GREAT FALLS — Western Art Week in Great Falls is less than one month away from returning in-person after being virtual in 2021.
The event is held in March as a way to commemorate western artist Charlie Russell’s birthday on March 19. This year the event runs from March 16 through March 20.
C.M. Russell Museum director Tom Figarelle said he is expecting turnout during the week to be similar to what it was prior to the pandemic.
"We anticipate (in 2022) we'll see a return to normalcy as it were. Now, granted, that normalcy will have a different lineup of events for the Russell,” Figarelle said. "We have a sealed bid sale of major historic works and then we have a miniature event which is brand new called Charlie's Miniature Roundup with new artists.”
The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce says it’s a big deal to have this event back in person to help stimulate Great Falls’ economy and bring more visitors to town.
Chamber president Shane Etzwiler says Western Art Week happens at a perfect time and is one of the biggest events in the state that time of year. He added that having it back in person is a great way to stimulate businesses like hotels and restaurants because of how many people it brings in.
The week’s activities include March in Montana Auction and Dealer Show; Out West Art Show and Sale; Great Western Show; First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park Annual Art Exhibit and Sale; Legends West; Wild Bunch Art Show; Celebration of Native Plains Artists Show; Jay Contway Art Show; and The C.M. Russell’s March Sealed Bed in addition to two new events held at The Newberry. Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art will also be open during Western Art Week, with three exhibitions available to the public. Click here for a schedule of events.
Western Art Week will not include the museum’s annual Western Art Auction; that will be held the third weekend in August.