Blackfeet Circle of Artisans

Ernest Marceau Jr. White Buffalo SpiritStumptown Art Studio is hosting its second art exhibition featuring a group of Blackfeet artists   from East Glacier, Browning and the vicinity.  An opening reception for the show is on Thursday, August 3 from 6-9 p.m. and is part of the Whitefish Gallery Night.

Pieces ranging from paintings, ledger art, photography, printmaking to mixed media sculptures, leather and bead work will be on display through the month until September 3.  Stumptown Art Studio, located at 145 Central Avenue in Whitefish is open 7 days a week to view the exhibit, Monday –Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays from noon-5 p.m.

Storyteller Jim Watts portrays traditional, handmade drums, walking sticks and other embellished pieces.  Staying connected to family and culture, and keeping that culture alive is important to him.

Blackfeet-Assiniboine artist David Dragonfly attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Missoula.  The main influences for Dragonfly’s widely shown printmaking are his native cultures and the beautiful landscapes of the Blackfeet Reservation and the State of Montana.

Teri Loring Dahl is exhibiting paintings and photographs that are inspired from the horse and buffalo cultures of the past.  She has travelled millions of miles, going to all the large Indian celebrations and rodeos in the United States and Canada for her images.

Valentina LaPier shares the landscape of her heart through her painted images, weaving together her life as an artist.  Her artwork has become a vehicle by which she educates both Native and non-Native people around the world on the history of the different tribal images used in her work.

The paintings and drawings of Ernest Marceau Jr. portray the warriors of the past and other significant cultural influences.  He says, “I try to portray my art in a manner to let the viewer look into the painting, showing illusion, to be able to travel through the painting, being able to visualize the spirit world, the shadows, the illusion and the illusion of the 19th century warriors.”

Artist Lindy Racine finds peace in the outdoors and tries to bring some of that tranquility and beauty into her acrylic paintings.  Her artwork often brings together the aspects of the natural world and imagery from her Native American heritage.

Growing up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, Sammy Jo Bird was raised with the “ponoka’o’mitta” (Blackfeet for horse).  She has always had a close relationship with the horse which has played a huge role in her art and in her life.  Sammy Jo says, “The drive and passion behind my art is not only my love for animals but my love for people.  I want my paintings to help people, make people smile and make a positive statement.”

Also joining the circle of Blackfeet artisans for the exhibit are others.  Among them Jeremy Johnson, Walter Running Crane, John Marceau, Renee Bear Medicine and more.    Finding ways for the Native American people to come together, keeping the culture alive and telling their stories is a common thread for these artists.

Stumptown Art Studio is a non-profit community art center in the heart of Whitefish, Montana.  Since 1995, the organization has been providing art opportunities to all ages and abilities with its many programs and walk-in art activities.  For details please call 406-862-5929 or visit http://www.stumptownartstudio.org.