Joker Cards Bios and Artist Statements

Darla Myers was born in Oregon and now calls Bozeman, MT home. She is a painter and captures the beauty of ordinary moments in the outdoors in her own colorful, evocative style.

Pronghorns are a ubiquitous sight in the West, and to me they appear a bit quiet and unassuming. I believe you’ve always got to watch out for the quiet ones as they are often full of pranks and jokes.

Rod Kurtz enjoys using his artistic abilities for community betterment. Anytime he is asked to use his art for a community project he jumps at the opportunity.

The fox seems to be the Joker of the animal kingdom in our area. The changing seasons gave me the idea to make the falling leaves the suits.

Return to Livingston: Queen of tHE ARTS page.

Spade Cards Bios & Artist Statements

Morena Garcia has been making things with her hands for years; always putting odd pieces together. It is a Montanan trait to restructure the wild into a vision that has a story to tell.

As I started to research the ace of spades, two things became apparent. The first is that we have long associated it with the greatest triumph: life. The original shape mimics the tree of life. While many associations with the ace are bright and strong, many are cursed. The ace has been used as a symbol of ultimate destruction: in Vietnam, US soldiers would place it in the helmets, mouths, or on the bodies of dead Vietcong. Saddam Hussein’s code name was the ace of spades until his murder. So my piece reflects the human choice to adopt triumph. Dull this tree’s colors until it is nothing more than black. While this is what we can do, the tree’s roots still go deep and have a chance to touch its former brilliant life filled glory.

Lyn StClair is a Montana artist who finds inspiration in the creatures that live in the Northern Rockies and in the views seen between her horse’s ears.

“Double Pounce of Spades” began with a twist on the rotational symmetry of classic playing card design. It finished with a pair of pouncing foxes for a touch of wild Montana.

Kaitlin Kaiser is an enthusiastic adventurist, yogi, and creator. She loves to explore different mediums from charcoal to acrylic on surfboards and has recently began dabbling in watercolor. She uses nature for inspiration and often incorporates ambiguous and ironic situations into her work in attempt to lighten the mood and the heart.

When I picked the three of spades I knew that I wanted to use watercolor and originally envisioned a black and white snowy scene with Ponderosa Pine trees representing three spades. As I began painting a few drafts though the piece took on a punny direction that so often speaks to me, and voilà I dug the three black spades.

Blynne Froke is a retired English teacher living in Northern California. She possesses an ever-growing passion for birds, but the raven has always been her favorite. She has enjoyed making friends with the from California to Alaska.

Ravens are the most intelligent of birds displaying a wide variety of moods from serious to playful. They communicate generously and remember individual peoples faces for years; sometimes sharing them beyond their own generation.

Bonnie Lynn Watton is a professional landscape designer and enjoys working in various mediums. She enjoys painting, working with markers, botanical artwork (pressed flowers), floral arranging, photography, hand applique and drywall carvings. Bonnie has been teaching creative arts and landscaping classes for community education programs since 1999.

I grew up in a family that played card games for entertainment. Although I loved the games, I never understood why the cards were so boring in design and color. I wanted to create a whimsical, colorful card that people would enjoy looking at.

Buff Brown graduated from Philadelphia College of Art in 1979, with an MFA in Photography. He is a musician, having played electric blues harmonica for the last 40 years.

Sam Spade came almost simultaneously with choice of the six of spades. I used colored pencils on the black and white print and sandpaper to distress the overall look of the card.

Parker Beckley is a multi-media artist from Missoula, Montana. From murals and graphic design to weird, performance art-esque events and more, he’s constantly trying to learn and grow as an artist/person.

Seven of Space, get it? I went to Art School.

Beth Gregory is a metalsmith and owner of b gregory jewelry. She creates original designs in silver, gemstones, and enameled copper, using primarily recycled metals.

My goal with this piece was to create an image with a vintage look and a whimsical tone, using recycled materials and found objects

Jo Newhall has been a long-time educator, in the classroom and outdoors. When she is not in the classroom or in the mountains she can be found creating in her studio. Her medium is clay, which she uses to hand-build playful pots inspired by nature and children.

As a clay artist I look to the natural world for inspiration. With the 9 of spades I found my muse in a murder of crows and aspen trees.

Sarah Faye was born in Livingston and encouraged from a young age to follow her heart. She has a vision and color palette full of passion and vibrancy. She creates art through invoking emotion and painting in a moving meditation.

I strive to inspire and create a space for meditation and reflection.

Linda Barnsley felt the call of the west a decade ago and relocated from Maryland to Montana.  She now enjoys working in both oils and acrylics, capturing the expressions and textures of the wildlife and natural world surrounding her.

Upon hearing of this project, a jackalope just popped into my head.
Note: A “jackalope” is a combination of a “jackrabbit” and an “antelope,” though a jackrabbit is not a rabbit and a pronghorn is not an antelope and antelopes don’t have antlers they have horns, my apologies.

Trish Wild is a Montana native. She paints visions of colorful images inspired by nature and the beauty of life in the west. In addition to being a full-time artist, Trish is the founder and leader of Montana Horse Archers, a Livingston-based affiliate of Horse Archery USA.

The Queen of Spades in Tarot represents female intelligence and independence. I have painted this Horse Archer Queen to represent a powerful feminine agent of change.

Storrs Bishop has lived in Livingston since the mid-nineties and has shown his work in many of Livingston’s galleries since 2002. He searches for meaning to life’s great questions through the creative process using a variety of media, including photography, printmaking and mixed media.

On a project where we are combining functionality with interpretation I wanted to stay fairly literal to the assigned subject. By interpreting the King of spades through a pun and inverting the royal status of the face card to a gravedigger, I hope to give the poker player a moment’s pause before she bets the farm on a king-high hand.

Return to Livingston: Queen of tHE ARTS page.

Heart Cards Bios & Statements

Cheryl Watson Cooney developed her graphic skills while pursuing an MFA in Interior Design from SCAD. In addition to paper goods, she works in a variety of mediums and has a studio for her brand, 18 Letter, in the Cactus Blossom Collective.

I drew up my first batch of kale in 2015 as a series for a kale themed calendar – a Kalendar, as it were. Soon after, I noticed that two leaves of kale easily made a heart so when this project came along, I knew what I had to do.

Katie Sisum is a modern stained-glass artist who pushes the boundaries of traditional thought by allowing people to view the medium beyond classical church windows and into colorful, movement inspiring pieces. Using traditional techniques, combined with hand made patterns, original art glass and spun hot glass, she creates panels that invite the viewer to recall their favorite pastimes and memories or perhaps simply invite them to use their fingertips and explore glass as they have never done before.

The two of hearts is a special card as it inherently evokes a sense of two people, two things, coming together. I created this glass window with the idea of these two bicycles out searching for their sole mate.

Vicky Ouellette’s second language is the artistic mediums through which she seeks to express the ineffable. At 21, she is traveling the country with pen, camera, sketchbook, and curiosity at hand.

I wanted to represent three universal states of being that are familiar to the human heart: heart broken, love struck, and radiant, unconditional love. The cracked and aching heart is guarded and razor-sharp to the touch, the heart in love endures the piercing mix of both the pain and joy that comes from loving another, and the heart that loves unconditionally radiates its splendor in all directions.

Betsy Hall, with over 700 portraits to her credit, continues to capture the unique personality of her subjects with a lightheartedness that has always been her signature style.

As a portrait artist, it seemed fitting to paint recognizable local kids for my card. I created this colorful, happy scene referencing photos I took of the girls blowing bubbles and leaping up to pop them.

Charissa Reid is a graphic artist for Yellowstone National Park and pursues fine art, quality gin, and her love of human beings in her spare time from her perch along the mighty Yellowstone River.

I created this piece to represent the love that rules in my family. My family isn’t perfect, but I certainly hope my love for them comes close.

Christine Tiscione has been a successful artist in the traditional style for 40 years. It is through the beautiful landscapes and wildlife of Paradise Valley that she finds her inspiration.

I thought that I would have some fun with this piece. The majesty of the elk herd crossing our front meadow each winter is very close to my heart.

Bev Rice is an award-winning quilter and has always had of love of fabrics and a desire to create with fabric.

I was honored to participate in this community project to share some fabric art with all the other forms of art involved in this exhibit.

Jessi Konley is the owner, designer, creator, seamstress, boss lady, weaver, and mess maker at Red Dog Leather Goods; which specializes in designing and creating bags.
Her studio space is nestled in the heart of downtown Livingston, where she resides with her family.

Not unlike my bags this piece is an inspired design, with the unlikely union of leather and timeless vintage textiles. There is a layering of natural materials, with hand dyed, hand-tooled and block printed elements.

Debbie Perryman has always dabbled in art, not anything in particular just anything she could get her hands on to throw herself into a creative fog. She has recently taken some watercolor classes and is trying to figure out her own techniques.

I really did not know where I was going with this until the Maple leaf decided to take over the Canvas. By then I realized that Fly Fishing is so much more beautiful in the colors of Autumn that’s when it all started coming together.

Tandy Miles Riddle is an artist. Once she rode horseback into the mountains and didn’t come back for four months.

I am very interested in the history of playing cards. I love that “10” contains all elements of binary code and that hearts are a touchstone for “love.”

Denis Ouellette is an artist, editor, publisher and Photoshop teacher living in Livingston with his wife, Jill. He has two adult daughters, Vicky and Shelly, who are also contributing to this Card Deck.

The idea just came to me when I saw the card I drew. Although the signature placement
puts the current President on top, FEEL FREE to hang this any way you want.

Traci Jo Isaly lives and works out of her home and studio located on the Bozeman Pass. Her youngest daughter, Ruby, has diagnosed her with creative ADHD. Living with creative ADHD has its challenges, but Traci has learned to navigate the pitfalls and has assured family and friends that she will continue on her creative binge until the world is a more peaceful place to live. Traci believes whole -heartedly that love; love of the ARTS, and creative endeavors is what will save planet earth.

While traveling on the Oregon coast last year, I found a little treasure at a dusty old bookshop in Lincoln City. The treasure was a wonderful old book on the history and birth of what we now refer to as a deck of cards, complete with artfully detailed illustrations. I snatched it up as a muse for the making of my figure…Queen of Hearts.

Sarah Homans studied drawing and painting at the University of Iowa and the Lacoste School of the Arts. Her work has dipped through many mediums over the years but continually searches to highlight hidden worlds and microcosms via abstract compositions.

The inspiration for my card, the King of Hearts, felt quite clear and obvious to me right out of the gate: Martin Luther King JR. In the face of outrageous hatred, he emanated an almost visible glow of love. I abstracted his profile in a sort of jungle themed collage- this world has been feeling like a hate heavy jungle, in critical need of love to heal.

Return to Livingston: Queen of tHE ARTS page.

Diamond Cards Bios & Artist Statements

Nicole Santucci is an interdisciplinary artist and designer living, working, and playing in Livingston, Montana. Born and raised on a ranch in a windswept and unincorporated area, she owes her outlook on both art and life to knowing the middle of nowhere like the back of her hand. A good deal of Nicole’s work explores landscapes, humans, and what they might have to do with one another.

Cards often play roles as symbols of chance, luck, randomness, serendipity, and
mystery. This piece slightly departs from a classic ace of diamonds design and
references a mysterious experience in which lyrics about diamonds took on a new
dimension for me after I was gifted a Payson Diamond by a wandering and wounded
prospector on the streets of Moab.

Kay Potter is a Livingston artist who grew up under the skies of Montana. She is inspired by the beauty of the world around her and by the joy that art adds to the world.

This piece was made to be the 2 of diamonds, and so I had to find a way to put diamonds into a painting seamlessly. A recent trip out into Paradise Valley gave me my location, and the winds of Livingston gave me the activity- flying Kites!

Tony Moore has enjoyed myriad adventures, some wild, some mild, kayaking, exploring the canyons of the Colorado Plateau for over 50 years, coaching nearly 30 youth sports teams, compiling hundreds of hiking miles and thousands of river miles and has gardened extensively and supplied free produce to the community for 30 years.

Living in a small apartment down the alley from the Big Dipper is a toy poodle name Daisy, an energetic yet oft careless dog who love to camp, chase balls and voles and ride on her boogie board in the clean western Montana lakes. But, what Daisy likes best, as represented in the card art, can be summarized by this statement from Daisy herself as she harkens to the poignant strains of the mandolin: “Put my diamonds on, fix my hair up pretty, and me walking in the Garden City.”

Kathryn Borneman got a terrific piece of advice years ago that she took to heart “Try to do something creative every day, it will keep you sane.” She’s been wrestling with that ever since.

I’m exploring the relationships between midlife crisis and skateboard ethics, with influences from all my local heroes. What starts out as hope becomes debased into a manifesto of lust, leaving a sense of what could have been and a chance of a new beginning.

Dean Nelson has worked in visual arts for more than 30 years, from Producing Educational Television in the Arctic, to shooting award-winning TV commercials in the Caribbean, Canada, the UK and France. While his favorite subjects are expansive landscape vistas he takes on hikes throughout the Rockies and the Desert Southwest with his large format film camera, he does enjoy the flexibility of digital equipment for wildlife.

The juxtaposition of a landscape/wildlife theme with an abstract concept like a number
and geometric shape was a challenge I found amusing. I spent months looking for
repetitive designs in as natural a setting as possible and was blessed when a bluebird
showed up for a cameo to complete the story

Aja Shade has a degree in Sculpture from Hartford Art School. She does art in her garage since she can’t park her Jeep in there.

During the creation of this piece, I tried not to be too literal, focused on layering textures, and saw three hobo spiders in aforementioned garage.

Lorin Pope is an artist from Livingston, MT who loves to focus on large scale mural work.  Her public work can be found at Jam! and Tarantino’s In Bozeman, MT, and at Saketome Sushi in Missoula, MT.

In trick-taking cards games the7 of diamonds known as the “beer card” where if the winning player wins the last trick with this card, his partner must buy him a beer.  This rule is not an official rule, so I felt a snake would best represent this card for its striking ability.

Paul Andresini is the youngest of four children, was raised by a single mother who is an accomplished painter. He grew up working in a variety of mediums – – from painting to pottery and metal work. These explorations led him to his 13-year career in tattooing – – currently at Sacred Images in Bozeman. His focus is now split between tattooing and painting while his love and exploration of the arts continues to grow.

As the theme was “Queen of the Arts,” I went to my roots in American traditional tattooing and tried to capture a strong, yet elegant, “Dancing Queen,” as well as trying to create what I believe would make an aesthetically pleasing playing card, since that was the overall goal.

Jodi Litchfield began working with stained glass after years of fascination with its ability to change light and mood.  She aspires to perfect the craft while bringing original and unique artistry to each piece.

There are two very different outlooks to this seemingly ordinary card. To the Scots, the nine of diamonds is the unluckiest card in the deck.  According to tarot, drawing this card calls on the abundance you enjoy will allow you the freedom to be yourself.

Rachel Rhoden is originally from Louisiana, but since moving to Montana she finds herself continually inspired by the beautiful landscape and wildlife of the area. She creates wildlife portraits mostly in oil, but loves adding the unexpected touch of copper and gold leaf elements.

I am constantly inspired by wildlife while creating art, so for the 10 of diamonds a diamondback snake felt like a natural choice. This is a very different style for me, but it was a fun challenge designing something out of my comfort zone.

Parks Reece has, for 40 years, lived and painted in Livingston, Montana where he roams the mountains, rivers and taverns, often in pursuit of wild game, fish, and the occasional rattlesnake. “His mind is across the boundaries of nations, and reaches the deepest heart of every audience.” Yan Zhuping, Curator, 188ART, Shanghai, China.

Ever since I used to play poker with a jack rabbit that lived behind the house I have wanted to do a portrait of him and the diamond that he kept in his den. He was sharp, and I usually lost but it was always fun.

Angie Froke spent 6 years not completing her AA in Fine Art and Art History at Las Positas College in Livermore Ca. She has shown work at galleries in California, Oregon and Montana and is co-owner of Raised by Wolves Studios.

“Queen of Diamonds” was inspired by both the All-American Girls Baseball League and the pin ups of the era.

Jeffery Wood is a sophomore at Park High School who loves sports and excels in math. This is his first art show experience.

Return to Livingston: Queen of tHE ARTS page.

Club Cards Bios & Artist Statements

Adrienne Pollard is an artist/graphic designer. Pollard’s approach is rooted in the premise that good art and design are essentially problem solving—organizing images and words to clearly communicate a message with simplicity and intelligence.

Historically, the four suits in a pack of cards can be read as symbols of society and human energy, with Clubs representing both the peasantry and achievement through work, while in the ancient mystical science of playing cards (also known as the Cards of Life), the Ace of Clubs represents a quest for knowledge. Hence this Ace of Clubs incorporates imagery representative of a worker, a searcher, and other symbols of knowledge and learning.

Rachel Larson Long is an art educator and art therapist, living in Billings, Montana. She most frequently works in acrylic and mixed media, combining representational and symbolic imagery.

This whimsical image features the reflection of a tree on the banks of the Yellowstone River. I wanted to create a double image to include the 2 of clubs in a local setting.

Kateri Béchard is the daughter of a Canadian artist and is originally from Montreal, Canada. She has been showing her paintings since 1985, exhibited with the McCord Museum in Montreal, and sold her paintings and bronze sculptures to clients in the United States and Canada.

I wanted to create a humorous card that would remind you of a Montana fairy tale, and black bear cubs playing in a tree with a beehive nearby is about as good as it gets! It was also quite easy to see the “Clubs” in their round ears and bluish black coat.

Malou Flato’s landscapes, over the past 30 years, have become part of the Montana landscape. She paints lively work executed by a technique that is hers alone: acrylic paint on Japanese paper applied to canvas.

The image on my playing card is from my garden in an old horse corral in Pray, MT. I thought clubs look like clover.

Laura Poinsette deals in daydreams, portraying nature and humanity in an imagined light. She reengineers her daily commute, conversations, and dog breath, in playful and peculiar ways. Her work is a tribute to the ridiculous ideas that animate and keep us curious.

Rebecca Ruhd is a Livingston native making a quiet adventure of life. While working and raising a family in the real world, Rebecca is working out the ways to keep the Artist Within from starving.

The suit of clubs is historically represented either by a fleur or a baton; symbolizing the peasantry. I took my inspiration in the delicate and brutal existence of the common life of the great many.

Michelle Ouellette is currently studying the preservation of biocultural diversity and Indigenous ways of being, majoring in Social Justice at Prescott College in Arizona. Her other interests include practicing and teaching yoga, cooking delicious vegan foods, outdoor adventuring, and art.

One of my passions has recently become rock climbing, so I was inspired to draw towering cliffs capped with fields of flowers. They ended up resembling the beautiful White Cliffs of Dover, a famous array of strikingly vertical cliffs located along the southern coastline of England.

Lani McKay, originally from Hawai’i, has lived in Livingston for over 6 years now. Here in Montana, her work can currently be found hanging in The Soup Bar, Neptune’s Brewery, Faye’s Café, The Stafford Animal Shelter, 14 North Restaurant (in Bozeman), Saketome Sushi and Michi Ramen bar (both in Missoula).

Both shapes (the clubs suit and an 8) can be found in the geometric pattern called The Flower of Life, an ancient design referenced in many cultures around the world.  I played with that imagery as well as the similarity between the clubs symbol and a three-leaf clover.  Finally, I represented the figure 8, with a yoga pose that requires two people to create an infinity symbol.

Kate Helin-Burnette is a new, but accomplished artist who works mainly in 2D media. She is currently majoring in Studio Art as a freshman at St. Olaf College and has spent the past year studying art abroad in Italy and Greece as well as at home in her own studio.

I chose to depict the suit of my card using its real-life counterpart. The shamrocks and their two reflections, three groups of three, play tribute to the numerical quality of the number nine.

Marnie Gannon is a sporadic artist. She creates when the spirit moves her. She spends much of her creative energy in her garden.

I was assigned the final card. I took the over-looked 10 of Clubs and put a spin on what a ‘club’ is and came up with ten of them!

Wille Rainingcloud Ramirez

Elizabeth Rock Waddington, retired librarian and art teacher, has returned to her art roots. She grew up in a family of multigenerational artists where materials were always available to experiment with and encouragement for self-expression was freely given.

I created this Queen to show the maiden aspect that each woman must carry with her for life.  The eyes wide open, head in the stars, slightly wild (or at least uninhibited) inner child encourages discovery along the path to becoming a crone or elder wise woman.

Rodman Froke has recently retired from a lifetime bookselling career and is taking up pen and pencil again. He lives in Larkspur, California. He is the father of local artist, Angie Froke.

I have been doodling apes and hominids, real and imaginary, for years.

Return to Livingston: Queen of tHE ARTS page.

Summer 2018: Don’t Blink or You’ll Miss It.

Summer is about to bust a move in Livingston, Montana. June, July, August, they go by fast and and are jammed with good events. The 4th Friday Art Walks are a local favorite. Green Door Gallery at Wheatgrass Saloon has an exciting mix of art on display throughout the summer.  Be sure to stop by for the artist receptions from 530pm – 8pm on art walk nights beginning June 22.

The Livingston Chamber of Commerce is a useful place to go to discover what is going on around town. The summer months are a perfect time of year to enjoy a stroll through Livingston’s Historic Downtown District. Currently, the city is improving Livingston’s historic downtown by updating some very the old infrastructure. It might take several months, but in the end we will have not only updated sewer and water systems but also safer and more graceful transition ramps for strollers, wheelchairs and toddlers on bikes and finally be in compliance with the American Disabilities Act standards. With that, however, comes some large pieces of construction equipment on the streets. If you need a parking spot, look beyond Main Street or 2nd Street: head east to B and C streets or west to 3rd and Yellowstone streets. It is a little messy at times, but imagine you’re in the old wild dirt-covered west. You’ll find us, Wheatgrass Saloon, at 120 North Main Street, right next door to The Stockman Bar. Wheatgrass Saloon offers the perfect antidote to whichever bar you might visit this summer. Our drinks are named for music or cocktails that you might recognize, like the Man in Black.

Stop by the juice bar on your way to float the river or a to do a day-hike for some energizing to-go juices, smoothies, bowls and snacks. We have some additions to the menu during the summer months: kale caesar, taco bowl, avocado or nut butter flax toast and coconut based soft-serve ice cream. As always, everything we do is vegan, gluten-free,  soy- free and never any peanuts.

The folk at Timber Trails can provide you tips on where to hike, fish and float according to your needs. And, at The Jumping Off Point you can get just what you need for the perfect campout adventure. If you’re in search of some downtime or the weather isn’t cooperating, head upstairs at Wheatgrass Saloon with a super healthy lunch from the juice bar. Upstairs you can enjoy viewing the current show in Green Door Gallery, using the wifi, writing a postcard or browsing the shelves of Elk River Books.





Green Door Gallery, Green Eats & Green Dot Sales

Green Door Gallery

The 1956 song by Jim Lowe, Green Door, was the inspiration for the newly designed Green Door Gallery at Wheatgrass Saloon. Thanks to Gigi of Synergigi Designs the gallery has a cohesive look that balances elegance and fun and provides plenty of wall space for artwork throughout the summer as well as year round.  The first show, Landmarks & Landscapes of Livingston features art from four different artists: John Zumpano’s photographs of Crow Fair; Tandy Miles Riddles’ paintings of the Livingston Depot and of grain elevators; Tony Demin’s photographs of downtown Livingston and its surrounding valleys; Beth Gregory’s fine silver and enameled copper pieces of the Yellowstone, the Abasaroka mountains and the Teslow building. Proceeds of Beth’s Teslow building pieces will go to the Teslow Preservation Fund. The show will remain up until August 19th.

We will have three more art walks this summer each on the fourth Friday of the month from 5-8pm.

July 28th – August 19th with Natalia Boise’s Badass Beauties: The Culture of Rebellious Femininity.

August 25th- September 16th with Ian Lange’s photographs, Storrs Bishop’s linocuts and Marc Beaudin’s poetry in Murmurations: A Flight of Birds in Imagery & Poetry.

September 22nd – October 21st with a juried show, Dangerous: A Mural Arts Competition. Please check out the competition details and consider entering some pieces. The deadline for entries is September 8, 2017.

Green Eats:

 A couple of extra bowls for the summer are the Taco Bowl and the Timeless Seeds Hummus Bowl. Both are vegan, gluten-free, plant-based deliciousness. A new kombucha flavor to try is the Mango Habanero. Plenty of bottled, cold-press juices available in the grab ‘n’ go cooler to stick in your cooler for your summer adventures.

Green Dot Sales:

We will continue to add to the “Green Dot” sales table to offer extra affordable gift buying options for you along with the plentiful array of other options in the boutique — earrings, candles, t-shirts, koozies, cards, journals, posters, incense, chocolates, etc.