Editor’s Note: Anna Visscher owns Tart, an exceptionally well-curated boutique & gallery in Bozeman. Anna has a knack for finding some of the coolest art and gifts in this region. She’s constantly on the hunt, visiting galleries and artists’ studios all over Montana. Here are some of Anna’s favorite places to look at and buy art that is quintessentially Montanan. – Lynn
Art is so hard to shop for online, so instead of featuring individual pieces of art, I’d like to tell you where in the state I like to go to look at art in person. Each of these galleries features original art and handcrafted goods, and are a pleasure to spend an afternoon wandering through.
Toucan Gallery – A surprising spot of color in downtown Billings, this gallery/boutique/frame shop housed in a huge, airy space carries work by an array of talented local and regional artists. I love the ethereal folk art paintings by Cristina Albin and bright animal adorned ceramics by Sue Tirrell.
Altitude Gallery – Housed in a tiny but bright space on Bozeman’s Main Street, Altitude Gallery has a lovely assortment of art and jewelry with a friendly and helpful staff. I’m in love with most of the jewelry they carry, as well as the tiny, quirky drawings and paintings by Bozeman artist Kaetlyn Able.
Turman Larison Contemporary– On Helena’s walkable Last Chance Gulch, Turman Larison Gallery is an impeccably curated and serene space with a talented roster of fine artists and ceramicists.
Radius Gallery – This relatively new gallery is right off of Higgins, Missoula’s main drag. It features a refreshing mix of contemporary art by a well curated group of artists, and is currently exhibiting its annual holiday show featuring original art by 76 different artists. I love Pamela Caughey’s vibrant encaustics and Courtney Blazon’s odd, slightly haunting pen and ink drawings.
Red Lodge Clay Center – With a world class roster of incredible clay artists from all over the country, the Red Lodge Clay Center is a surprise in gorgeous Red Lodge, Montana. They have a great website, so you don’t have to go there to shop, but it’s definitely worth the trip. I’m in love with Melissa Mencini’s graphic pieces.