If you had to pick a contemporary artist who’s hugely responsible for shaping people’s view of western Montana, Monte Dolack would be a pretty good fit. Since the 1970s, Dolack has painted vibrant, sometimes fantastical landscapes inspired by his home scenery, appealing to both the fine art scene and commercial print trade. His work graces everyday Missoula life in many ways, from our Bayern beer bottles to the posters for the Western Montana Fair. Though he’s built a national reputation, Dolack and his wife, Mary Beth Percival, decided long ago that Missoula was a more fruitful environment for their work than big city life. “I’m just wedded to the landscape and to nature,” Dolack says.
Dolack’s Front Street gallery closed this summer after 22 years in business, but the artist assures us he’s passionate about continuing his work and cranking out new pieces for years to come.
Finalists, Best Artist
2. Courtney Blazon
3. Hadley Ferguson