In the Gallery thru June 26th

Salisha Old Bull and Family

Salisha Old Bull (Salish/Crow) is an Indigenous artist based in Montana. She creates a diverse array of art genres but has an affinity for beadwork.

I am motivated by the Salish history and Indigenous place-based knowledge. I have learned that place gives a sense of self and allows a person to grow intellectually and continue to explore their possibilities in life. I feel that cultural preservation is a strong influence in my life, and I enjoy combining imagery that reflects cultural values. I use beadwork as an expression of the nature that reflects my tribal heritage. My craftsmanship cannot be possible without the upbringing and teaching of my grandmother, Rachel Arlee Bowers.

I adore beadworking but, also enjoy integrating other genres such as photography, painting, and a hint of digital art.

Artistry has been something of a culmination of my academic studies over the years combined with my love for my Bitterroot Salish cultural values and practices. In my time in higher education, one of the best moments was learning about place-based education and its interesting relevance to Indigenous ways of knowing.

The basic idea of place-based education and its connection to traditional ecological knowledge is uncanny. Many Indigenous people once depended solely on their environment in a reciprocal manner and this was how people were educated. Each person acquired a strength and skillset and most people had an educated connection to the land. This land is what gives a person a strong sense of self-identity. Being grounded allows a person to go forward in life and continue to grow intellectually and explore beyond their basic needs. By evoking this motivation to solidify personal, tribal self-identity, I feel that artistry can empower individuals and empower and motivate them to seek more land knowledge—traditional ecological knowledge.

My overall vision is to create contemporary art, combining traditional, flat-stitch, two-needle, beadwork, with current photography and photo editing techniques. I want to capture the past, the present, and the significance of places that hold deep-seated history for the Bitterroot Salish. I think by capturing past images and present images with traditional beadwork I can evoke this emotional response and help people to think of their roots and how they can continue to learn the historical context of our land and its ties to our existence. I hope to motivate people to recapture knowledge that is almost gone and revive it by passing it onto younger generations. Website:

Dre Castillo

I seek to bring my Navajo heritage to life in the broader world as I experience it. Through my art I speak of my ancestry, identity as an Indigenous Two-Spirit Gay woman overcoming the impacts of historical trauma that had been passed on through the generations and overcoming unhealthy addictive behaviors.

By sharing these experiences I find strength and am filled with hope. I utilize my Grandmother’s words in my use of charcoal from the embers of our ceremonial fires to protect me from negative emotions, and to protect the painting and storyline. My watercolor and acrylics are always infused with these embers.

My work is often represented in symbolic dreamlike quality of the past, present, and future. It is with these everyday experiences of living in two worlds, The Navajo and Western Society, that I tell the story of my journey. In hopes, I am able to connect with another individual stumbling through life.

Andrea Castillo left her ancestral home, the Navajo Nation, to pursue her passion in fine arts at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana in 1998. She was inspired when she learned to transpose her thoughts and feelings into a visionary art form. While getting her BA in Native American Studies with a minor in Women’s Gender Studies at the University of Montana Missoula, her creative passion for “Picto-Storytelling” re-emerged. She is a Montana Artrepreneur Program hosted by the Montana Arts Council.

Terrisa Olson

Terrisa Olson is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe - Apsaalooke Nation. Her most recent solo show, October 2019, was titled "Shadows of the Past - The First People" and showcased 12 multi-media works that honored her Native American heritage. Terrisa's art career began in watercolor but through the years, she has added pastels, acrylics, inks, and collage to her work. She is an art instructor, currently teaching in her home as well as shipping lessons to students in rural areas of Montana. She is a signature member of the Montana Watercolor Society where her work has been featured as the banner for the MTWS website, and she has created a line of cards and stickers from her original paintings. Her "Dipper Cards", "Montana Stickers", and her paintings can be found online in her Etsy store and at various retailers across Montana."I love my job!" said Terrisa.

Claire Charlo, Poet

Claire Charlo is a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes. Claire grew up on the Flathead Reservation. Claire was raised by parents ahead of their time. Homeschooled and taught cultural lessons on medicinal plants, Salish language, beading, tanning deer hides for regalia, and moccasin making. Claire started going to poetry readings as a child when her father, Victor Charlo would have readings at university, bookstores, and coffee shops. A love of poetry began, writing on paper napkins, scratch paper, and notebooks, Claire began writing poetry. Claire left her home to attend Cornell College in Iowa. Learning different ways to write, Claire graduated and went to the University of Arizona School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctorate. Currently. Claire works as a Civil Advocate with the CSKT Defender's office. In her spare time, Claire beads jewelry, writes poetry/short articles, organizes awareness for Murdered Missing Indigenous Relatives, and is a Land and Water Protector. 

Autographed copies available in

The Shop at BACC!

“Compellingly comfy and eerie in all the right places, Bitterroot Lake features the recently widowed Sarah McCaskill, who has returned to her childhood home at Whitetail Lodge in idyllic Northwest Montana to cope with grief. When she arrives she discovers that one of her old friends has also returned. So begins a journey into the past where they are forced to face an old tragedy that is tied to the recent murder of another friend. Bitterroot Lake is a gracefully written exploration of the secrets that destroy friendships and the courage it takes to face the truth. 

Atmospheric, character-driven, and truly absorbing, Bitterroot Lake is crime fiction at its finest.
—Christine Carbo, award-winning, best-selling author of the Glacier Mystery Series

Please join us in the gallery on July 9th for the opening reception of "Art in the Time of Covid", featuring paintings by Sunnie LeBlanc and Marnell Brown. 

Bigfork Art & Cultural Center

525 Electric Ave.

Bigfork, MT 59911