It’s not warm. It’s not colder-than-Antarctica cold, but right now Montana is cold, and blustery, and maybe you want to do something inside. Don’t get me wrong we love skiing, icefishing, skijoring, snowmobiling, soaking in hot springs, and so much more; Montana in winter is an outdoor paradise. But it’s a chilly paradise. And as glorious as it is to glide through the snow deep in the mountains, sometimes you just don’t want to find yourself that far from a coffee shop. Sometimes you want to be somewhere warm and cozy, looking at beautiful things, buying beautiful things, eating beautiful things, and watching beautiful things while the snow and wind lash the windows. I get that.
Fortunately, Southwest Montana has you covered. With art galleries, museums, downtown main streets, and theaters, there are plenty of ways to avoid the chill when you don’t feel like embracing it. Below are just three of the fabulous galleries and museums in the area:
Holter Museum of Art, Helena: For the last 32 years, the Holter in Helena has been one of the premier art galleries in Montana. Featuring national exhibitions and local artists, is an extraordinary center for the visual arts. This spring, the Holter is featuring, among other exhibits, a collection of works by Montana University (UM, MSU, and others) Arts Faculty, including retired professor James Todd’s reinterpretations of his childhood doodles. The Holter is closed as they they prepare the the new exhibits, don’t miss the grand re-opening on January 18.
UM Western Fine Arts Galleries, Dillon: The UMW Galleries feature the artwork of students and faculty (though presumably the latter are at the Holter for the spring). The Corr Gallery featuresa a variety of travel exhibits from national artists. The Walton Gallery houses a rotating selection of UMW’s surprisingly deep permanent art collection. With artists as diverse as C.M. Russell (obviously) and Salvador Dali (perhaps less obviously), UMW’s Fine Arts Galleries are not to be missed.
Copper Village Museum and Arts Center, Anaconda: Located in Anaconda’s historic city hall, the CVMAC features rotating exhibits of local and regional artists, as well as permanent exhibitions. The CVMAC, perhaps best known for its annual Art in the Park event in the summer, also hosts a range of year-round art classes, including youth and adult classes in a range of different mediums, as well as painting parties for both kids and adults.