GREAT FALLS — Western Art Week will return to Great Falls in-person in March after being completely virtual last year. The art show centers around Charlie Russell’s birthday on March 19th, and will feature more than 500 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.
“It’s one of the largest events we have in our city honestly and any art week always brings in a lot of guests. Lot of visitors from around the world,” Etzwiler said. “I remember when the decision was made in March of 2020 ten days roughly before Western Art Week to cancel it and it was the right move. It was the right call because we didn’t know what we were dealing with. Great Falls felt it first and we felt it the hardest because that is the major event in Montana. The nice thing about Western Art Week is it’s in one of our shoulder seasons. It’s not during our heavy summer travel and it’s just a great event that we have in March because people tour our community and it really does help drive some business, overnight stays, and drives the local economy here in Great Falls.
Western Art Week runs from March 16 to 20.
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; Western Heritage Artists – Footprints on the Trail; Studio 706 Spring Show; 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.