Thursday, July 26, 2018
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Photo by Eleanor Guerrero

John Potter shows that even Native warriors took time to “smell the flowers.” 

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Photo by Eleanor Guerrero

Harry Koyama loves grizzlies, a frequent subject in his paintings.

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Photo by Eleanor Guerrero

Kevin Red Star had a close encounter with Bison along the Bighorn River.

It was a fine Saturday morning, July 14, in Red Lodge for Art in the Beartooths, the 45th annual fundraiser for the Carbon County Arts Guild. There was a silent auction and a live auction with three signature artists: Laurie Lee of Powell, Wyoming; Shirle Wempner of Big Timber; and Hal Olson of Red Lodge.

The crowd came early to see the live auction artists at work perfecting their submissions or starting new ones. Wild West subjects were widely displayed in mediums that ranged from oil and canvas to wood and clay. There were horses, grizzlies and buffalo afoot, as well as cowboys and Indians.

Attendees were treated to meeting their favorite artists and watching them at work.

John Potter has been a fixture at the Art in the Beartooths for years. His subject this time was a Native on horseback among lush wildflowers.

“We love the warrior. I wanted to portray a different part of the life of the warrior,” he said. “We all need to take time to smell the flowers.”

Terry Cooke Hall came from Bozeman where she specializes in portraits. Her roots are in Southern California. She is primarily influenced by Robert Moore, with whom she studied. She chose portraiture because, “I love people!”

Harry Koyama, a popular Hardin painter of grizzlies with a studio in Billings, said he chooses his subjects because “One of my clients likes them. I like them! It’s one of my favorite subjects.” He actually saw his subjects, a sow grizzly and her cub – but at different times, not together. As part of the magic of the artist’s mind, he could make them a pair. He was making a smaller version of a 3-by-5-foot painting he had previously painted.

Artist Tom Wolfe said he captured his neighbors in action at branding time in the spring. But he put their location “in my backyard. That’s Mount Wood in the background” in the Beartooths. According to Wolfe, “it’s the lifestyle” he wanted to capture.

Kevin Red Star said he took a trip by the Bighorn River to view buffalo. He naturally was inspired to paint them.

Brenna Tyler had a horse sculpture made of wood.

Lee Walker seemed to mesmerize a group of onlookers by working with one fish on two canvases.

Potter Marcia Selson was turning out pots right before people’s eyes with her own super kiln.

“It takes 25 minutes at a temperature of 1,650,” she said as she deftly handled a steaming pot, dipping it into cooling water.

Elliot Eton enjoyed viewing as well as making hollyhocks and iris.

The artists were at work most of the day. Later that evening, a dinner and live auction followed.