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Wild West on display at MPAA show
Wild West on display at MPAA show


The Montana Professional Artists Association annual show and sale takes place June 13-15 at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton, 139 Bitterroot Plaza. Friday is the opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday's hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday's are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free.

These hundreds of works are not, as Mari Bolen said, "art on the razor's edge."

You won't find the sculptures and paintings of the Montana Professional Artists Association in art museums, as most of the work is Western in theme and quite representational.

But you will find them for sale this weekend at the MPAA's annual sale and show, taking place Friday through Sunday at the Bitterroot River Inn & Conference Center in Hamilton.

Twenty artists from around the state will display their works - watercolors, pastels, oils and sculptures, largely depicting the landscape, wildlife and people of the American West.

The MPAA is a close-knit group of artists, whose goal is to promote art in Montana and to show schoolchildren that art is possible as a career.

"Schools have drastically reduced a lot of art funding," said Bolen, president of the MPAA. "Many of us go to the schools to give them real, professional demonstrations of art."

All of the artists in the show make their living solely through art, said Bolen.

Artists such as Kevin Red Star of Red Lodge, Cynthie Fischer, Michele Kapor, JR Eason and Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey are in the show, as well as long-deceased western artists, including Hans Kleiber and Leonard Reedy.

In all, there are hundreds of pieces "from well-known artists who come from little towns, big towns," said Bolen.

The show and sale officially kicks off the season for the MPAA. The MPAA has exhibited, as a group, all over Montana and Wyoming.

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