Events

Montana landscape photography

Two exhibits focus on Montana landscape and “The Way We Wore”

“Landscapes of the American West: Photography of Jeff Corwin” Dec. 15, 2022-April 30, 2033
“10 Items: The Way We Wore” Dec. 15, 2022-August 31, 2033

Join us for an opening reception 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, at the Northwest Montana History Museum.

On Dec. 15, museum visitors will get two exhibits for the price of none as the Northwest Montana History Museum opens new shows in its two temporary-exhibit spaces.

After 40-plus years working in commercial photography around the world, Montana photographer Jeff Corwin turned to fine art and found inspiration in landscape. Of the 17 pieces in “Landscapes of the American West,” most feature rural views of Montana, including areas near Sourdough, Dillon, Livingston and Wilsall. Two images are of Eastern Washington.

A vacation near Ennis planted the seed for Corwin’s move to east of Bozeman. Now he lives in Cardwell, where he’s building a house. Even so, Corwin says, “I go out and shoot every day.”

His work speaks to the quieter country. “I tend towards the emptiness of landscapes, not the glory of mountains and meadow and late afternoon light,” he says. “I don’t seek out that emptiness, but after so many years, just react to it.”

From a pillowlike snowfield constrained only by a fence in Bozeman, to the lush green leadup to a low butte in Rapelje, Corwin finds much to focus on and frame in his Montana journey.

“The Way We Wore” represents the latest in the “10 Items” installations for which curators take a roundabout look at the collection and present a select group to illustrate a certain theme.

Volunteers Judy Elwood and Sharon Bristow and board member Jane Renfrow will put on display a selection of uniforms connected to the Flathead Valley.

Most of us know the psychological impact of pride felt at the act of putting on a uniform, whether enlisting in military service or joining a sports team or club. The people who wore the uniforms included in the exhibit must have felt a similar thrill. They signaled the high honor of belonging.

The uniforms prepared for the exhibit range from a 1950s Boy Scout uniform and a nurse’s cape and cap to school gym clothing and a band uniform from the Kalispell Fire Department. Also included: a ceremonial coat that belonged to Judge Joseph E. Rockwood, a member of the Patriarchs Militant of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Rockwood served two terms as a judge in the 11th Judicial District, then two terms in the Montana House of Representatives. His 1920s home, on the National Register of Historic Places, stands at 835 First Ave. East.

Details:
5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022; free admission
Northwest Montana History Museum, 124 Second Ave. East, Kalispell; 406-756-8381

Chuck Suchy concert

Live in Concert Nov. 5: Chuck Suchy

North Dakota’s official state troubadour Chuck Suchy – also a good friend of the Northwest Montana History Museum’s late ambassador Pete Skibsrud – comes to perform 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Northwest Montana History Museum.

A folk musician, songwriter and farmer from Mandan, N.D., Suchy has released seven albums, many on the well-known Flying Fish label, with songs ranging from ones that celebrate Burma-Shave road signs (“Burma Shave Boogie”), a 15-year-old who died saving her siblings during a 1920 snowstorm (“The Story of Hazel Miner”) and Indian motorcycles and father-son relationships (“Indian Dreamer”).

Suchy brings high-plains music, ace guitar work and emotive singing for an event that honors his friend Skibsrud, whom he met while performing in Kalispell about 15 years ago. “I was doing concerts at the KM theater downtown, and at one of the first ones he just showed up,” Suchy remembers. “We visited afterwards and then he wrote me a letter of appreciation. He offered to put up posters, take tickets, sell CDs for me – in true Pete fashion.”

Skibsrud, who died at 76 in November 2021, lived simply and expansively. He often made the rounds in downtown Kalispell, undertaking special projects for his causes, and making friends wherever he went. His maverick ideas, such as buying the Old Steel Bridge, led to the creation of large-scale art.

“I knew of no one more dedicated to the Kalispell and Flathead Valley community than Pete Skibsrud,” says Jacob Thomas, former executive director of the Northwest Montana History Museum, who will introduce Suchy on Nov. 5. “Not only did he always volunteer to lend a hand whenever needed, but he actively sought out reasons to be helpful and involved. Pete meant a great deal to a number of nonprofits and organizations around the valley, the Northwest Montana History Museum being just one of many.”

Come honor the memory of Skibsrud and feed your soul and ears with original music.

Details:
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
Northwest Montana History Museum, 124 Second Ave. East, Kalispell, MT 59901; 406-756-8381
A donation of $15 is suggested to cover Suchy’s travel expenses and support the museum, one of Skibsrud’s favorite causes.

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