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Original works, variety of artistic mediums featured at Takes Horse Gallery

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Speaking with people from other countries, cultures and learning how art touches them has been a rewarding aspect of gallery ownership for Karee Takes Horse. 

“It’s a way we can find common ground, and I think that’s really important right now,” she said.

A member of the Little Shell Chippewa-Cree tribe, Karee opened Takes Horse Gallery a little over a year ago after moving to the area. She and her husband Ben and two daughters moved from Havre so they could be closer to her parents, Alan and Peggy Azure.

As for how she decided to open a gallery, “People say to do something you enjoy and several family members and a good friend are artists,” Karee said.

Located at 49487 U.S. Highway 93 next to Lake City Bakery & Eatery, hers is the third gallery in town.

“I carry only original works. I don’t carry prints,” she said.

Her gallery offers a wide range of original art from artists who work in varying mediums. 

“My goal is to show all the different mediums, perspectives and styles of art. I like to get a flavor of each different style,” she said. 

In addition to acrylic and oil paintings, linocut prints carved out of linoleum by David Dragonfly of Browning are an example of some non-typical art. 

Takes Horse Gallery also features the ledger art of John Pepion of Browning.

An artistic method started by Plains Indians in the 1800s, ledger art was drawn on top of paperwork that was important to settlers, Karee explained.

“They (Native artists) drew what was important to them on top,” she said. 

Karee said she’s also heard another story as to how ledger art began: that Natives didn’t have other materials to draw on. The truth of its origin, she notes, probably lies somewhere between the two explanations.

Examples of documents drawn on include antique maps and county treasurer records.

Other items for sale at the gallery include: horsehair pottery by Matt Holmes of Polson, raku pottery and ceramics by Marcia Selsor of Billings, and silver jewelry by Frank Finley of Pablo. 

Missoula’s Moses Yellow Robe has metal and painted feathers on display, while flutes by Troy Deroche of Browning are there, too. 

A graduate of Havre High School, Karee’s high school friend Rachel Warner has provided oil paintings, while Kira Fercho of Billings helped get the gallery started with her oil paintings. Bigfork’s Tabby Ivy has oil paintings on display too. 

The gallery currently features art from six Montana tribes as well as some from a Cherokee artist. Karee said she’d like to eventually have art from all 12 Montana tribes on display. 

An exhibit featuring oil paintings by renowned artist John Gawne, a painter of western landscape and Native Americans, runs through Nov. 11. After that, Takes Horse Gallery will feature a miniature paintings exhibit through New Year’s Day.  

Karee has enjoyed gallery ownership thus far. “It’s always fun to meet new people and see where they’re from,” she said. “I like discussing the artwork with visitors and getting their perspective.” 

Business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

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