Russell Museum Already Prepping For Art Week - News, Sports and Weather

Russell Museum Already Prepping For Art Week

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Charlie Russell is the name in western art.  His influence doesn't just stop here at his namesake museum.  It extends to both the community of Great Falls and to the art world as a whole.

"Well, I think most art collectors and people familiar with the art world consider Russell to be the number one artist in the western genre," said Michael Duchemin, Executive Director of the CM Russell Museum.

Charlie Russell isn't just for global art collectors.  His impact hits close to home, and that starts with the ever popular Western Art Week.

"Well, there would be no Western Art Week without Charlie Russell.  Western Art Week was created to celebrate his birthday and to remember him.  There may have not even be a Western Art movement without Charlie Russell.  He was there at the beginning.  What's special about him is that he was the real deal," said Duchemin.

The work of this once real-life cowboy turned artist transformed a genre and even promoted the entire city of Great Falls.

"It really evolved around celebrating Charlie Russell birthday, so for the museum and many of us who are so invested in Charlie Russell, it's a great remembrance on the part of Great Falls that Charlie Russell was a leading citizen in his day and he really did a lot to put Great Falls on the map," said Duchemin.

Western Art classics aren't just for those with deep pockets.  A new event at this year's art week seeks to involve those with little experience and even less in the bank.

"First Strike Friday Night is a special event that we put together to try to first recognize artists that we think are up and coming and that you ought to keep an eye on in the years ahead.  And then secondly, selecting work at a price point that where someone who may still have posters on the wall from when they graduated college could get involved in purchasing and investing in a really fine work of art," said Duchemin.

Western Art Week is only a month away so make sure you join us during that week.  We'll have exclusive behind the scenes looks at some of the artists, the preparation for the week and even auctioning of pieces like this Russell, expected to fetch one and a half million dollars.

If you'd like to take a look at all of the art that will be up for auction during Western Art Week, you can view it all month long at the C.M. Russell Museum.


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