The fairgrounds are playing host to the Great Western Art Rendezvous this weekend with artists from all around showing their work and passion.
Western Art Week is typically in March but was pushed back due to Covid and has encapsulated several shows into one, the Great Western Show, Legends West Art Show, Best of the West Art Show, and Russell Ignited.
Nicole Gaitan is one out of stater, visiting from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the first time. She’s noticed friendly crowds and plenty of excitement from other artists.
“I started painting when I was really young. I think my parents kind of recognized I had an interest in art,” Gaitan said. “And because Jackson Hole is such an artistic based town with lots of art galleries, they always really promoted that. I kind of follow my love for it and had me in art classes from a very young age.”
Western Art Week has drawn people to Great Falls for more than 50 years from all around. For many, it's about going somewhere new and meeting other artists to learn more.
Mitchell McClosky is one artist looking to learn more and draw inspiration from other artists, a reason he goes to shows.
“Art is something for me where there’s always room for improvement and trying new things,” McClosky said. “You know, I feel like I've always just loved art. I've loved drawing. Spending time in nature. It inspired me to, I guess, replicate that, the things I love.”
This year's show got moved back to the summer, combining shows, and showing even more art at once.
Plenty of local artists take pride in displaying their work as well, all with different styles and approaches, but all for the love of art.
Julie Korb is a Great Falls native and says showing her work in Great Falls is exciting for her so she can see familiar faces and meet new ones.
“To be able to show in my hometown of Great Falls, a place that’s excellent for Western Art Week, but also just art in general is wonderful because I get to see people that I haven't seen for a long time, former students, people that I worked with in the past, neighbors, people that have become friends over the years. So it's been pretty exciting to be able to show in Great Falls. I love seeing people I know but when I sell something to someone new, not in my family, that’s exciting too.”
The show runs August 18th through the 21st at the Montana ExpoPark.
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