Happy Montana Day…..4*06…..

20170406_131219-1

Kevin Jacks frame with vintage Glacier Park postcard

Spring is finally in the air here in Northwest Montana!!  Spring cleaning, clearing out & getting ready for new energy is what’s on our minds!  After an interesting 2016, both nationally & personally, we are ready to be heading into our 14th year of business with fresh ideas & optimism!  Lucky number 13 came with a bit of the extremes when it comes to running a business…..and being trolled by white supremacists the day before Christmas certainly capped off an intriguing year!!  This helped us realize, though, that we will continue to speak up for what we think is right without apology and also the importance of our community that we call home…..I am proud to have lived here for much of my life & I consider my kids fortunate (and spoiled) to have grown up here as well, in this amazing & naturally beautiful region of Northwest Montana!

I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who’ve walked through our doors over the last 13 years, for giving us the chance to serve you!!  Whether you are born & raised locals, transplants or visitors, we appreciate your business & will do our best to keep serving you in this special town!  Picture framing is an interesting trade.  While it usually gets bumped aside in lean economic times, it’s the type of business where we get to personally help a customer pay homage to their original artwork, special family heirlooms or simple decorative touches to a home, office or public space.  Over the years, we have gotten to frame up some incredible items that have required special care.  Many of these items that we have had the honor to frame evoke emotions & memories of meaningful trips, cherished family members & special events for our customers.  It’s been economically challenging at times, but fully rewarding.  Being able to offer a gallery space for emerging,  non-traditional artwork & outdoor sculpture has also been an enjoyable part of our business and participating in Whitefish Gallery Nights has given us the opportunity to contribute to the cultural & artistic visions of our community.  All in all, we want to encourage our community art patrons & framing customers to keep supporting your locally owned, unique businesses, no matter who they are.  The money you spend here gets spent in other local businesses throughout our community.  It’s easy to get lured into online sites or big box stores that claim to offer lower cost alternatives, but I can tell you, we have options for every budget & every style & we will always guarantee your satisfaction.  If at any time, you look at that picture on the wall & feel that it wasn’t the right color or you notice a flaw after bringing it home (“perfection is a myth”, but we do our best to reach it!!), we encourage our customers to bring it back & we will make it right!!  Below is a small sample of the thousands of projects we’ve framed over the years.  My pictures really don’t do them justice and there have been so many projects that I haven’t managed to get pictures of!!

I’d like to share just a little bit of how & why we ended up in this business & in this town in the first place!!  Peter is an Indiana native who found me, Michelle, a Whitefish native, in Seattle Washington, while both working for the Washington Public Interest Research Group in 1992.  Peter then landed a job at Central Avenue Co-op & we started raising our family of two boys….we have fond memories of living in South Capitol Hill, soaking in the diversity of the city & participating in various arts related activities, markets & music events.  I really do miss Seattle!!  In 1998, we moved back to Whitefish & with the support of my immediate family, along with a very extended family, we began establishing our life here.  We both participated a little bit here & there within the local arts community, Peter doing life drawing & writing groups, as well as photography……me facilitating mom & toddler art with Stumptown Art Studio & working with at-risk youth in group home settings, encouraging arts participation within that population, as well.  In 2003, we welcomed our 3rd son into our lives & that triggered a need & a desire to open our own business.  Peter had worked for about five years framing for Ben Franklin & having some of his own personal art background in painting & photography, we felt like this would be a fun & needed service to expand on in the growing town of Whitefish.  We opened our shop in May of 2004 and within the following year, a group of shops/galleries began Whitefish Gallery Nights, which has become a mainstay monthly event, every first Thursday of May through October.  As far as life beyond our shop, for the last several years,  you will most likely find us on the sidelines of a soccer field watching any one of our three boys playing their favorite sport!!

Finally, I’d like to give a little sneak preview of our upcoming gallery nights season.  May 4th, we will be featuring Daniel Foust with his digital painting prints…… June 1st will feature Jeff Troupe with his plein air oil paintings of Whitefish & Glacier locales……. July 6th we will feature ceramic & mixed media sculpture artist, Charity Flowers…….August 3rd will bring us Linda Hendrickson & her colorful acrylic/mixed media paintings……..and September 7th will feature acrylic artist Judy Cockrell.  October 5th TBD soon!!  For more information on gallery nights, go to http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org or look up Whitefish Gallery Nights-First Thursdays on Facebook.  Contact us with any questions you may have about our events and/or our framing services!  We look forward to doing business with you & come by & visit anytime, M-Saturday, 10-5PM (or a little later, we offer by appointment if necessary!!) & say hi to me, Peter, Daniel or Karen!!  http://www.thewalkingmanframeshop.com, thewalkingman@cyberport.net or 406-863-ARTS (2787) and you can find us on Facebook as The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery and on Instagram as thewalkingman2004.  Cheers & Happy Montana Day!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

100 Ways to Paint a Bear 2.0

img_8677_resized_1

Join us for an exhibition continuation of Kelly West’s bear extravaganza!!  This will be our final Gallery Nights event of the 2016 season!!  Thursday, October 6th, 6-9PM!  New works will be added & Kelly will be performing live with her improv ensemble, DogHouse!  Also, another opportunity for you to add your creative energy to a community painting led by Kelly!!  For more information call 406-863-2787 or log onto http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org!  Cheers!!

img_3349_resized_1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

100 Ways to Paint a Bear at The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery

KW_bigbear_blue01_5F3A2699

Join us Thursday, September 1st, 6-9PM for our featured exhibit of new Kelly West originals.  Bears & other colorful animal impressions (but mostly bears!) will grace our walls for the next Whitefish Gallery Nights & the month of September & beyond!  Live music provided by Old Sap, as well as live-streaming with Whitefish Community Radio.  Also, join Kelly in a collaborative painting on site!!  For more information call 406-863-ARTS or log onto http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org!

Kelly West was born in Foley, Alabama in February of 1985. Growing up, Kelly loved to make art. Never too interested in what had been done before, she loved the process and action of art making and the feeling of not knowing what was going to happen next. Kelly learned to love portrait making watching her father draw impressionist portraits in contour. She saw portraits as a fun and a natural way to capture family members on paper. Kelly moved to Montana ten years ago to snowboard with her best friend and to live in the mountains. She has worked in her art daily here in Whitefish at her Studio home and last year concentrated on oil as her happy medium, with her first show at The Walking Man Frame Shop and Gallery in 2015. In this style, Kwest hints on movement represented by cubist shapes and how they are developed on the canvas. Colorful impressions determine proportions of the subject throughout the making, giving it a layered and textured look. With animals for inspiration, Kelly looks to show life in the color, vibrancy and spirit of the animal. In the future Kelly expects to keep her work experimental and hopes to continue growing in her art. When Kwest is not painting she is drumming for DogHouse, an improv ensemble that performs at The Red Room monthly.

“Watching the painting come together, problem solving, fixing mistakes, openness, awareness, what the practice teaches you, these things are why I show up daily!” -KWest
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Animal Spirit at The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery

horse mask

Please join us for our next Whitefish Gallery Nights exhibit featuring Animal Spirit….a clay sculptural celebration of our furry neighbors all around us.  Artists featured are Betsey Hurd, Trudi Skari, Heidi Brown Haugen, Susan Mattson, Christine McKay & Tom Semple.  Fine art, refreshments & live music by Second Wind (Barbara Calm & Jason Foy).  For more information call 406-863-2787 or log onto http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org!  Cheers!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer Visions at The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery

IMG_4360

Join us this Thursday evening, July 7th, for Whitefish Gallery Nights.  We will be featuring new works by several artists.  Andrea Brew, Judy Cockrell, Jeff Troupe, Fred Warf, Peter Moore, Ginger Mesko, Kris Kramer & Mason Brubaker.  Live music by Cotton & John Kelly.  For more information go to call 406-863-ARTS or go to http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org.

IMG_3420

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inexact Utilization: Component Portraiture with Holden Roberts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Self-Portrait/Holden Roberts

Join us Thursday, June 2nd, 6-9PM for our next Whitefish Gallery Nights event!  Local Whitefish High School graduate & current Montana State University student, Holden Roberts, will be sharing a variety of his mixed media/reclaimed material artworks.  Live music provided by Rmi Strauser & friends, Blue Avenue.  For more information call 406-863-ARTS or log onto http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org!  Cheers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring Whimsy… introducing new sculptor, Mark Matthews

slowdancing2

Please join us Thursday, May 5th, 6-9PM for our first 2016 Gallery Nights event.  We will be introducing a new sculptor, Mark Matthews, from Arlee.  Come enjoy the whimsical, spiritual & eclectic visions of his indoor & outdoor sculptures.

“Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we think we fail. Sometimes we give ourselves a second chance.  Throughout the 1980s, I attempted to cultivate a distinct style in my art—specifically, one that would sell. Although at first interesting and inspiring, my work gradually grew stagnant. Already frustrated with the marketing side of art by the end of the decade, my lack of vision made it easy for me to set my tools aside.  Two decades later I started sculpting again. Today I am not interested in developing a signature style.  Tomorrow, when I pick out new pieces of wood to sculpt or construct, I will try to look at them through fresh eyes. Or, I will imagine a new way to express motion and emotion through them.  Nowadays, if I feel I might be developing a ‘style’ then I know it is time to move in a new direction.  Observe, analyze and experiment without fear, for, the negativity of not creating is the only true failure.”  Mark Matthews

Mark Matthews lives a humble existence in the foothills of Arlee where he writes books, teaches children American folk dancing through Humanities Montana, and tends to his sculpture garden.

dragon

We will also be featuring some new work by Kelly West, Justin Anthony & Kevin Ruble.  Fine art, light refreshments & quite possibly some live music!!  For more information call 406-863-2787 or go to http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment