Courtesy of Great Falls Montana Tourism
Western Art Week has been a staple in Great Falls for 50 years. The streak was interrupted by COVID-19 in 2020. John Godwin with the Out West Art Show and Sale said it best: “In March 2020, we thought COVID-19 would be done by September. In September, we thought for sure COVID-19 would be done by March 2021.”
The Great Falls Montana Tourism has been fielding questions about Western Art Week for potential attendees and media for quite some time.
“We have a Western Art Week enthusiast who calls from Florida every week looking for an update on Western Art Week 2021,” shares Mari Hazzard, the content Director for Great Falls Montana Tourism, who leads the organization’s coordination of the week’s events with the organizers of Western Art Week shows. “Western Art Week has grown to sixteen shows across Great Falls, showcasing the artwork of over 700 artists, and we are elated to share that with the challenges presented to us this year, the excitement of Western Art Week will be captured in March and August!”
The festivities that make up Western Art Week in Great Falls are centered around one special date, March 19—the birthday of famed cowboy artist Charles M. Russell.
“Celebrating Charlie during his birth month, while supporting the museum, was the cornerstone of the event that would go on to grow into Western Art Week,” says Christina Horton of the C.M. Russell Museum.
Western Art Week is an institution, just like Charlie, so as we move forward, March 17-20 will still be Western Art Week 2021. March in Montana will happen at The Elk’s Lodge, the C.M. Russell Museum will have an education symposium and sealed bid sale, and the Western Collectibles and Antiques Show is to be held at Montana ExpoPark with COVID-19 safety protocols.
Special Edition: Western Art Week will take place August 18-22, 2021.
Chuck Fulcher with Great Western Living and Design Show says, “It’s very important to understand that Western Art Week is not moving. We can’t change Charlie’s birthday, but for some of us, for now, March is still just too much of an unknown and some of our show models are unable to accommodate the unknowns. I, however, am very excited about the opportunities that await in August 2021.”
The August activities that are currently confirmed will include The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum; Out West Art Show and Sale; Great Western Living and Design Show; Legends West Art Show; Missouri Falls Fine Arts Show and Sale; Jay Contway and Friends Show; Don Hanson and Jeff Walker Art Show; “Wild Bunch” Art Show; Studio 706 Show; and Native American Artists Show.
In addition to the confirmed activities for Special Edition: Western Art Week 2021, ArtsFest Montana will occur August 13-21, 2021. The Business Improvement District leads this effort for our community and during the week-long event, attendees have the opportunity to watch artists install murals throughout downtown Great Falls.
“It’ll be a year full of art!” Mari with Tourism exclaims. Stay up to date on activities for both Western Art Week and Special Edition: Western Art Week at WesternArtWeek.com.