News & Features

Fall Arts 2018

From emerging artists to film festivals, autumn’s creative colors are in full bloom

When autumn hits the Flathead Valley, we turn our attentions to the light-and-color show nature puts on every year with temperamental clouds, changing leaves, and bursts of sunshine.

And while we would never imply that we can do better than nature, the artists of the valley can get pretty darn close.

Fall is a great time to get reacquainted with the burgeoning local arts scene, and we’re here to help with reports on up-and-coming artists, film festivals, a bronze foundry, and more.

Now get out there and see all the beauty this valley has to offer!

Bigfork artist Sally Vannoy, pictured on Sept. 27, 2018. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Painting Her Own Way

by Molly Priddy

“I haven’t had any formal training but I have awesome mentors,” she said.

Her oil paintings soon found a national audience. Vannoy was featured in Southwest Art Magazine, and other fine art publications. She was also inducted into The Society of Animal Artists at a signature-member level, a rare privilege. She won the Patron’s Choice Award at the Timeless Legacy exhibition at the Hockaday Museum of Art. Locally, her work is being shown at Going to the Sun Gallery in Whitefish, and in Bozeman at A. Banks Gallery.


Finished bronze pieces at Kalispell Art Casting, Inc., pictured on Sept. 27, 2018. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The New Bronze Age

by Molly Priddy

“Everything is going digital, with machines making perfect recreations or sculptures,” Jeremy Fairchild said. “Real art allows for human error.”

The bronze-casting process is an art form in its own right, but the talented folks at Kalispell Art Casting work there to make other artist’s visions come to life. Anyone can bring in a model of what they would like to be a bronze sculpture, Fairchild said.


The Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts. Beacon File Photo

Celebrating the Silver Screen

by Tristan Scott

Beginning Friday, Oct. 5 at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts, Steve Shapero will open the Third Annual Bigfork Retro Film Festival with a showing of director Steven Spielberg’s classics — “Jaws,” which was released in 1975 and redefined the modern day blockbuster, and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” released in 1977.


Fawn Gray creates using chalk at a drawing workshop hosted by Blackfeet at HeART. Courtesy photo

Connecting Cultures
Through Art

by Andy Viano

This week, Susan Fletcher will return to Browning, find LaVonna Falls Down and hand the Blackfeet artist a check, proceeds from her first-ever gallery showing at the Stumptown Art Studio. It will be precisely the kind of moment Fletcher and Sue Cox, co-founders of the nonprofit Blackfeet at HeART, had in mind when they first came together to connect the people of the Flathead Valley and Blackfeet reservation through art.


Jackie and Marshall Noice are pictured at Montana Modern Fine Art in downtown Kalispell on Oct. 1, 2018. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

Modern Art on Main Street

by Justin Franz

“A gallery is a lot like an online dating service.” Jackie said. “We want to match people with a piece of art that they will fall in love with and want to take home.”

Many of the artists featured in the gallery are from Montana. While Jackie said the gallery does not restrict itself to working with Montana artists, it rarely has to go out of state to find great works. Marshall also has some of his work prominently displayed in the gallery.



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