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More than 60 artists from across Montana participated in “Celebrate Montana Art” this weekend at Red Lion Colonial Inn, an artists’ showcase and sale presented by the Montana Artrepreneur Program.

This program by the Montana Arts Council, which teaches artists how to effectively market their works, is drawing national attention.

Among the weekend’s participating artists was Jill Foote-Hutton, of Whistlepig Studio in Red Lodge, showing her Guardian Monster ceramic sculptures. Foote-Hutton also offers workshops, recently working with inmates at the Montana Women’s Prison in Billings.

“It’s incredibly supportive,” she said of the Artepreneur program and the marketing tools she’s learned. “It’s just been golden nuggets.” (For more information, visit whistlepigtales.com.)

Fairfield artist Valerie Veis of Montana Baskets grew up in Helena and began weaving baskets at age 10.

Using willow, rattan and seagrass as well as antlers, she creates both functional and stand-alone artworks.

“I can’t say enough about it,” Veis said of the Artrepreneur program. “It taught me how to elevate my art to a professional level.” (Visit montanabaskets.com. Her work is also sold at the Holter Museum of Art.)

Alaina Buffalo Spirit, of Buffalo Spirit Designs, is Northern Cheyenne and is particularly known for her ledger art. “It’s a natural gift,” said the self-taught artist.

“It’s helped me be professional in my art presentation,” she said of the Artrepreneur training. It also taught her some basic things such as standing close to her artwork at shows, rather than behind a table, so she can more easily meet the public. (Her art is carried locally at 1+1=1 gallery and she can be reached at buffalospiritdesigns@gmail.com.)

For more information about the Montana Artrepreneur Program, contact director Sheri Jarvis at sherijarvis@mt.gov or 406-865-0884 or visit art.mt.gov/folklife/folklife_business.asp.

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Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083 marga.lincoln@helenair.com

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