By Amy Pearson

Did you know that the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls is FREE to the public? Did you know that the museum is housed in a historic building with over 1,100 permanent pieces of art? Did you know that classes in drawing, painting, textiles, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, and printmaking are available for kids and adults?

“Just come in,” says Facilities Care Specialist, Natalie Woodson. Woodson fell in love with The Square building immediately. She quickly found the education department and was inspired by the overall concept of the museum.

“Our attitude here is that art is for everyone,” says Brent Viste, the Gift Shop Manager. “Our intention is to benefit the community.” In addition to managing the gift shop, Viste is an artist himself, along with most of the folks who work at The Square.

Executive Director Sarah Justice notes that when she’s sculpting, she hopes to share what she has to say with someone who can relate to it. That capacity to express and connect through art helps drive her passion for their work at the museum. “Art saves lives,” Justice says frankly.

“There’s something for everybody,” says Nicole Maria Evans, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections. The Square hosts expert lectures and discussions, artist talks, contemporary exhibitions, events, workshops, studio classes, and courses for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, homeschoolers, and others. And what is more, most of these opportunities are FREE to the public.

Dino Pfaff has been teaching ceramics at The Square for eight years since retiring as an art teacher in Chester. His favorite thing about the museum is the people who work there. He loves the staff and the team atmosphere which has created a close-knit community.

“Be a tourist in your own town,” Evans urges. The multitude of FREE opportunities provided by the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art – located at 1400 1st Ave North in Great Falls – is astounding. Check out an exhibit, take a class, meet the staff, attend a lecture, become a member. Support one of Montana’s preeminent cultural institutions right in your own backyard.
For more information, email or call 406-727-8255. Or just stop by.

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