The Cascade Arts Council Celebrates Western Art
The Cascade Arts Council celebrated the history of western art on Saturday by offering free tours in Charlie and Nancy Russell’s honeymoon cottage, as well as featuring modern day local artists and makers.
Many of the artists in Cascade, and all throughout Montana, are inspired by the works of one of the greatest names in western art: Charles Marion Russell, the Cowboy Artist.
The Charlie and Nancy Russell Honeymoon Cottage
The Charlie and Nancy Russell Honeymoon Cottage, located in Cascade, is the first home of Charlie and Nancy Russell where the couple lived from 1896-1897.
Channing and Donna Hartelius are the owners of the Charlie and Nancy Russell Honeymoon Cottage and have always felt a connection to Charlie Russell in many ways. Taking over this honeymoon cottage to preserve the story of Charlie and Nancy Russell was no question for them.
“We love history, and we love Charlie Russell, and I used to be part of the board of the Charlie Russell Museum for several years,” said Hartelius. “So, when this opportunity came, I said, Donna, you and I should buy it, so she agreed and the rest is history, as they say.”
The Art of Cascade Celebration
The Cascade Arts Council hosted this Art of Cascade Celebration to bring the community together in a positive way.
“We just need more positive things happening in small town rural communities,” said Candace Weeda-Strobbe, a member of the Cascade Arts Council. “This is a way that we can come together with other people who care about art and have some fun.”
Charlie Russell: Montana’s Famous Western Artist
Charlie Russell is said to be Montana’s most famous western artist, and one of the greatest artists of the early pioneer days.
“Charlie Russell is one of the greatest artists of all time because he had a way with people and he was a storyteller,” said Weeda-Strobbe. “He found a way to connect with people from all walks of life, all ethnicities, and I think that’s something really special that we can celebrate here in Cascade.
Inspiring Artists in Cascade
There were five artists at the event Saturday, and Christa Hardy, owner of Hardy Creek Ceramics, said Charlie Russell’s story has inspired her like many other artists in Cascade to continue his legacy of representing western art.
“I just love the culture, the whole western art culture. Obviously, Charlie was an amazing, talented man, but also just his story,” said Hardy. “We have the honeymoon cottage here, so you kind of get to learn about his life outside of just art and it means a lot because it just brings pride to our community and our state.”
“Charlie Russell and Nancy lived here for a year before Charlie really was taken over by Nancy and they moved to Great Falls,” said Hartelius. “Nancy writes in some of her memoirs that the best time she had with Charlie was living in this one room cabin for a year and I thought that is always kind of a mark of interest.”