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Ninepipes Museum to host cultural arts fair


CHARLO – Summertime fun can be found on the grounds at the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana during the second annual Cultural Arts Fair. Local and regional artists, traditional skills demonstrators, live music, and Indian tacos and fry bread are on tap from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 8.

Don Safford, the well-known flintknapper from Hot Springs, will demonstrate this traditional skill as well as offer dart-atlatl throwing. Gary Steele from St. Ignatius has taught traditional skills for many years to youngsters and will be on hand offering tomahawk throwing and bow-making demonstrations. Donna Peck, a member of a local fiber arts group, will explain the sheep-to-garment process.

A variety of local artists will bring their photography, oil, water and acrylic paintings, jewelry, small metallic sculptures, pottery and stained glass items to sell along the nature trail south of the museum. These artists are donating a piece of their work to be auctioned at the 4:30 p.m. silent auction on the museum front patio. Juanita Small Salmon and Ron Jenkins will be on hand with each creating a plein air painting that will be auctioned at a later event to raise funds for the museum. Inside the museum, Joe McDonald and Robert Bigart will sign publications from SKC Press. Former National Bison Range wildlife biologist Pat Jamieson will bring a buffalo bone game that entertains children and adults alike.

Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy live music provided by Jim Pettit and Richard Tobel, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mark and Kristi Reichman, known as “The WildFlowers,” from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and cowboy poet Geno Harper from 4-5 p.m.

To make this fun event even greater, Nancy Vaughan and crew will sell their delicious handmade Indian tacos with all the trimmings and fry bread.

Be sure to schedule time to take a tour of the museum using the new audio tour equipment. Bud Cheff Jr. recently recorded informational stories about 42 items located throughout the museum, and don’t forget to purchase a raffle ticket or two for the Pendleton commemorative Jackson Sundown blanket and an original Marjorie Harper painting. The event not only offers our local artists an opportunity to share their work with members of the community and tourists, but it is a fundraising opportunity for the non-profit museum. Put this on your calendar.

The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and welcomes group tours. Call 406-644-3435 to schedule a tour.

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