Shabby blogs

Friday, March 28, 2008

The C.M. Russell Auction

We have been studying Charles Russell and decided to go to the CM Russell Auction and Art Show in Great Falls. It is a yearly event that started 40 years ago. Our friends, the Nelsons, have an art gallery here in Kalispell and not only do they have a gallery room at the auction every year, but Kirk Nelson, Doug's dad, started the auction with 5 other people. It was an incredible event. Every year, over 200 artists and dealers transform the Heritage Inn rooms into their personal galleries. Both Friday and Saturday nights is an auction supporting the CM Russell Museum, where in recent years they have grossed over 5 million dollars. In addition, on both Friday and Saturday nights, chosen artists participate in the Quick Draw event where those artists have 1 hour to create a masterpiece which is then auctioned that evening to benefit the museum as well. It was an amazing event. We had such a great time walking through and seeing the incredible talent that exists in western art. The kids got a great hands on experience in art appreciation. The artists were quick to talk with them and were very encouraging. We listened in on a colorful panel discussing 40 years of history with the auction and show. The Museum, located at the site of Russell's homestead and studio, gave us an extensive look into his life and work. My favorite part of the museum was viewing the art that was to be auctioned off that night. Wow!! We all came away with some favorites. They include Jeff Walker, Nicholas Oberling, Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey, Carol Hagan (whose bear painting went for $14,000 on Friday night!), Graham Flatt (one of Brad's favorites), Randy Van Beek, Steve Seltzer, Jan Mapes and many more. We realized that we have very different art tastes. Brad and Josiah like horse/cowboy/traditional western paintings where I prefer landscapes or ranch/farm scenes or tradtional subject matter with a twist (hence my attraction to Carol Hagan and Sheila Reiman works). The kids all like bronzes best. We all went away with a great appreciation for the talents that God has bestowed on his creation! photos here.

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