GREAT FALLS — Western Art Week is back in Great Falls, featuring 14 shows and more than 600 artists. The event kicked off on Wednesday and will run through March 20 at several hotels and event centers across town.
“Western Art Week is one of our premier events and it’s something our community is so proud of. It’s focused on Charlie Russell’s birthday, which is March 19th — cowboy comes out from St. Louis and wants to become an artist and he does just that. So celebrating that western art and that heritage in our community year after year is something to be excited about and that more shows are added each year," explained Marisela Hazzard of Visit Great Falls Montana.
After two years of canceled or adjusted schedules for Western Art Week, the event is mostly back to full strength this year.
The exception is The Russell Auction, which benefits the C.M. Russell Museum. The famed auction, which historically brings in millions of dollars and includes original Charlie Russell paintings, will be in August again this year, with the hope of the event returning to its March home next year.
While The Russell Auction is in August, the C.M. Russell Museum will still take part in Western Art Week with new events such as “Charlie’s Miniature Roundup” at The Newberry.
Most Western Art Week events are free to the public and feature pieces for many budgets and tastes; click here for a complete schedule.
“Some people when they hear western art, they think of oil painting of cowboys on horses, and yes, that is some western art, but it’s also so much more. There are sculptures made of bronze, wood, carving. There are people who make contemporary art, too. There’s also jewelry, furniture, you name it. While oil paintings of cowboys on horseback may not be your thing, walk around one of the 14 shows and I’m sure you’ll find something that tugs at your heartstrings,” said Hazzard.