The Russell: A Western Art Experience

Centerpiece of Western Art Week includes exhibits, auctions and social gatherings March 21-23

Art Beat

The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum, the signature fundraising event for the museum and the centerpiece of Western Art Week, kicks off from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, with a Preview Party at the Great Falls museum ($40-$50).

Art in Action with Andy Thomas
Andy Thomas completes a painting during Art in Action, a brunch and quick-draw event.Photo © C.M. Russell Museum

Also opening Thursday is the Russell Skull Society Suites at the Mansfield Center. The museum founded the society in 2013 to recognize living American Western artists whose work celebrates the themes and tradition of Charles M. Russell (1864–1926) and his contemporaries, who have displayed an ongoing commitment to the mission of the artist’s namesake museum, and who have a history of participation in auction. In addition to artworks for sale by the distinguished group of more than 20 artists, this Western Art Week offering includes live music, food, and beverages from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 21-23.

Meadow Lark Country Club hosts Art in Action, a brunch and quick-draw event featuring an auction, with all proceeds donated to the museum, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday ($50-$60).

Action moves to the Mansfield Center at 6 p.m. Friday for the First Strike Auction, featuring art submitted exclusively by contemporary artists ($55-$65).

Saturday brings the free Russell Educational Symposium, 9 a.m. in the Mansfield Missouri Room; Dr. Larry Len Peterson discusses his new biography, “Blackfeet John L. ‘Cutapuis’ Clarke and the Silent Call of Glacier National Park: America’s Wood Sculptor.”

The Russell Runway Show showcases “Wearable Art of the American West” at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Meadow Lark Country Club and ($40-$50).

The Russell Live Auction begins at 5 p.m. in the Convention Center; the gala evening offers a sale of historic and contemporary fine art and a gourmet dinner and beverage service ($175-$200).

Auction art is now on display at the museum for both auctions.

Several works by Russell will cross the auction block this year, including his 1897 oil painting, “Approach of White Men,” which epitomizes the artist’s deeply formed empathy for the fate of Native Americans. Other important watercolors, drawings and sculptures by Russell – including “Preparation for the Buffalo Hunt,” a watercolor created circa 1889 – join the carefully selected works by an impressive list of both historic and contemporary western artists to be featured in the auction.

See the works and buy tickets to auction events online or call 406-727-1939.