Work began June 3 on a new mural on a wall at Bias Brewing in downtown Kalispell, a month-long project that will honor missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The mural is a project by Bias, the newly formed KALICO Art Center project and the Fine Arts Department at the Salish Kootenai College (SKC) in Pablo.
Last year, Kalispell Brewing Co. had a mural of Montana Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin painted on its side, and Gabe Mariman of Bias Brewing said he’d like to see a whole series of such public art in downtown Kalispell.
Mariman said he approached Adam and Alisha Shilling of KALICO about doing a culturally significant mural on the brewery, and they settled on the idea of a project to highlight the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) in Montana, the United States and Canada.
Adam Shilling, who works as an art instructor at Summit Preparatory School, said he and four or five volunteers would start the background work on the mural and the outlining of a Native American woman in traditional regalia.
Shilling said he was recently in contact with Frank Finley of the Fine Arts Department at SKC, who agreed to work on the project toward the end of June when they get to the details of the woman’s dress. Shilling said he’s also seeking the input of Marita GrowingThunder, a Missoula-based activist within the MMIW movement, on the regalia design.
The project should take about a month to finish, Shilling said, and the groups involved are excited to get going.
“We’re thrilled,” Shilling said.