Southwest Montana Arts

We are a group of about 100 artists in the Gallatin Valley area. The artists meet to encourage each other and participate in art events. This group was formerly called Montana Institute of the Arts. SMArts meets monthly, September through May, and often has a guest artist who will give a demo or talk. SMArts is an active group with shows, paint-outs, workshops, and provides yearly programs and scholarships for kids. Feel free to peruse our site and join us for a meeting or activity.


SMArts has monthly meetings from September through May each year. We meet on the 3rd Monday morn of each month (the 4th Monday following a 3rd holiday Monday) in the Community Room of the Bozeman Public Library at 9:30 am. Following a short business meeting we often have a guest speaker/artist. There are monthly Art Challenges if you wish to participate with different themes. Please wear your name tag or make a stick-on one at the door. During the summer months there are no meetings but bi-weekly paint-outs at various locations. Please visit our blog to view all past meetings minutes and view any photos associated.

Learn More

To learn more about guest artists, meetings and to be included in our monthly email list please write to Priscilla at

16th Annual Art Show Reception

Our 16th Annual Art Show Reception

About Us

Southwest Montana Arts exists to foster enthusiasm for the creation of art and to encourage members in their pursuit of a greater appreciation of art. Workshops are held and guest artists give programs at meetings to bring in the highest level of art instruction available. For more information please call Linda Williams at 586-1350.


The mission of SMA is to foster camaraderie, support and encourage visual artists with educational activities and venues for exhibiting their work and to develop a public awareness and appreciation of the visual arts throughout the community.

A brief history of SMArts

The Montana Institute of the Arts in Bozeman is now Southwest Montana Arts. The group has a membership of roughly one hundred members that meet monthly from September through May, taking time off from meetings June through August to conduct ‘paint out’ sessions at various locations every other week. The Montana Institute of the Arts was founded in 1948 with the stated purpose of “bringing together of persons interested in original and creative work, in teaching and in recreational use in the fields of the arts for mutual cooperation and stimulation.” As an arm of the original organization, the Bozeman chapter has flourished.

They now meet at the Bozeman Public Library in the large community room at 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd Monday of the month (September through May), with the exception of January and February when the library can be closed for federal holidays, thus moving the date. Each month a short business meeting is held, ‘art assignments’ given, viewing of last months’ assignments, and various speaker presentations given. We have had speakers that have included Susan Blackwood, Taylor Lynde, Curtis Tierney, owner of Tierney Fine Arts in Bozeman, Greg Scheibel, Rein Gillstrom and D.G. House. We are always searching for artists that will share their insights, tips and tricks and honored styles with our members.

Annual events for the Southwest Montana Arts include an annual juried art show that is held in July, with the show hanging in the atrium of the Bozeman Public Library for the month of July. An annual Christmas party and the ‘spring swap’- where members bring in art supplies, frames, books, dvds’, etc. to sell to each other round out the annual events. The summer paint outs are informal plein air sessions which are scheduled around the Gallatin Valley where members meet to paint out together. Brown bag lunches and informal critique sessions can follow.

The group exists to foster enthusiasm for the creation of art and to encourage members in their pursuit of a greater appreciation of art. Workshops are held to bring in the highest level of art instruction available. For more information please call Linda Williams at 586-1350.

Article courtesy of Bozeman Magazine.



Vice-President: Suzan Strobel  and Linda Williams

Secretary:  Cheryl Genovese

Treasurer:  Shirley Elliott


Check Out our wonderful activities.

DG House talked about her art at the Southwest Montana Arts meeting

SMArts Meeting November 20, 2017

Linda Williams called the meeting to order at 9:30 asking for guests or new members.  She reminded everyone that there was to be a free lunch in the meeting room at noon sponsored by the Bozeman Cultural Council, a Bozeman non-profit who is reviving its work and hopes to gauge interest and ideas from artists […]

Lyn St. Clair featured artist for Southwest Montana Arts, Bozeman MT

SMArts Meeting – October 16, 2017

President Eileen Kenney called the meeting to order at 9:30 by; welcoming all and asking new members and guests to introduce themselves. Two new members and two guests made brief introductions. Eileen reminded members that dues are payable and said that Treasurer Shirley Elliott reports a balance of $4209.22 as of October 16. President Kenney […]

Southwest Montana Arts guest speaker John Potter

SMArts Meeting September 2017

President Eileen Kenney called the meeting to order at 9:30 with her expression of gratitude to Suzan Strobel for her past two years as president.  She also recognized the officers: Eileen Kenney, president; Suzan Strobel and Linda Williams, vice presidents; Cheryl Genovese, secretary; and Shirley Elliott, treasurer.  She also reminded members that the $20 dues […]

Smarts Paintout at Lucy Hammet’s - Lucy's painting

SMArts Paint-out at Lucy Hammet’s – September 5, 2017

We had a fairly cool and smokey day out at Lucy’s. A variety of views were available and each found their own to paint. Thank you Lucy for your wonderful hospitality.                                  

Smarts Paintout at Axtel Bridge, Bozeman MT

SMArts Paint-out Axtel Bridge August 29, 2017

A small, but fun, group met at Axtel Bridge for the paint-out. Helen, Connie, Karen, Anne & Eileen. Helen was celebrating 50 years of Motherhood and decided not to paint but to just enjoy the company and day. A funny story…Anne got all set up by the river and then realized she had forgotten her […]

Southwest Montana Artists paint at Soldiers Chapel

SMArts Paint-out August 14, 2017

SOLDIER’S CHAPEL BIG SKY A beautiful day in Big Sky at Soldier’s Chapel.  Two paintings were sent from that day for sharing with you.

MallardsRest-ParadiseValley KarenThiel

SMArts Paint-out – July 31, 2017

A hot day at Mallards Rest in Paradise Valley. A bit smokey, the air hot, the water cool, friendship wonderful. Painting…..extra!

SMArts Paint Out – July 13th

We had a very nice day at the Bozeman Ponds. Cool shade and blessed views.  

Foster Creek Farms artist view

SMArts Paint-out – July 3, 2017

A wonderful time had at Foster Creek Farms. A place we will be visiting again later this summer.

SMArts Paint-out – June 26, 2017

West Yellowstone Paint-out. We enjoyed this paint-out at Dick  Connie Luechtefeld’s home in West Yellowstone. Just a few pictures of this well attended and beautiful day.