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Friends gathered at the Buttercup Market and Cafe on Sunday to commemorate the artwork of Michel Colville. Colville died after an avalanche destroyed her home in the Rattlesnake neighborhood on Feb. 28. Her textile artwork is on display at Buttercup for another week.

DILLON KATO/Missoulian

“Remember...life is too short to wear mundane jewelry or garments!” was the last line in an artist statement written by Michel Colville.

Friends of Colville gathered at The Buttercup Market and Cafe on Sunday, where some of her textile artwork was on display on the walls.

Colville was killed earlier this year when an avalanche slid down Mount Jumbo and into her and her husband’s home in the Rattlesnake neighborhood on Feb. 28.

Most of the pieces on display were recovered from Colville’s house by volunteers and friends who worked to clear the debris left behind by the avalanche. Cyndy Aten, a friend of Colville’s, said she was given a few pieces of the textile art that had some more damage to try to clean up.

“There were little bits of drywall and pieces of insulation stuck way down into the fibers,” Aten said.

Another friend, Judy Hartz, pointed to a white shirt splashed with red floral designs down the center.

“It was one of her most recent pieces. It was being shown at a textile arts show in Hamilton over Valentine’s Day weekend,” Hartz said.

The piece, “Promise of a Rose Garden,” was among the few that had not been in Colville’s house at the time of the avalanche. Hartz touched a small description sheet next to the hanging art piece, which included Colville’s description of herself.

“It says ‘mother, grandmother, friend, traveler, artist, happy,’” she said.

Next to it another piece had seashells integrated into an aqua-colored vest, with intricate gold stitching in the shape of dolphins on the front.

“She was just a force of nature, in a really, really positive way,” Aten said.

Molly Galusha, owner of the Buttercup and a friend of Colville, said she remembers her studio space, with boxes of fabric and other things Colville found, all arranged by color.

“She was always trying different styles, finding things that would inspire her next,” Galusha said. “She was able to make these highly functional, wearable pieces of art.”

Colville’s textile artwork, including shirts, vests, scarves and sweaters, will be on display for another week.

On the wall beneath “Promise of a Rose Garden” was the artist statement Colville had written in 2012.

“My mind is always full of colors and ideas of what I want to do next. The possibilities are endless. I have many sketch books full of ideas that will take me many lifetimes to finish. It is a wonderful way to live!” it reads in part.

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