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Paint Metal and Mud, art co-op spruces up downtown Kalispell

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Posted at 4:57 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 10:14:33-04

KALISPELL — An artist co-operative is bringing more colors to the downtown streets of Kalispell with the goal of grabbing your attention.

You may think Paint Metal and Mud is self-explanatory because of its name, but it's also a chance for creatives of all mediums to be in charge of their own business.

“We are each one responsible for our business and so it's different than like other gallery's and you have to come and work if you're going to be in this Gallery," said Lois Strugis, a watercolor artist.

But after 25 years in the Grand Hotel, Paint Metal and Mud has moved -- for Sturgis, that's caused a drop in art connoisseurs. While there are some drawbacks to the new space, there's also opportunity.

“The lighting here is much better than it was we don't have quite as much wall room so that's one thing," said Sturgis.

Due to the move, artists wanted to bring attention to the co-op. That's where a bench in desperate need of repairs comes in.

“We wanted to draw people in and we want people to know that we're here and what kind of artwork that they can expect and so that was kind of the main thing prettying up the street out there is not a bad thing either,” said Tasha Franklin, a full-time worker and mom, says she took up painting for herself.

Franklin is contributing her talents to the bench in the hopes that others will pick up the paintbrush, much as she did. “I actually learned how to paint watching YouTube videos for the most part so anybody can do it you just gotta put in the time and the effort to do it."

It's an expression of love that Paint Metal and Mud wants the community to see. The co-op currently has nine featured artists who specialize in an array of art from jewelry to photography and glass art to woodworking and graphic art.

You too can join the cooperative. For more information you can visit their website here.

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