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Wilderness Speaker Series concludes with Artist Wilderness Connection panel

| April 3, 2024 12:00 AM

The final installment in the 2024 Wilderness Speaker Series will feature a panel of local artists who have participated in the Artist Wilderness Connection residency program in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

On Wednesday, April 17, four artists will share their experience from spending weeks in remote Forest Service cabins within the 1.6-million-acre Wilderness area. The event is at Flathead Valley Community College in Arts and Technology Building Room 139 at 7 p.m. It’s free.

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Artist Wilderness Connection, a collaborative program between the Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, and Swan Valley Connections. Each summer this residency places artists in backcountry Forest Service cabins to create work in a beautiful, remote wilderness setting. Over its 20 years the program has hosted a broad range of artists from across the country — painters, writers, musicians, sculptors, poets, photographers, and more. Since the program’s first summer in 2004, 56 artists have participated in venturing into the wilds to gain inspiration and dive deeper into their craft.

Artists featured in the panel include: 

• Rob Akey (AWC residency in 2009 at Pendant Cabin) who creates fine art oil paintings from his studio in Whitefish. www.robakey.com

• Richie Carter (AWC residency in 2016 at Granite Cabin) from Kalispell who specializes in large-scale still life and landscape paintings. www.richiecarterfinearts.com

• Francesca Droll (AWC residency in 2017 at Granite Cabin), an avid plein air painter and soft pastel artist based in Bigfork. francescadroll.com

• Gini Ogle (AWC residency in 2017 at Granite Cabin) is based in Kalispell and specializes in oil, watercolor and calligraphy. forfineart.com/fine-art/gini-ogle/

The panel will be moderated by Alyssa Cordova, executive director for the Hockaday Museum of Art, and Clifford Kipp, executive director for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation.

The Wilderness Speaker Series is presented by the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, the Northwest Montana Lookout Association, and the Flathead-Kootenai Chapter of Wild Montana, with support from the Natural Resources Conservation & Management program at FVCC.

Find recordings of previous speakers and more information at bmwf.org/wss