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Kalispell artist Ken Yarus gives a presentation about his residence in the Sperry Chalet


Kalispell artist Ken Yarus has been exploring and painting Glacier National Park his entire life. When he was offered the opportunity to live and paint at Sperry Chalet for two weeks as a resident artist, it was an easy yes.

“I was devastated when I read the news that the chalet was lost in the Sprague fire in 2017,” said Yarus. “I thought I had missed my chance to become a resident artist. After these last few years and the incredible story of rebuilding the chalet, my dreams of residing have been rekindled. I did one of those happy dances when I heard Sono been chosen for the 2021 season “.

The aim of the artist residency at the Sperry Chalet is to “share, through art, the experiences of visiting the hinterland of Glacier National Park; the beauty, the emotion and the intrinsic value of wild nature.

This resonated with Yarus, who uses his career as an artist as a tool to amplify and support conservation efforts. His artist residency at Sperry Chalet in 2021 will culminate with a reception and presentation for Yarus on July 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at FoR Fine Art in Whitefish. The evening will include a lecture by the artist and a presentation of the paintings Yarus created during the residency, with a portion of the proceeds in support of the Glacier Conservancy.

When asked about her residency experience, Yarus described it as surreal. “It feels like being in a space station, but at the same time traveling back in time. The rest of the world seems so small and far below you. Places I could only dream of painting became an easy day trip. The basin in which the Sperry Glacier is located was stunning.

Most visitors to the chalet only stay for a night or two, so living in the chalet for two weeks leaves an indelible mark.

“The staff and guests really elevated the experience. I loved the camaraderie and teamwork, “says Ken.” Life is rustic and somewhat challenging, but I can honestly say that living in the chalet was a dream. As an artist with a love for the mountains, this experience has just deepened that passion. I really felt like I lived in the mountains … and painted the landscapes every day. I took thousands of reference photos and painted over 25 pieces. It will be an experience that will fuel many more paintings for me in the future “.

To find out more about the July 6 event at FoR Fine Art celebrating Yarus’ artist residency at Sperry Chalet, visit forfineart.com/events or call 406-730-8855. Visit kennethyarus.com/sperry-residence to see the artist’s work and to watch a video about his experience.

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