Art Center Happenings

In the Wilkins Gallery

“Intricate Beasts”, a collective of works by Jennifer Eli French and Jessica Rosier, will be on display until the end of the month.

In French’s words, “When I moved back to Montana after 30 years away, I started exploring the idea that land can represent time and memory, and my work became about the concept of ‘home’. Having moved around so much in my childhood, it’s an idea that has always been illusive to me. I feel a strong sense of belonging here, partially because of my family’s history, and also due to sense memories from my childhood, especially of my family’s ranch on Red Lodge Creek. The land there is scattered with old farm equipment, sheds, animal bones, homestead cabins, and other abandoned and decaying relics. My skulls, many of which were collected there, pay tribute to that place, while celebrating the beauty and intricacy of bones. I’m interested in combining iconic ‘western’ imagery with symbolism that is part of my personal vocabulary, in order to elicit new meanings and associations.

Jess Rosier, a native of Swarthmore, Pa., has lived in the West for close to 35 years. She grew up in a three-story Victorian house and spent hours cutting pictures from magazines and making miniature furnishings for a doll house that her mother built. She chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in sociology and English, as opposed to attending an art school. Later, finding herself at one of many crossroads, she studied mental health counseling at Montana State University in Bozeman and received her Master’s in 1994. Alas, still no art school. Jess now lives in Whitefish with her husband Pat, of 23 years, her two really great kids, Emily and Jasper, and her three good dogs.


“Capturing the Big Sky”, paintings by Carol Novotne will be featured in December with an opening reception on Friday, Dec. 2, from 5-7 p.m. A native Montanan, Carol grew up in Helena, immersed in music, art and hard work. She graduated from University of Montana with a BFA in Art in 1970, and went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Anthropology with a minor in microbiology. After teaching anthropology and archeology at Carroll College and Helena schools, she returned to her art with an enthusiasm and dedication that is reflected in her beautiful paintings. She is now a well-known and respected artist and a master in oil and watercolor.


Stroll with us

We invite the public to stop by to meet Santa and get their pictures taken by photographer Lois Sheldon.  Brian and Janette Priest will perform some cool Holiday jazz in the Wilkins Gallery at 4 p.m., and we welcome Kate Glasch, originator of Sweetgrass Woodworks, from Bozeman with her collection of upcycled wooden décor.


Hands-On art classes

Our fall art classes are under way with instructor Leah Grunzske. The current schedule:

Doodlebugs (Pre K – second grade): Mondays, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Sprouting Artists (third – sixth grade): Tuesdays, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Open Studio: Thursdays, 3:30 – 6 p.m. with all ages welcome. Come and continue ongoing art projects, or explore independent new avenues. For more information and upcoming classes and workshops, including a complete Hands-On Art schedule, visit us online at or email our Education Director at


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