When the Choteau Art Studio became a non-profit organization in Choteau more than 16 years ago, they had no idea that the result of many moves, locations and classes would be a thriving Main Street gallery and education space. The gallery, which recently expanded to include a second section of exhibition space, represents over 125 local and regional artists, and offers a wide range of art including furniture, sculptures, pottery, keychains, paintings, photos, wood art and beaded items. Susan Luinstra, Gallery Director, shares, “The Gallery is a place where people walk in and fill up on beauty. They can have a sense of wonder with art and that is good for all of us.”
“The Gallery is a place where people walk in and fill up on beauty. They can have a sense of wonder with art and that is good for all of us.”
Art education is a priority for the Choteau Art Studio and new classes are offered throughout the year. Luinstra shares, “Our purpose is to share the joy of the arts, to let people experience art in a safe environment.” Current classes include Fibers on the Front, a two-session weaving class, a music program which invites community members to learn fiddle and guitar during eight-week sessions and Diane Hausmann will teach a 3-session drawing class beginning 5/2.
“Our purpose is to share the joy of the arts, to let people experience art in a safe environment.”
As the art community becomes more established on the Rocky Mountain Front, artists from throughout Montana are recognizing the rich history and natural landscape of the area and discovering the Choteau Art Studio. Currently, the gallery is staffed 100% with volunteers, but Luinstra would like to see funding that would allow for parttime paid staff including Gallery Director and Education Coordinator. “There are so many opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy what the Studio has to offer. With additional paid staff we could hold after school classes for youth and increase our educational opportunities for adults.” The Studio’s biggest fundraiser is their Barn Dance and Pie Social (May 7), a time for all ages to come together to enjoy music, dancing and, of course, homemade pie on hand thrown pottery plates. Their Patron’s Program, with four levels of giving, is also a great way to support the growth and security of art on the Rocky Mountain Front and allows volunteers and professional artists to provide quality, affordable classes. More information can be found at their website, www.choteauarts.org.
The Choteau Art Studio is currently open Wednesday- Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-1pm and will have expanded hours during the upcoming Metis Festival, Yoga Festival and during the July 4th weekend.
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