By Merle Ann Loman
Bitter Root Arts Guild is busy again this year. It has selected a new scholarship winner and the 49th Art in the Park is Saturday, July 27.
Caelen Devall is the 2019 winner of the Lois Wetzsteon Scholarship, which the Guild awards to a Ravalli County High School Senior. Caelen is from Hamilton and he will be attending MSU Bozeman to study Art and Mechanical Engineering. His painting is in oils and titled “Journey.”
One of Caelen’s earliest memories was when his Mom and cousin painted his room with animals, trees and other plants. At about 4, his Mom gave him an easel and art supplies. He started drawing and painting and has never stopped. In his last year at school, he was tiring of other assignments, but lived for the assignments that included art. He hopes to branch out into other art dimensions/mediums and says that art will always be a part of his life.
When meeting with Caelen, he closed by saying, “Thank you, Bitter Root Arts Guild, for the scholarship.” It is helpful to have his college supplemented by the scholarship and he is very grateful.
Bitter Root Arts Guild would like to thank Caelen for his inspiration. “He is a well-rounded, bright young man with a promising future that includes art.”
The Bitter Root Arts Guild will have its 2019 annual Art in the Park on Saturday, July 27 at Legion Park at 2nd and Bedford Street in Hamilton, Montana. The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show features unique crafts, one of a kind art, and jewelry.
This is the 49th annual Art in the Park and there will be something for everyone. The event is free and coincides with Hamilton Farmers Market, Daly Days and the 25th annual Bitter Root Brew Fest.
The guild was started in the 1940’s 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 holds two major shows each year; a Holiday Show November 8 and 9, 2019 at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds 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 a higher education 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 cash awards and ribbons across all categories; and donating art books and supplies to local libraries and schools.
You can find more information and guild member applications at Artisans on Second, 122 S 2nd St, Hamilton or email BitterRootArtsGuild@gmail.com. The Guild is also on Facebook @BitterRootArtsGuild.