Larry Pirnie paints ponies for Carousel

Pirnie's Ponies fundraiser benefits art lovers and A Carousel for Missoula

Art Beat


A Carousel for Missoula is hosting a one-of-a-kind fundraiser 4-7 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Larry Pirnie, a well-known western artist from Missoula, has donated 15 framed, original, acrylic paintings. Each painting will be sold for $1,200 during the event. All proceeds will support the Carousel and Dragon Hollow Playarea.

Pirnie's Ponies
Sale of 15 paintings on May 6 benefits Missoula’s carousel.

According to Carousel executive director Theresa Cox, “Larry has been a very generous and enthusiastic friend of the Carousel since nearly the beginning of the project. He and his wife, Irene, adopted one of our most loved horses, Paint, early on and have been involved and supportive every step of the way.”

She adds that the couple came up with the fundraiser as a means of offering major financial support for the popular destination, while offering the public a chance to acquire a framed Pirnie original at an affordable price.

“The Carousel makes no sense on any level other than passion and the spirit of the horse,” Pirnie told the Missoulian a few years ago. Obviously, he continues to feel inspired by the Caras Park landmark, which took its first spin in 1995 after more than 100,000 hours of volunteer effort.

For Pirnie’s Ponies project, “Larry has taken a single image of a horse and has painted both the horse and the background in various ways to make completely different paintings,” says Cox.

The 15 paintings will be on display at the Carousel beginning April 30. Interested parties may indicate their willingness to purchase any one of the paintings by submitting contact information prior to, or during the event.

The paintings may be viewed until 6:15 p.m. May 6. At that time, organizers begin drawing names. The first name chosen will have the right to accept or refuse the associated painting; names will be drawn until the painting has found a home, and drawing will move on to the next painting.

“This will allow more people to purchase paintings and will ensure no one needs to come up with the money to buy more than they can afford, no matter how much they may want to,” says Cox.

Family-friendly food and beverages will be served from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and adult beverages will be available after the Carousel closes at 5:30. The event is sponsored by Advanced Imaging, First Security Bank and A Moveable Feast.

“The board, staff and volunteers of A Carousel for Missoula are incredibly grateful to the Pirnies for this amazing display of support and for everything they have done for us throughout the years,” says Cox.