Artist finding inspiration in Central Montana

Charlie Denison
A painted scene shows a river running from the edge of a forest through a flat prairie like expanse towards the viewer.

Lewis Williams of Colorado resided in Central Montana’s American Prairie Reserve this summer as part of Montana Preservation Alliance’s 2016 Reimagine Montana Artist-in-Residence program. This is a painting he did on the Judith River while living at the APR.

Photo courtesy of Chere Jiusto

Central Montana is the focus of a watercolor piece done recently by Colorado native Lewis Williams, an artist currently establishing residency at the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

Williams is one of six artists selected to participate in the Montana Preservation Alliance’s 2016 Reimagine Montana Artist-in-Residence program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service. This is a significant year for both sponsors, as NEA is celebrating its 50th anniversary and NPS is celebrating its centennial.

Williams’ residency began at the American Prairie Reserve’s PN Ranch. Last week, he stayed at APR’s Enrico Education and Science Center.

According to MPA spokesperson Chere Jiusto, Williams “is loving the enormity of the landscapes of Central Montana.”

“The work he is producing is beautiful,” she said.

Most recently, Williams painted a watercolor of the Judith River that Jiusto takes pride in.

“It’s so exciting to have these artists working in Montana this month of the centennial of the NPS,” Jiusto said.

Of the six artists, Williams is the only one who established residency in Central Montana.


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