First Friday June 6th 2014

Last Best Solstice {Art on the River} First Friday Sneak Preview

The Loft of Missoula: Last Best Solstice

Last Best Solstice {Art on the River}
Sneak Preview & Group Exhibition

Join us at the Loft of Missoula as we welcome five talented local artists in a group exhibition and sneak preview of these featured artists of The Last Best Solstice {Art on the River} festival happening on June 21 in Caras Park. Shandielle Harshbarger, Elaine Fraticelli, Ivette Kjelsrud, Glory Lawson, & Justin Stahl will be showing a diverse array of mediums and approaches to visual art throughout June and July at the Loft of Missoula as well as creating new works in Caras Park during the Last Best Solstice {Art on the River}.

Shandielle Harshbarger

Shandielle Harshbarger 1-w800-h800

“My name is Shandielle, and I live and breathe to create. I have no formal training or education in art, and I believe this helps me to see things outside of the box without strict guidelines or rules for what can and cannot be constructed with a paint brush.

Bright, contrasting colors are my favorite thing in the entire world. I am drawn to the woman’s form and other feminine things. My paintings consist of electric colors, pretty swirls, dainty flowers and symmetrical breasts to remind myself that there are beautiful gems hidden amidst the chaos that comes with being alive in this world.”

Elaine Fraticelli

Elaine Fraticelli 1-w800-h800

“The natural world around us is often taken for granted or forgotten about in the busyness of everyday life. With this in mind, I have explored the natural world by using it to portray things or events in our lives that are unseen or intangible. I have been influenced by artists such as Franz Marc, for his use of color, Jasper Johns, for his use of cultural symbolism, and Anish Kapoor as well as many others. I have also personally worked with David Dragonfly and Valentina LaPier using personal symbolism to create an expressive painting and relief prints.

I begin each project with a concept or an emotion that pertains to life and explore different symbols, styles and designs from nature to create movement and emphasis in each piece. After researching facts and references, I then put together a self-expressive piece that portrays and provokes meaning and understanding in the viewer. My materials include anything and everything from household common objects like string, cardboard and caulking, to traditional, technical materials and my technique often includes taking objects or ideas from life and giving them a new meaning through my art.”

Ivette Kjelsrud

Ivette Kjelsrud 1-w800-h800

“I am a self-taught artist, traveler and dreamer, who found a home in Montana and a purpose in creating art. My paintings are a meeting point between realism and abstraction; they are real and at the same time surreal, perhaps a reflection of me: a grounded dreamer; feet planted firmly on the ground while head is always in the clouds…… I’m a dreamer and that is the essence of my art.

My studio overlooks Lolo National Forest and my art is profoundly inspired by Montana’s nature, a place which reignited my creativity and passion for art. I paint in acrylic, oil, mixed media, ink and watercolors, using brushes, palette knives, sponges, toothbrushes, salt and almost anything that comes to hand. Sometimes I let the colors flow with gravity, blowing through a straw or with a hair dryer. I paint on canvas, wood, tiles, tables, rocks and repurposed items to list a few, creating original paintings, jewelry, photo-encaustics and more, as I feel the world is my coloring book. This variety also reflects my taste for diversity and distaste of routine. Many of my creations are named after songs, music being another passion of mine.

My themes are usually natural, many of which I see from my studio’s window. I also love to use texture and to literally “play with color”, which is one of my favorite things about being an artist. Since my canvas is a mirror of my mood and inner world, I prefer to paint when I am happy.

Although it was a passion for photography that started me painting again, l am now steering away from copying what I see and moving towards abstract-realism, as I find it more interesting to create something new rather than replicate that which already exists. Besides, painting away from what’s real is so much fun!! My art is always changing and evolving. I love to experiment, discover new techniques and to challenge myself. The colors, textures, cultures and nature that I am exposed to continue to inspire me.
I love sharing my art with the world, however I paint mostly for me, usually in the company of “My little assistant”, Blondie, who follows me around (and sheds hair) while I create. I hope my art gives viewers a glimpse into my world and to the world as seen through my eyes.”

Glory Lawson

Glory Lawson 3-w800-h800

“Next to people, my first love is paint. As a mostly abstract expressionist, I become deeply involved in the sense of play between the paint, myself and the surfaces I use. I seek to create problems for myself to solve in the beginning of every piece, often beginning a piece with unlikely, even garish colors, upon which I build layers of acrylic, oil paint, plaster, graphite, coffee, inks, pigment powders, oil sticks, fabrics, and whatever makes sense for the piece. My process is highly reliant upon spending still moments during which I study and “listen” to the nuances emerging within painting to see what it may be “asking” for.

Dealing all along with the issues of emotional and physical abuse in human society and my belief in the constant existence of hope that can be found beyond these issues, I aim to create pieces that are breathtaking in their mysterious beauty and can bring the viewer a sense of joy and deep emotional richness.”

Justin Stahl

Justin Stahl 1-w800-h800

“My Art work has been directed toward nature even at a young age. My name is Justin Stahl. I am a local Missoula artist that works with watercolors and oil pastels. In my art I try to portray nature’s beauty while imposing the human footprint.”

First Friday: 5 to 8 pm
Show Dates: June & July, 2014


119 W. Main St.


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