Art Center Happenings

Mary Baumstark
Art Center Director

New in the Margie Wilkins Gallery

Stop in to see new, figurative ceramic work by Paige Wright. In “People and Places,” Wright uses the human figure to explore emotional complexities and relationships. Featuring several “artworks” composed of multiple heads, these pieces all seem to be in conversation. Wright’s deft handling of the material ranges from “sketchy” to exquisite, and her glazes range from bold and graphic to subtle and shiny. In displaying her range as a sculptor, Wright leads us through various relationships, with all the ease and tension they contain. In addition to several sculptural “wall pieces,” “People and Places” also includes several pieces of “eyeball” pottery. I love the way Wright combines something so familiar (dishes) with something so repulsive (multiple eyeballs) to reveal my own discomfort with the human body. 

Don’t miss this exciting ceramic work from a Montana-taught artist. We’re grateful to CMMC for their generous sponsorship of this exhibition.


Chokecherry Festival and Culinary Competition 

Folks, it’s almost here! The Annual Chokecherry Festival is just around the corner, as well as the Culinary Contest. Competitors are already stopping by to pick up their entry form, and you should, too. The Culinary Competition is your chance to show off your chokecherry connoisseurship, whether with cookies and cakes, or wood carving or barbeque. The opportunities are as limitless as your imagination. There are winners and prizes in all of the categories, including Youth and Non-Food categories. Submissions will be accepted at the LAC from 8-9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 on Festival day. After 10 a.m., stop by to sample the entries, they are sure to be delicious.

The Lewistown Art Center is also please to welcome the work of three special guest artists for the annual Chokecherry Festival. We welcome jeweler Monica Drew, from Billings. Monica’s line of fun and affordable art, Canyon Creek Traders jewelry, favors natural materials like copper, stone, and turquoise. Each piece is lovingly crafted and sure to impress. 

We’ll also welcome Bryon Bullard, a metalsmith and sculptor from Clyde Park, where he operates his shop, 2-B Welding.  Bryon loves to incorporate “found” Western treasures into contemporary items, like his handmade fire pits that he’ll feature at the Chokecherry Festival. Finally, we welcome the casual and comfy stylings of Piper and Paisley, a hat and accessory company from Missoula. Jennifer Bowman, the owner, makes sophisticated and wearable hats, mittens, and more. As a special treat, Bowman collaborated with her husband, a carpenter to produce unique “Picnic Sets,” with handmade cutting boards, knives, and sleeves. Don’t miss this impressive lineup.


Dunakin jewelry collection sale begins

The Lewistown Art Center is incredibly honored to be selling and displaying the jewelry estate of Jim and Maggie Dunakin, beginning online this week. With more than 50 pieces, this collection represents a large part of Jim and Maggie’s careers as Montana artists, from early work to masterful and mature pieces. These pieces of wearable art are crafted from precious and semi-precious stones, and sterling silver. Jim’s sense of design is impeccable, balanced and unique, such as Montana agate juxtaposed with amethysts and Tibetan prayer beads. Stop by on Saturday, Sept. 9, for your chance to view this one-of-a-kind collection of Montana masterpieces. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.    


What is your favorite part of the Fair?