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Posted: February 7, 2014

Flathead Exhibit now showing

Conservation meets art in this stunning exhibition, with opening reception tomorrow night (Feb. 7) in Cranbrook

Invermere's Denise Lemaster works on a piece in the Flathead Valley in the summer of 2012. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW
Invermere’s Denise Lemaster works on a piece in the Flathead Valley in the summer of 2012. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW

Five local artists participated in an artist retreat in the Flathead Valley in 2012. Painting alongside iconic plein air painter Dwayne Harty, their goal was to tell the story of the Flathead through paintbrush. Local artists included Joseph Cross (Cranbrook), Simon Haiduk (Kimberley), Denise Lemaster (Invermere), Laura Nelson (Fernie) and Tara Higgins (Fernie), as well as Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based Dwayne Harty.

The resulting works were curated in the Flathead Valley Art Exhibition, which first opened at Waterton’s Wildlife Festival in September 2013. Cranbrook and District Arts Council is thrilled to be hosting this exhibit for the month of February.

In describing the event Joseph Cross said, ”Six creative souls, gathered in one of the world’s remaining pristine valleys. Our job – to paint it, to depict the beauty and character of the Flathead Valley in our individual and unique ways. Not having visited the valley before, I soon realized how vast it was.”

For the past century and a half, art has played a central role in providing inspiration to protect and conserve nature in North America. The Flathead Valley has been the center of international conservation efforts for decades. A geographic extension of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Flathead Valley is a critical connection for wildlife in the Rocky Mountains, connecting them from Montana’s Glacier National Park to the Banff protected areas complex.

“We drank water straight from the river, knowing that it is the most pure water in the world, and the global benchmark for evaluating water quality. The memories of our gourmet meals, our daily hikes, viewpoints, wildlife encounters, and campfire camaraderie will stay with me forever. Being a part of telling the Flathead story through my art, is an honour and privilege,” said Cross.

The show opened at the Cranbrook & District Arts Council Gallery on February 4, running through to the end of the month.

Join the opening reception on Friday February 7, from 7-9 p.m.

About Cranbrook and District Arts Council • We support development of the visual, literary and performing arts in the Cranbrook & District area, and work to increase public awareness and opportunities for participation in arts and cultural events in the community.

Lead photo by Joseph Cross

Cranbrook and District Arts Council

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