December 6, 2016

Billings, MT – Come chill at the museum during the Yellowstone Art Museum’s 49th Annual Art Auction on Saturday, March 4, 2017. The event will be held at the Yellowstone Art Museum located at 401 North 27th Street, Billings, Montana. The Annual Art Auction is the YAM’s most significant fundraising event, generating proceeds in support of exhibitions and educational programming for the entire year.  The theme this year is icy with a chill environment, cold cocktails, and cool artwork.

Everyone is invited to an opening reception for the Art Auction 49 exhibition, which will be held on January 19, 2017. The opening event will be the first chance to view this year’s Art Auction artwork selections from 141 artists from across the nation, including over 100 Montanan artists. There will be live music and hors d’oeuvres and free admission for members. The exhibition will remain open for viewing and silent auction bidding until the event on March 4th.

The exhibition culminates in our Annual Art Auction, which consists of a silent auction, a live auction, a "Quick Draw," cocktails, and gourmet heavy hors d’oeuvres, all within the cool environment of our beautiful galleries. The Auction begins Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 5 p.m. and features a dinner and dessert buffet catered by Thomas Nelson Catering. The Live Auction bidding begins at 7:30 p.m. and will include a raffle drawing for exquisite jewelry donated by Montague’s Jewelers.

Advance tickets to the Art Auction event go on sale January 19th online and at the museum. General admission tickets are $95 per person and $105 at the door. Raffle tickets may be purchased separately and the ticket holder need not be present to win.



Yellowstone Art Museum’s Calendar Listings of December and January Events, Programs, and Exhibitions.

December Events and Programs:


Friday, December 2, 2016, 4–9 p.m., free admission

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., one dollar admission

Yellowstone Art Museum

Be sure to stop by the Yellowstone Art Museum’s Winterfair for a unique holiday shopping opportunity! You’ll find special gifts just in time for the holidays. Admission is free from 4–9 p.m. on Friday and continues on Saturday from 10 a.m.–3 p.m., for only one dollar admission. Shop for handmade jewelry, fine art, or enjoy great food at Raven’s Café d’Art.  Over twenty featured artists will have works for sale. Raven’s Café d’Art will be open for dinner Friday from 5-8 p.m. during the ArtWalk event and on Saturday from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. for brunch.

Docent 2nd Saturday: Art for Kids

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Ages 5-12

$6 members, $7 non-members

“Prehistoric Christmas”–design a Christmas-themed triceratops head using watercolors, based on Ephemerality: Work by Louis Habeck. Registration opens 1 week prior to each class, contact Berenice Munson at 406-256-6804 x232 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

January Events and Programs:

Dollar Day

Saturday, January 7, 2017

10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Yellowstone Art Museum

Admission is free for members or $1 for all others the first Saturday of every month.

Docent 2nd Saturday: Art for Kids

Saturday, January 14, 2017

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Ages 5-12

$6 members, $7 non-members

“First Impressions”– Design an abstract monoprint inspired by Boundless Visions. Registration opens 1 week prior to each class, contact Berenice Munson at 406-256-6804 x232 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Art Auction 49 Opening Reception

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5:30–7:30 p.m.

Yellowstone Art Museum

Come celebrate Art Auction 49. Take this opportunity to meet exhibiting artists and begin bidding on Silent Auction artwork. Admission is free for Members or with regular paid museum admission. (See the exhibition description under Exhibitions below.)

FAM at the YAM

Friday Family Fun Night

Friday, January 20, 2017

5–7 p.m.

$6 member child, $7 non-member child

Free member adult, $3 non-member adult

No registration required. All ages welcome. Friday Family Fun Nights are back! Join us for the opportunity for the whole family to come and make art together! Sessions taught by local artists. Come and go between 5–7 p.m.


EXHIBITION SEASON SPONSORS: David Orser and Ossie Abrams, and U.S. Bank

Boundless Visions: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Exhibition is ongoing 

Boundless Visions features changing selections from the YAM's permanent collections, including art from the late nineteenth century to the present. This long-term exhibition is the only exhibition in Montana where you can learn the story of art in this region from its beginnings to the present day.

TITLE SPONSORS: David Orser and Ossie Abrams

Jill Brody: Hidden in Plain Sight

On view through December 30, 2016

Charles M. Bair Family Gallery and Northwest Projects Gallery

If anything is commonly known about Hutterite colonies, it is their reputation for being self-contained and private.  So much more is the privilege, then, to be able to view this selection of photographs by Jill Brody, a photographer who earned the trust and support of the Hutterite colonies in Liberty County, Montana.

SPONSORS: Anonymous, Dr. Stephen and Marilyn Kramer CONTRIBUTING SPONSOR: Dave and Cynthia Hummel, and the Stapleton Gallery

Unleashed: Critters from the Permanent Collection

On view through December 30, 2016

Montana Gallery

The exhibition is lively and has had popular appeal, flowing from the attraction to animals as seen in innumerable social media memes and animal-themed exhibitions slated around the country in recent years.  Many of the art works selected for Unleashed have rarely, if ever, been exhibited, and never in this context. Take part in a joint scavenger hunt for critters at the YAM and ZooMontana for ages 18 and under.

CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS: Deborah Anspach and John Hanson, Gareld and Barbara Krieg


ADDITIONAL SPONSORS: Members of the Yellowstone Art Museum Board of Trustees


Ephemerality: Work by Louis Habeck

On view through December 30, 2016

Montana Gallery landing

Ephemerality, an exhibition by Louis Habeck is the culmination of work that he began while working as the resident artist in the Gary and Melissa Oakland Artist-in-Residence studio at the museum’s Visible Vault.

SPONSORS: Linda Shelhamer and Stephen Haraden

Art Auction 49

Montana, Charles M. Bair Family, and Northwest Projects galleries

January 19, 2017 through March 4, 2017

An opening reception and opportunity to meet Art Auction artists, Thursday, January 19, 2017, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Save the date for the Art Auction itself on Saturday, March 4, 2017! 

Title Sponsor:  Oakland & Company Other Sponsors: Intermountain Distributing; Yellowstone Surgery Center; Galusha, Higgins & Galusha; Sanctuary Spa & Salon; Stillwater Mining Company

Yellowstone Art Museum

401 North 27th Street

Billings, MT 59101


The nationally accredited Yellowstone Art Museum is the region’s largest contemporary art museum offering changing exhibitions, adult and children’s art education, café, Art Collectors’ Corner, Visible Vault, and a 7,500-piece permanent collection.  The Yellowstone Art Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.  – 4 p.m.  Admission: Members free, $6 adults, $3 students with valid ID, $3 children 6 – 18, under age 6 free, $4 discount price (please inquire).


Big Sky Connection

Eric Tegethoff

November 29, 2016

HELENA, Mont. - People feel more grateful for what they have done than for what they have, according to new research, and that feeling of gratitude also leads to more generous behavior.

Thomas Gilovich, psychology professor and co-author of the Cornell University report, said people make positive comments about the stuff they bought or received, but they don't express gratitude as often as they do for experiences, such as concerts, dance lessons or dining out at a good restaurant.

"So, if you want to give a gift that really makes someone happy, there's a lot of things to choose from," he said. "But again, think twice about maybe doing an experiential gift over a material one. It might pay off even more."

He added that the feeling of gratitude has been linked to increased happiness and social cohesion, better health outcomes, and even improved sleep quality. Researchers studied 1,200 online customer reviews and found the vast majority of people who used the word "grateful" purchased experiences, not material items such as electronics, furniture or clothing.

The study suggests experiences tend to help people appreciate their own situations and trigger fewer social comparisons. Gilovich said the urge to "keep up with the Joneses" if a neighbor buys a better car or computer than yours can be hard to resist.

"We do that with experiences, too,' he added.”If you went on some sensational vacation, I wonder a bit about mine. But I wonder less than I do for material things."

He said experiential gifts also can create a positive ripple effect. In a study involving an economic game, players thinking about a meaningful experience were more generous toward others than when they thought about a material purchase.

November 25, 2016
Billings - While early November has passed, a most important decision of the year is still to come-how will we spend our money this holiday season? Montanans will spend ten million dollars more over the next 6 weeks than we do during any other time of the year. Ensure your hard-earned dollars make a positive impact by supporting our small businesses.
I believe that Montanans share common hopes for the future. Our Montana is a place of opportunity, with access to education and healthcare that are second to none. In our Montana, urban amenities and agriculture alike are valued and are a source of great pride, and arts and culture flourish. 
One common thread uniting these desires is that our success is dependent on thriving small businesses.
The economy can feel like something nebulous and distant that we can't affect. We have to remember that we ARE the economy. Where you spend your money counts. This is true not just for us as individuals but also for our businesses and non-profit organizations.  Keeping as many of your dollars local as possible ensures that your dollars will re-circulate to local people on average 3 times, helping our jobs and prosperity stay rooted in place. 
Why are independent businesses so important to a vital economy? They are the true job creators, more jobs per dollar in sales than their box-store and online competitors. Independent businesses invest in our local accountants and bookkeepers, our local graphic designers, print shops, and restaurants.  They donate to your little league, your church bazaar and your homeless shelter.  They are part of this wonderful cycle of abundance that continues as long as we support it.
The Downtown Business Alliance is celebrating Small Business Saturday on November 26.
Small Business Saturday is dedicated to getting people in the door of small businesses the day after Black Friday.
We will also be announcing the winner of our Battle of the Plans business plan competition on November 26, 10am at MoAv Coffee Shop on historic Montana Avenue in which one new business will receive free rent for a year in a vacant space downtown and other prizes including Skyline Membership in the DBA, membership in Big Sky Economic Development and the Billings Chamber.  One existing business will receive funding for expansion, and one college student will win a $5,000 cash award for writing an exceptional business plan!  
Join me in celebrating and supporting our community this holiday season, and consider shifting your spending to small businesses.
Sincerely, and best holiday wishes to you and your family,
Lisa K. Harmon
Executive Director
Downtown Billings AllianceV

Big Sky Connection

Eric Tegethoff

November 21, 2016

MISSOULA, Mont. - Thanksgiving is a time when families get together and eat wonderful food.

But some Montanans are less fortunate during the holidays.

One in seven people in Montana struggles with hunger, including nearly 48,000 children who aren't sure where their next meal will come from.

Gayle Gifford, CEO of the Montana Food Bank Network, says the BackPack meals program provides meals for low-income children over the weekend when they aren't getting school meals.

"Through the holiday breaks, we'll have them take extra home," she explains. "Some schools will even choose to have their school pantry open during the holidays so they can still benefit from that, especially if there isn't any other emergency services available to them."

Gifford says 7,700 backpacks are typically distributed, but that number spikes to 11,000 during November and December.

Gifford says the Montana Food Bank Network begins prepping for the holiday season six to eight months in advance. This year the organization brought in about 40,000 pounds each of turkey and ham.

But despite the great need for food assistance in Montana, a stigma toward going to food pantries still exists. Gifford says that's slowly changing.

"You'll see a lot of families go there and they're very welcomed and the volunteers and employees that work at these pantries get to know their clients and understand the sensitivity and, really, how uncomfortable it can be for them - and they try to release that for them," she relates.

Gifford says the food bank network does not yet serve the most rural counties of Montana, but the organization is working on getting pantries established there.

The network also has used mobile food pantries to serve rural parts of the state.