PAT KELLY, THE CALLING TO BE AN ARTIST
St. Marie should be a place for established artists to come and give seminars. I have studied with over a dozen of the top artists in the country and have discussed the concept of holding art seminars with some of them and it really is an ideal location and situation. Two full 4 plex buildings would house a great open studio with floors taken out etc. With all those rooms the studying artists could be in community sharing thoughts and discussing art and all this done at a low cost to them.
When I retired from the Air Force in 1981, Judy and I had the plan to go to the best art school in the US for three years, then a year in Florence and another year in Paris (We had spent 3 years in Europe and these were two of our favorite places) and then back to Helena to God's Mountain and put all that study into practice; I would be 48
I studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for three years. Then Judy's Bother and my Brother, who were going to salvage the housing at the former Glasgow AFB had roadblocks and were ready to declare bankruptcy. You can read all about that in other articles. Anyway we decided to put our goals aside and pay the creditors; we were silent partners. We naively said we would give it two years. Of course it took us a lot longer than that. Judy is not with me now, but I am still here fighting for St. Marie; but plan on contributing through my art as much as possible. At one time, St. Marie was a piece of Art. I have been working very hard to bring it back.
During the years building St. Marie Judy and I would go to Scottsdale for a week or so; we would visit Judy's Sister and her aunt Maxine Nutter, the widow of the late Don Nutter governor of Montana. We would schedule the trip around an artist that I liked and who was teaching at the Scottsdale Art School.
At the Art Center College of Design, the best art school in US at that time, I study under Dan McCaw, whom I consider at special friend and Burne Hogarth, who did the Tarzan Series to name a few. At Scottsdale and other locations I studied with Dan Gerhartz, Quang Ho, Huihan Liu, Jove Wang, Ned Jacobs, William Whitaker, Harley Brown and many others, and most of these I consider good friends. Spent my birthday in Tibet with Huihan Liu one year and another year with Jove Wang. I named the title of Jove Wang's book covering his paintings. I was invited to spend Chinese New Year with Huihan Liu and his Family in San Francisco. All these guys are at the top of their field and great human beings; many would come to St. Marie to give seminars if St. Marie is a quality community - this would bolster our community and the area. St. Marie was a piece of Art prior to the 1000% increase in taxes and can be again if we can get past the roadblocks and lack of leadership in the area.
In sculpture I studied with Richard McDonald, I consider the best in the country, and others and spent 45 days in Pennsylvania getting one on one instructions from Jeul Petterson; that was a great experience, he was from Norway, married to a black lady from NY and they had three beautiful daughters, one of which is now a model. They were of the Bahi faith, Jeul would go to Mass with me in the morning and then we would discuss art and the Bahi faith the rest of the day. We worked on the human figure as I am sculpting a statue of the pregnant Virgin Mary for my wife's grave site, the Virgin will have my wife's facial features. My art and my sculpture are on hold until I complete getting St. Marie back to something Judy and I can be proud of, a place where the community is worthy of the name St. Marie, and hopefully can contribute and be a place that is based on helping others.
Sincerely, Pat Kelly