Art on the East Side of Glacier National Park
The Blackfeet Reservation and its neighboring areas of Glacier National Park and Glacier County offer a deep well of inspiration to local and visiting artists. For centuries, artists have felt compelled to convey the area’s unique confluence of natural beauty, cultural identity and historical significance in their work. Today, artistic traditions continue to flourish throughout the reservation and its surrounding communities. We’ve highlighted several ways to experience and support those artistic endeavors in the post below.
Public Art On The East Side
Water is Life Mural
As you approach Browning from the west on Highway 2, stop to admire the recently completed artwork adorning the large water tank on Snowshed Hill. Designed by Blackfeet artist Lauren Monroe Jr., the striking mural combines traditional tribal imagery with a likeness of Chief Two Guns White Calf and an imprint of the major drainages throughout the reservation.
Blackfeet Warrior Statues
These powerful statues greet you at several entrance points to the Blackfeet Nation, including along Hwy 2 west of East Glacier, on Hwy 2 west of Cut Bank and at the Canada/US border crossing. They are layered with historical imagery and artifacts, including car parts recovered from the devastating flood of 1964 and salvaged, sandstone bricks from the Two Medicine Catholic Mission. The works are sculpted by artist Jay Laber.
St. Mary Overlook
We’ve mentioned this scenic turn-out before and will expound again on the culmination of natural and man-made beauty to be found there. Walk along paved pathways to survey the sublime St. Mary Valley from life size, iron teepees sculpted by artist Duane After Buffalo. The overlook is located approximately two miles south of St. Mary on Hwy 89.
Throughout the city of Cut Bank, painted and photographic murals depicting the town’s railroad and agricultural roots can be admired on the facade of several buildings. The Lewis and Clark Expedition is also pictured, with the northernmost campsite of their journey, Camp Disappointment, located just west of the city.
Art Museum & Galleries on the Blackfeet Reservation
Museum of the Plains Indian
Located in Browning, the museum features a vast collection of traditional and contemporary Northern Plains Native American art and artifacts. Check their website for information on their upcoming exhibits.
John L. Clarke Gallery
Located in East Glacier, the gallery features original art, limited editions and reproductions from many Montana artists, including the gallery’s namesake. John L. Clarke was a Blackfeet artist with a fascinating backstory. His carvings are also on display at the Museum of the Plains Indian and the Blackfeet Community Hospital.
Brown House Pottery
Featuring the wheel-thrown stoneware of potter Terry McMasters, this gallery is housed in a historic building near downtown East Glacier. Terry has been making and selling his work onsite since 1973.
The Spiral Spoon
Hand-carved wooden utensils fill the walls of the eclectic Spiral Spoon in East Glacier. The family-owned business is a beloved stop for a handcrafted souvenir that is both beautiful and functional.
Lodgepole Gallery & Tipi Village
The Lodgepole Gallery features contemporary and traditional Native American art, including sculpture, paintings and bead work. The gallery is located just west of Browning on Hwy 89.
Crafting in Glacier County
Faught’s Blackfeet Trading Post
A fixture in Browning since 1946, the trading post sells Native-made crafts as well as a large selection of beading supplies.
Cut Bank Holiday Bazaar
Featuring over a hundred vendors, this craft fair is hosted each November by the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce. Mark your calendar to experience the many talented artists and craftspeople in Glacier County.
Native Life Store
Featuring fabric, notions, quilts and gifts, this shop is not to be missed for those who love to sew. Learn how to craft a Star Quilt or Ribbon Skirt in one of their monthly classes.
Pop Up Art Market
Head to the Cut Bank Creek Brewery the first Saturday of each month to shop locally made crafts and wares.
En Plein Air
While watching for bears and other wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for painters creating masterpieces in real time. The Many Glacier Valley is especially beloved by plein air painters and its common to see their easels set up in its picturesque clearings.