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Heritage Inn prepares for Out West Art Show

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 15, 2023

GREAT FALLS — Western Art Week is underway. A staple of the festivities is the Out West Art Show at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls from March 16-18.

Artist Echo Ukrainetz has been busy getting ready. She’s been a fixture at the event since 2009. Her husband Ron has been showing his works at the Heritage Inn event for 27 years.

For the pair, the event is filled with excitement.

“I love the energy," said Echo. “I love the comments that we get from people. They’re both complimentary and pretty funny. We love meeting old friends and making new ones.”

“Not only does it help make our living, but we connect with artists that we don't get to see for a year,” said Ron Ukrainetz. “And a lot of clients that come through, too, a lot of patrons come through. A lot of our friends come through. And this is they know we're going to be here. We're. It's not like house arrest, but they know what room we're going to be in.”

About 30 hotel rooms are transformed into mini galleries for the artists to display their works.

Art show visitors won’t notice many changes this year, but next year the Out West, which is the longest running art show in one location in the Electric City, will welcome some familiar faces.

“One of the things we're very excited about is to be welcoming back the Russell auction here to the Heritage Inn and the OutWest Art Show,” said OutWest Art Show board member Jason Laird.

The non-profit Out West Art Show kicks off Thursday night at 5:30 with a reception and music by the Lucky Valentines.

Over the weekend it features a quick draw and auction on Friday starting at 5:30 p.m. and a quick finish and auction starting Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

“We're really the only art show that has these big events within the art show,” said Laird. “So that's something that we really feel draws the public and gets everybody involved

Having been a part of the show for nearly three decades, Ron knows how helpful shows like this can be to new artists.

“They think they know enough to get by,” said Ron. “As soon as they get here, they realize they don't know anything. And so that's why we're here. We can help them get a little bit more comfortable with being in front of the public, displaying their artwork, answering all of their questions. I mean, that's part of what this community does.”

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