James Memorial Preservation Society Celebrates 30 years


It’s been 30 years since the James Memorial preservation society took over the care and finances of the James Memorial Art Center. During those 30 years, The James Memorial Art Center has developed into a center of creativity that brings us art and music. Its dome ceiling has been reverberating the sounds of an entire generation of singers, songwriters and musicians, its walls have been adorned with some of the finest artists the Bakken has ever seen. From sculpture to finger paint, The James Memorial Art Center has been encouraging the citizens of Williston to dig deeper into their artistic side and find meaning in art.

Many classes have been offered at the James; most recently, stained glass and drip painting. This week, kids will be learning how to imitate the great artist Georgia O’Keeffe in her famous painting, “red poppy” painted in 1927.

Kids of all ages have tested out their artistic ideas and put paint to canvas in a way that is uniquely their own. Many familiar faces such as Pam Elliot, Mitch Melberg, and Deana Novak have worked tirelessly to bring Williston upscale events like Artini and down to earth community shindigs like Out Loud!.

To pay the bills, The James Memorial Art Center is also available for rent, either by room or the entire building. They currently rent to a church group and are available for private parties, reunions and gatherings of any type. The Museum also has multiple artworks on display at any given time and new artists are welcome to submit their artwork to feature in their own art show. Those new to art are encouraged to take a class or visit the gallery and see what’s up.

Turning 30 is a pretty big deal and the staff at The James Memorial Art Center would like to invite the citizens of Williston and their families to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this wonderful gallery this Wednesday, June 17 from 4 PM to 7 PM. This event will feature drinks, ice cream, food trucks, games, prizes, music, and building tours. Leith DeWeese, an artist living on a decommissioned air force base outside Wolf Point Montana, will be performing a live watercolor demonstration for those in attendance. DeWeese has a soft country style that emulates the environment she takes her inspiration from. "Great art starts with getting out of the truck.  If you stop, there will always be something there." she says. Mark your calendars for this historic event and don’t forget to bring the whole family, they won’t want to miss it.

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