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Auction for the Arts to feature five new artists

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Amber Blazina’s “Convoy” will be part of the 2019 Auction for the Arts live auction. PHOTO PROVIDED BY ACBS


The seventh Auction for the Arts, the Arts Council of Big Sky’s annual fundraiser, takes place March 30 at Moonlight Lodge from 6-10 p.m. A key part of the evening is a “quick finish,” in which each artist brings a work in progress and finishes it in the early part of the evening, followed by a live auction of the art created.

“We are fortunate to have so many talented, well-known Western and contemporary artists take part in the live auction,” said Event Chair Linda Goldinger. “In addition to the work of familiar artists like Tom Gilleon, Kevin Red Star and Mike Untiedt, we have five new artists all with a decidedly contemporary flair to their work.”

Belgrade-based Amber Blazina is a Western oil painter specializing in impressionist and expressionist alla prima methods. A graphic designer since 2002, she transitioned to oil painting in 2016 and became a full-time painter in 2017 creating bold, energetic paintings.

Bozeman artist Terry Cooke Hall participated in the event’s 2018 silent auction. Hall started her career doing illustrations for land development firms in Southern California, which led to the creation of a commercial art business in murals and faux-finishing for contractors and developers. Since 2006, she’s focused on developing a fine-art career.

“My style bridges the gap between the traditional and contemporary West while applying the foundational principles of design, value and color,” she said. “As a first-time, quick-finish, live-auction artist this year, I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to present a new body of work that reveals a more modern and sophisticated approach to my style.”

Rocky Hawkins’ art career began with illustration and commercial art, but he found it didn’t fulfill his creative need and desire for self-expression, which steered him to the world of fine-art painting. A search to connect more closely with Native American inspiration brought him to Montana, and he resides with his wife, Kat, in Harrison.

Palette knife artist David Mensing obtained a degree in and worked in the field of architecture for about three years before seeking other pursuits.  He attended  Scottsdale Artists School on a full scholarship and has studied and painted extensively with Robert Moore in Idaho.  He now lives in central Oregon with his wife and three children.

Award-winning indigenous artist Ben Pease is also moving from the silent to live auction this year. A Montana State University art major, Pease uses original antique paper items to draw contextual, digital painting, spray paint, ink, acrylic, oil and almost anything else he can find in his studio to create his well-known mixed media pieces. His work is layered with symbolism which tells stories and conveys social messages.

The Auction for the Arts will also include a silent auction of local and regional artworks along with heavy appetizers, desserts, jazz music and a “paddle raise” to collect funds for classroom space in the BSCO’s proposed community center, where the Arts Council can host children’s art activities, adult art workshops and other art events.  An anonymous donor is matching gifts made in support of this cause, giving paddle raise participants the opportunity to double the impact of their donations. Purchasers of live auction artwork are invited to a thank-you breakfast at Buck’s T-4 on March 31 at 9 a.m.

Three of the new artists—Hall, Pease and Mensing—will participate in an Auction for the Arts reception on March 29 at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty from 5-7 p.m. At the reception, each artist will have a miniature painting in a one-night-only silent auction.

The event is sponsored by Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty and tickets are on sale now at

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