Anticipating “This is Helena”

Expectations, a little anxiety and hopeful hope. I may lean to the side of hopeful with a twist of realism mixed in. My hopes often lead to gatherings and activities. Whether sushi or martini parties or paving bricks for Clayton’s 3rd birthday, I like excuses to get people together. The current gathering project: in a few days Free Ceramics will be hosting a city wide multimedia art exhibition called “This is Helena.”

The advertising efforts have been constant! September 6th I started emailing artists to give them the heads up. It was printed in the local paper arts section. I put together an invite on Facebook. I ordered a crazy 11,000 invites. 10,000 were mailed to Helena Community Credit Union’s members. The Lively Times and Montana Arts Council helped spread the word. And hopefully on Friday the Your Time gives us a nice write up. Trimac group posted the opening on their reader board in the heart of downtown Helena. I even was interviewed by our local television station. You can see the interview by clicking here.

The idea behind the exhibition is a celebration of our building and the future impending purchasing part of it. (Matt, my husband, and I, will be part owners-soon. And not soon enough!) Celebrating becoming owners was one reason. The other reason was to get artists together. And as this idea grew we realized that even if we didn’t buy the building-the show was too cool of an idea and we would do it anyway! So the exhibition includes all the artists with studios in our building as well as the larger community of artists in Helena. It is an open call to anyone making art and wanting to share it, meet other artists, and be a part of a fun diverse art show.

Earlier this year I spent some time at an open house for the Helena Symphony. They bring together all kinds of talented musicians together to perform the most amazing music. At this open house I met some really great people with cool life stories, interests, and ideas. It was a little nerve-wracking showing up to a small gathering of people that I wasn’t familiar with and it turned out to be great! I was so jazzed to connect with such talented, interesting people!

I hope this exhibition will make that possible for others too.  A way for of artists and people who appreciate art or who are just curious about it to get together. This exhibition will show off one piece by many of us who live within blocks from each other.

When I wrote this post we had 39 pieces of art that had been dropped off. I am hopeful that we hit 100. It’s going to be tough. Two days down of drop offs and one more to go! Even in those 39 pieces-we already have a great variety of paintings, ceramics, wood and fabric! Below are a few of the many pieces of art that will be on display at Free Ceramics, starting with the opening reception on October 26th from 6-9pm. Ryan Rebo and the London Wherewolves will be performing as well! “This is Helena” will be on display through November 27th. I hope if you live near by and can’t make the party-drop by later. You won’t want to miss it! And thanks mom for the blog nudge!  For more info, the address or just curious, visit our website at


Robert Harrison, "Sustenance", glazed reclaimed brick and porcelain with handbuilt ceramic elements, decals, gold luster
Robert Harrison, “Sustenance”, glazed reclaimed brick and porcelain with handbuilt ceramic elements, decals, gold luster
Mary Harris, "Sunburst", glass
Mary Harris, “Sunburst”, glass
Loren Kovich, "A Good Drift", watercolor
Loren Kovich, “A Good Drift”, watercolor
Emily Free Wilson, "Your Landscape", low fire clay
Emily Free Wilson, “Your Landscape”, low fire clay
Victor Daniel, "Ride of the Muse", oil on panel
Victor Daniel, “Ride of the Muse”, oil on panel
Sarah Jaeger, "Teapot", porcelain, glaze, reed handle
Sarah Jaeger, “Teapot”, porcelain, glaze, reed handle