Shadows of the Past: Art for a good cause

Choteau’s 30th annual auction raises funds for local hospital

Art Beat

Choteau is abuzz with artists and art fans on Saturday, Sept. 14, as they flock to the 30th annual Shadows of the Past Art Auction. For three decades, this popular art auction has been a staple in the Choteau community to help raise funds for local nonprofits. The Benefis Teton Medical Center Foundation took over the event in 2006 to help support the operations at the Benefis Teton Medical Center.

Rob Akey's Saturday Morning is part of the Shadows of the Past Art Auction.
Rob Akey’s Saturday Morning is part of the Shadows of the Past Art Auction.

This year’s auction draws artists old and new from across the area who all share a deep love for Montana and the beauty of life along the Rocky Mountain Front.

The Shadows of the Past catalog features 35 pieces in the Live Auction and 33 pieces in the Silent Auction. Plein Air and Quick Draw events add to the excitement, with those pieces also sold during the main event.

The auction boasts original art from well-known artists such as Don Greytak, Tom English, Shirle Wempner, Steve Lillegard, Frank Hagel, Rob Akey and Jeff Walker.

“We are also blessed with ample artistic talent right in our backyard,” says organizer AnnaLise Olson. Familiar local names include Scott Hayes and Linda Tippetts of Augusta, Diane Hausmann and Lee Tisch Bialczek of Fairfield, and Leslie Kesler, Jim Utsler, Stoney Burk and Kaare Wilkerson of Choteau. New artists to the scene include Corey Stremcha of Billings, S. Carlyle Smith and Pat Halcro of Great Falls.

Shadows of the Past starts with an artist reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Choteau Pavilion; admission is free and the public is welcome. The doors to the auction open at 4 p.m. Saturday for drinks and music followed by hors d’oeuvres and bidding. Tickets are $40.

All funds raised during Shadows of the Past stay in Choteau at the local hospital. This year’s proceeds will be used to update the walk-in cooler and freezer in the Dietary Department, which prepares nearly 90 meals a day for residents and staff. “Helping maintain their equipment is vital to the success of the hospital,” says Olson.

For more information or tickets for the event, call 406-466-6039. More art pictures and a complete schedule of events can be found at Benefis Teton Medical Center on Facebook.