthed while Abell was going through the estate of his good friend James R. Bakke, a noted local painter and longtime Whitefish resident who passed away in 2013.



Colt and Jennifer Idol, pictured on Oct. 12, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Montana Art Idols

Colt and Jen Idol are infusing youth into the Western art world as the new owners of the Dick Idol Signature Gallery in downtown Whitefish

By Dillon Tabish

Stepping into the Dick Idol Signature Gallery in downtown is an experience akin to walking into the wilderness at daybreak or chasing twilight from the wings of an eagle. The serene landscapes envelop the room and dazzle with bright golden hues. In one corner, an elk tiptoes across a placid river. Across the room, teepees of ancestral tribes rest in a meadow along the foothills of the Rockies.


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