This is their first rodeo.
This is the second year the Bitter Root Arts Guild is hosting their Art in the Park show and sale in Darby but this is the first year to host just before the Twisted Nut Rodeo.
BRAG President Trish Becker said, “The show will have lots of rodeo-themed items, to honor the rodeos Darby is known for.”
“We are having it the same day and right before the rodeo begins,” Becker said. “It is so much fun. One of our newest members is making the cutest little cowboy gnomes and I’m making rodeo aprons, a lot of our vendors are going all out on the rodeo theme. Our little town is getting all the rodeos and we decided to hop on that steer.”
The BRAG show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 10, in Darby City Park.
The successful show last year in Darby had 17 vendors but this year there will be 26 juried vendors, 25 of those are BRAG members.
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“The park is only so big and I like to keep it small because we get such quality people,” Becker said. “To get into the arts guild you have to be juried and the nonmember vendor has been juried. It keeps the quality up.”
She said the newest development for BRAG is its membership in Made in Montana, a strict state-wide certification program for products, services, companies or businesses.
“We’re really proud of that,” Becker said.
This year BRAG has added a special event. Norma Pfaff, the renowned Bitterroot artist, will be creating a painting during the show and raffling it off. The proceeds will benefit BRAG Arts, a community-oriented program that helps sponsor Explore the Arts workshops at Artspace in the Montana Bliss Artworks Gallery, located in downtown Hamilton.
Art in the Park has a lineup of 26 vendors in the Bitterroot Valley with a full range of gorgeous, wonderful items for shopping pleasure. Along with Norma Lee Pfaff Fine Art, there will be original wildlife watercolor paintings and ornaments from Wilderness Spirit Art Studio, Montana Bliss Artwork will have a display of concrete sculptures, Windblown Watercolors will be showing her detailed flower and birds paintings along with notecards, The Happy Porcupine will have quill jewelry, medicine bags and whimsical Twiggins, Wild Turkey Acres will have aprons and gorgeous Montana snow-dyed silk wild rags.
There will be one-of-a-kind chenille jackets, hats, stuffed bears and bunnies, by Heidi Girl Designs. Two Crafty Women will be offering up adorable cowboy gnomes, bee gnomes, bags, window art and signs. Little Tin Cup Farm will be there with sweet-smelling goat milk soaps and lotions. Beadnicks and Puppet Pandemonium will be selling unique puppets and jewelry, An Aging Rockaholic will have whimsical glass, brass and rock mosaics, Dream in Color Gallery will be offering lifelike animal portraits and steel pan paintings, and Mark’s woodworking LLC will be there with beautiful wood cutting boards, tables and other wood items. Klassy Krap will be there with shadow boxes and birdhouses.
Juli Steele Winthers will have her wonderful handmade gift boxes there, Bitterroot Leather will offer lovely handcrafted leather bags and accessories, kre8 will have beautiful acrylic fluid art paintings and Jericho Industries will offer organic food gifts. There will be rustic horseshoe crafts, rope baskets, wood wall art and wood benches from Yukon Wolf Enterprises. Scroll Saw Projects will have intricate pictures, ornaments and puzzles. There will be exquisite wire wrapped jewelry from Kitty Kat Jewelry, decorative painted galvanized steel and mailboxes by Cindi Jo Creations. Nikkos Chocolates will be there with mouthwatering hand-dipped chocolates. Gingham Unicorn will offer oil paintings and clocks as well as home decor, Shirley Sylvester will be showing off her sewing and wood items, as well as Judy Holland with photos, jewelry and rock painting.
“All art and craft creations are handmade in the Bitterroot Valley by our wonderful artisans,” Becker said. “This is truly a unique showcase of Bitterroot artists and craftspeople showing and selling their work in one place.”
According to their website, the Bitter Root Arts Guild was formed in 1970 as a “collaboration of creative individuals in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana.” Their goal is to “provide a nurturing and inspirational environment for our members and the community at large by showcasing our members through education and events.”
Becker said the Bitter Root Art Guild is growing.
“We have nearly 50 members now and we’re picky so it means there are 50 artists in the valley that are just exceptional as far as I’m concerned,” Becker said. “I think we have the cream of the crop. It is so exciting.”
The BRAG has three shows a year, spring, fall and summer. The 2021 BRAG Holiday Show and Sale will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, in the Interstate Building at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds.