The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the oldest newspaper devoted to Lincoln, Montana and the upper Blackfoot Valley and has been the best source for local news from Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville and Canyon Creek since 1980. With a circulation of nearly 600 in 37 towns across Montana and in 25 states, we reach an estimated 1500 readers each week. We are member of Montana Newspaper Association and are working hard to provide our readers with the best possible local news and advertising. We appreciate feedback, so let us know what you think and how we can improve.You can contact us at 406-362-4131.
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My Smart Mouth: Colters Run
A meeting of art and history
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A meeting of art and history
History and Art came together June 28 at the Upper Blackfoot Valley Historical Society's interpretive center behind the Hi Country gift shop west of town.
The UBVHS hosted their annual membership appreciation barbecue a bit early this year in conjunction with Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild, and saw about 60 people show up to enjoy hamburgers and hotdogs and to discuss the goals of both organizations.
“I was very happy with the turnout,” UBVHS President Jerry Burns said. “Lincoln’s a busy place in the summertime. We picked a good weekend and the weather co-operated. I hope we helped out Sculpture in the Wild. It’s a thing that helps out. It’s their interpretation of our history and our mission is to preserve and interpret the local history. So yeah, it’s a win-win situation.”
Rick Dunkerley, the project director for Sculpture in the Wild, also felt the barbecue helped connect the two organizations.
“I thought it was great. It’s nice that we’re working together on it,” he said. “Their involvement in it and our involvement with them is natural.”
The timing of the event took advantage of a visit by Sculpture in the Wild Artistic Director Kevin O’Dwyer, who spent more than a week here helping project director Rick Dunkerley work out logistical details, researching historical photographs, making presentations on the project and working on fundraising efforts.
The barbecue gave O’Dwyer a chance to talk one-on-one with members of the Historical Society and the community who may not have known much about Sculpture in the Wild and provided him the chance to explain how the sculptures will relate to the valley’s logging, mining and agricultural history.
“It was a great opportunity to meet members of the Historical Society at their wonderful venue and see how we can work together in the future to celebrate the heritage of Lincoln,” he said.
Joe Youderian , who has been a resident of the Upper Blackfoot valley since 1946 said he thinks Sculpture in the Wild is a great idea.
“I really like it and just wished I was more active any more. I got kind of slowed down here. Its gonna be so accessible, I think. It’s gonna draw a lot of people to Lincoln and you know, anybody we can get to come in and look, you know, is great,” he said.
Like the Sculpture Park, the Historical Society’s interpretive center can serve as a draw.
“We got a chance to show off the museum site an what we do out here,” Burns said. The UBVHS learned earlier in the summer that they had received a grant from the Montana Historical Foundation for wood preservative that will help protect their historic buildings, including the Springborn and Ashby Cabins, from deterioration for the next several years.
Genna Ashmore, with the MHF, came to the barbecue for her first visit to the center. “I love it,” she said. “We went into each one of the buildings and it’s a nice set up they’ve got here.”
Despite the grant and the progress made by the UBVHS since it’s inception around 1990, they are in need of volunteers and active members to help staff the interpretive center on a more regular basis.
Since the barbecue, plans for Sculpture in the Wild have been moving steadily forward and a search for volunteers to help with the project is starting to see results, with volunteers from Great Falls and beyond making plans to come to Lincoln to take part. Dunkerley said he’s also seeing community members stepping forward to help out, although more are still needed.
An article in the Helena Independent Record on July 7 highlighted the plan to move the teepee burner from the old Delaney Mill site to it’s future home at the planned sculpture park just east of town. That plan made significant progress in the last month. During his visit, O’Dwyer laid out the site where he plans to put the teepee burner and Dunkerley has since worked with State Senator Rick Ripley and the Montana Department of Natural Resources to ensure it will in fact become the center piece of the park. A plan on how to move the 10-ton structure is in the works and O’Dwyer has been working with a firm in Missoula on an LED lighting plan for the structure once it’s in place.
Dunkerley has also been at work tracking down some of the materials the artists will need for their sculptures, including truckloads of willows for Finland’s Jaako Pernu, more than 30 pallets of old newspapers for Steven Siegel, large logs for Denmark’s Jorn Ronnau and boulders for Irish sculptor Alan Counihan.
An education program that will be part of the sculpture symposium in September is likewise taking shape with the help of Annette Gardner. At least 12 schools from around the region are scheduled to come to Lincoln during the final 10 days of the symposium to meet the artists, learn more about art and the development of the sculptures and to have a chance to create sculptures themselves, from objects found in the area.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the project can stop in at Teresa G’s/Action Realty or the BVD office, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tax-deductible donations to help fund the project are also still being sought online at https://rally.org/sculptureinthewild.