A “Wild Bunch” of Winners!
By A. Nadine Pickthorn, Organizer of the “Wild Bunch” Art Show
Nearly twenty years ago, I was organizing an art show in Glasgow and needed a name for our group of artists. I wanted the name to reflect the West, be easy to remember, and promote the group’s lighthearted appeal. I did not want a pretentious name as we do not take ourselves too seriously. As I recalled the history of the West, many names came to mind. The “Wild Bunch” was among them. Led by Butch Cassidy, this gang of outlaws operated out of the Hole-in-the-Wall in Wyoming during the late Nineteenth Century. They roamed the West, including Montana, looting and robbing. That name (albeit not the gang) had all the qualities I’d been searching for.
When the C.M. Russell Art Auction and Exhibitors Show ended several years ago, a few of the show’s participating artists convinced me to launch a second “Wild Bunch” Art Show in Great Falls. Held at the Hampton inn, our event has grown to become one of the main destinations for art lovers during Western Art Week. It is an exclusive gallery-type show with surprising variety, excellent art, and a fun-loving atmosphere.
Since there are over a dozen events in Great Falls during Western Art Week, it is quite an accomplishment for “Wild Bunch” Art Show to stand out among them. We make certain our attendees feel welcome, appreciated, have an enjoyable experience, and are not bored with the same old tired images. I have heard it said that the reason for our event’s success is that we serve the “world’s greatest cookies.” Now, there may be some truth to that, but I give our participating artists’ cutting edge, no fear approach to creativity most of the credit. We simply have a winning combination of awesome artists with unique work.
The “Wild Bunch” Art Show is held at the Hampton Inn of Great Falls. You will find an exciting variety of art such as watercolor, oil, and acrylic (on traditional and nontraditional surfaces), bronze and wood sculptures, designer jewelry, pottery, and gourd art.
The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center recently announced their 11th class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. Among them was the late Harvey Rattey of Glendive, who was honored with a Legacy Award during the annual Circle the Wagons gathering February 8-9, 2019, in Great Falls at the Heritage Inn. The Hall of Fame exists to honor those who have made an impact in their part of the state and represent Montana’s authentic heritage for future generations. Rattey’s work will be on display and for sale at the “Wild Bunch” Art Show.