The Bitterroot Arts Guild will have its annual Holiday Show and Sale this Friday and Saturday, November 10 and 11 at the First Interstate Building at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds, 100 Old Corvallis Road, Hamilton. The event is free although the Guild encourages everyone to make a donation of non-perishable food for the Darby Bread Box. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The show features unique crafts, one of a kind art, and jewelry. There will be something for everyone there.
The guild began when a few friends held weekly painting sessions and eventually became part of the Montana Institute of the Arts (MIA). In 1970, Bitterroot artists split from MIA and formed the Bitter Root Arts Guild. Peaking at 190 members in 1983, the group now hovers at about 40 active members from throughout the valley. They are as diverse as the arts and crafts they create. From fine art to quilts to stonework, these individuals make, remake, paint, or tool fancy gifts for every taste.
The guild mission is to encourage and promote participation in all the arts by members and young people of the Bitterroot Valley and to provide opportunity for the development of skills and display of their artistic endeavors. The guild still holds two major shows each year; a holiday show in November and Art in the Park in July. All Guild proceeds are used for promoting and awarding excellence in art to the youth of the valley and include at least one, sometimes more, $500 scholarship for a Ravalli County graduating senior to further their art education in honor of Lois Wetzsteon; President’s Awards to youth art entries bestowing twenty cash awards and ribbons across all categories; and donating art books and supplies to local libraries and schools.
This year nearly 50 vendors will be showing their wares including 10 new guild members and at least 18 visiting artists from western Montana. New artists to the area include Norma Lee Pfaff who loves to paint wildlife in oil, Linda Stover who paints flowers and nature in watercolor and oil, and Debi Lane who creates beautiful fabric and mixed media art. See watercolor animal and pet paintings by Tracy Moyers. Vicki Dawson will display intricate bead-weaving and jewelry made of silver, copper and bronze. Look for porcupine quill jewelry and medicine bags by Kathy Schiler. Kelly Price from Victor is displaying her pottery, too. There are a number of woodworkers including furniture, photographers, more fabric artists, jewelers, Steam Punk by Rae Grout and so much more.
It is Christmas, so Angela Timmes will be there with all her wreaths and Christmas decorations and it seems like at least half the artists will have ornaments and decorations along with greeting cards and small gifts.
Last but not least, Friendship Muffins and More, now owned by Jessica Klaus, is taking over the kitchen to create sweets and treats and will have serious help with the breakfast and lunch items so you won’t have to wait long for your delicious meal. Come hungry.
For more information about the shows or to join the group contact the Bitter Root Arts Guild at [email protected] and (406) 241-6181. Also find the guild on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BitterRootArtsGuild/.