Art at Home is a multimedia series of profiles of western Montana residents and the art that they love. The series ran in the Entertainer from Jan. 25 – Sept. 8, 2007. On this page you’ll find a bit of general information about the series, plus links to all 23 profiles in the series.
Art means a lot of things to a lot of people.
Just ask the more than 125 people who contacted the Missoulian after we put out a call for collectors interested in sharing the art they own with our readers. Without hesitation, they e-mailed, called, dropped by in person and wrote letters, volunteering to open their homes to us.
Their motives and interests were as diverse as their art collections. There’s the man obsessed with art that depicts birth defects, and the woman who collects paintings made by elephants. There is the grandmother who can’t get over how great her grandson’s dog sculpture looks on the mantle, and the grandson who keeps his grandmother’s watercolors as a reminder of her beautiful spirit.
We heard from big spenders and Dumpster divers, people who see art in everyday objects and people who don’t really consider their possessions art: “They just delight me,” said one reader of her collection of framed pressed flowers, “and so, whatever you call them, they mean a lot to me because they make my day brighter.”
It’s really no surprise that people feel strongly about their art collections. The art we keep serves as a mirror of individuality, community, history – all the things that form who we are and how we fit in to society. To collect is to reflect. And the more we contemplate and celebrate our individual identities, the more we want to share the revelations that we discover.
Our goal with this series is not to prescribe what constitutes art, or to comprehensively explain why art matters.
In fact, this series isn’t really about art.
It’s about us, and what the painted mirrors and framed looking glasses that hang on our walls reveal about ourselves.
Her Walls Change With the Seasons
The way that Kathi Nickel sees it, just because something is timeless doesn’t mean it should hang around forever. And just because you like one thing doesn’t mean you need another of it. Those two guiding philosophies are writ large on the walls and … (
A soul sanctuary: Kathleen O’Reilley turns her apartment into a healing space
Space is crucial to Kathleen O’Reilley. Not that she has – or needs – much of it. For now, for where she is in her life, O’Reilley is perfectly happy in her 1,000-square-foot apartment, a stone’s throw away from the
Art as oxygen: For the Copacs, it fills their lives in a way that’s both necessary and complementary
Air. Water. Food. Shelter. Clothing. And, the way Paul Copac sees it, art. They’re all necessary for a healthy life, says the 26-year-old musician, artist and father of two. “I love art, I need art; without art my walls would be white and I … (
Art as story: Nici Holt and husband Andy Cline trade and buy to build memories, not just a collection
29-year-old Nici Holt carefully picks up a small statue of a panther from the table beside her couch. Coated tooth to tail in tiny beads, the sculpture is less animalistic than pointillis … (Feb. 15, 2007)
An artist who collects inspiration: Leslie Van Stavern Millar is inspired by her own life – and others’
The painting shows a smiling threesome – a man, a woman, a young girl – standing side by side in a flowering field against a watery background of blue. The man and woman are dressed as groom and bride; the girl wears a summery dress. The … (Feb. 25, 2007)
Beautiful art? Priceless
Gene Diemer has spent much of his life cultivating beauty. In his combination lapidary/woodworking/welding studio, and in his sprawling flower garden on
Couple has the full Monte Dolack serves as inspiration for other local collections
Even people who don’t pay much attention to art tend to know the name of
From Russia, with love of art: Sue Graf’s memories of Europe are etched with the people’s artworks
The moment is etched in Sue Graf’s memory. On a visit to
A perfect fascination with deformity: Retired doctor has spent his life collecting ancient art and books on birth defects
Bruce Beckwith kneels on the carpet in his dining room and gingerly picks up a small, slate-gray figurine from the sideboard. He cradles the figurine in the palm of his hand, slowly turning it over to reveal its curious characteristics: a pair of … (Mar. 19, 2007)
Valley memories: East Missoula woman’s collection a reminder of youth in Bitterroot
Years ago down in Darby, two babies were born within weeks of each other, right next door to each other. Children of apple pruners for the MacIntosh Miriela Apple Co., Sharon Zoske and Ron Wilkerson grew up as neighbors and playmates. They attended … (Apr. 2, 2007)
Drawn together: It’s the love of each other’s art-filled hearts that binds the Shermans
Rick and Feather Sherman’s house in
Worth a million words
The place was a farm outside Dillon in 1979. The event was an estate sale. The purpose in going was to find some bargains on horse tack. While my husband checked out the piles of harnesses and horse collars, my curiosity guided me … (Apr. 17, 2007)
Family secret comes to light: A woman discovers the intricate truth of the beautiful paintings in her collection
This much Mysta Ward knows: Her grandfather’s first wife’s name was Stella Augusta Stafford Austin. She was a painter. She died in 1888 at the age of 28, “of what they called consumption,” says Ward. It’s not much; but it … (May 5, 2007)
Collector: The wolf was framed: Man is obsessed with how artists perceived wolves through the ages
When it comes to fine art, there is what appears on the surface, and there is what emerges from within. Sometimes the two don’t always match up like you’d expect them to. Sometimes the colors and textures and shapes imply one story, but the … (May 19, 2007)
The story behind an old print: A family’s history is tucked away behind the glass
It is not the largest artwork in the house, nor does it hang in a primary focal position. But there, next to a closet in the entryway to Mark and Jane Harris’ house in Stevensville, hangs the key to a family’s history, the link that binds … (May 25, 2007)
Modern man: Doctor’s office adorned with windows to alternate worlds
A moment ago, John Schumpert was standing in the conference room of his office on
Hooked on family: Donna Sheehy remembers her grandfather through rugs
Donna Sheehy remembers watching her grandfather, hook in hand, patiently pulling tiny pieces of yarn through a pattern, one by one, tying each one off, picking up another, pulling it through. Slowly, strand by strand, the rough grid in front of him … (June 1, 2007)
Utilitarian appeal: Freedom of expression leads to freedom from expression on the mostly bare walls of Missoulia artist Karen Slobod’s home
In the Serbian tongue, the word “sloboda” means “freedom of expression.” In an apartment in
Profiting visually: Investment adviser’s philosophy carries over to collecting art
The key to successful investing is recognizing value and opportunity in places where other people aren’t looking. In a way, that’s the key to successful art as well: exploring uncharted avenues of expression that opens up new insight to … (Jul. 19, 2007)
Storytellers: Art at Home
This week, we thought we would turn the lens back on ourselves. Newspaper reporters are often a transparent lot, but we have home lives, too. And despite what some might say, we appreciate and seek out beauty and art as much as the next person. Check out the art that motivates six Missoulian reporters in this two-part series, by clicking here and here. (Aug. 19, 2007)
Family treasures: Stacey Lemke’s collection reminds of hard times predecessors faced
Stacey Lemcke counts her blessings: spacious home, happy and healthy family, time to spend with her son, no worries about food on the table. She knows just how fortunate she is, because she has her grandfather’s legacy, hanging on her walls and tucked … (Aug. 25, 2007)
Globetrotters secure a world of art: Couple finds beauty in every corner of the planet
Few would expect to find an extensive collection of artworks from