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 are due in September and to send them to Shirley Elliott.  Eileen then asked for new members or visitors to stand and introduce themselves.

Eileen then passed around half sheets of paper on which members could fill out suggestions about what they would like to see in future meetings, ideas for paint outs, and what they liked about SMArts.  She specifically asked for suggestions about the monthly art challenge.  For October, we will go with the idea of bringing in what you have painted during the last month.  Helen Donovan was acknowledged for all her work with the paint outs this summer.  In response to the question about the paint out paintings being for sale, Eileen said to talk to the artist.

Shirley Elliott provided a financial statement update.  We have $3,488.91 in the treasury after donating $500 to the library to sponsor “Reimagine Montana’ traveling art exhibit put on by the Montana Preservation Alliance.  The show of the six Montana artists from the Artist-in-Resident Program are on exhibit in the library lobby.  Also, SMArts contributed $1,000 to an art education program sponsored by the Bozeman Art Museum to address the lack of art education for children ages kindergarten through the eighth grade in Bozeman public schools, the greatest need being in the rural schools.  This program is headed by Linda Williams and Jerolyn Dirks with the assistance of Pat Hamlin who are serving four rural schools during the 2017/2018 school year to teach the children art.  I’m sure you understand how important it is to expose young children to art in their formative years.  “Art is fundamental to the development of a child’s imagination.  One cannot create or achieve anything unless they imagine it first.” If you have any interest in learning more about this program and contributing in some way to this worthy endeavor, please contact Linda, Jerolyn, or Pat.

Peggy Ryan invited members to a paint out and lunch at her house.  She has just returned from the Philippines where she taught children aged 2-12.  She said that Portion Outreach will have an auction to help orphans, and if anyone wants to donate, they should let her know by November.

Jan Elpell wrote and illustrated the book “Healers of Big Butte,” and Eileen Tenney briefly described her new children’s book.

Librarians Grace Dyk and Maggie Spinelli said there were a few books and dvd’s missing and they would be contacting members about them.    They also invited members to provide titles for things to add to the library.  Mary DuBois asked if SMArts would like contributions from her personal library that she is weeding out.

Southwest Montana Arts Members Summer  Paint-Out Samples

Following the break during which members looked at the wonderful selection of paint out paintings on display, Eileen thanked Linda Williams, Cheryl Genovese, Grace Dyk, and Maggie Spinelli for bringing snacks.  She passed a membership contact information sheet on a clipboard for people to check and update their contact data.  Eileen passed a basket and asked members to turn in their nametags with the black ribbon tucked behind their name cards.

John Potter Speaking to members at Southwest Montana Arts - Bozeman Montana

 John Potter was our guest speaker.  He is an accomplished wildlife artist and Native American, raised on the reservation.  He described how drawing provided his outlet while living in his difficult situation on the reservation.  He graduated from Utah State University and spent twenty years as an award-winning illustrator until devoting his attention to full time painting in 2002.  John says, “Painting for me is a form of communication with our Creator, and of gratitude as well; for the life and beauty brought forth on this Earth, especially in our remaining wild places.  Because of this, I feel a sense of responsibility for the privilege of painting, for the gift of the craft.  Many painters are out there trying to be heard—I paint to listen.”  John has his home and studio in Red Lodge, Montana.

After thanking the speaker, Eileen reminded the group that the next meeting will be on Monday, October 16, at 9:30 in the Library Community Room.  Our featured speaker for our October meeting is Lyn St. Clair, a well-known Montana wildlife and plein air artist whose paintings have won over 80 awards across the country.  Lyn spends countless hours in the field plein air painting, exploring the wilderness that inspires her work and observing, sketching and photographing her subjects in their natural habitat.

Respectfully submitted,

Cher Genovese, Secretary


Dues of $20 are to be mailed to Shirley Elliott, 1103 S. Cedarview Dr., Bozeman, MT 59715

Call Peggy Ryan at 570-7090 for more information about fundraiser and donating art.

Eileen Tenney’s book is titled “Amelia Darehart, The Most Daring Snail of Her Time.”