Fictional Fantasies of Friends

Fantastic Superheroes Save the Day!

Text by Mary Ellen Hendrickson and Photography by Jesse Martinez

Great Falls author, Ryan Acra, is sharing his first book with readers and local public schools, encouraging children and adults to “be open.” “Don’t block off the magic of life, dreams and joy. Be present!”

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CM “Chip” Jones

Making a Splash In Life And In Art

Text by Kay Bjork and Photography by Ali Spoon

CM “Chip” Jones does art much as he lives life – with a sense of adventure, experimentation, learning, sharing – and with an incredible amount of humility and generosity.

Jones showed an interest in art at a young age while growing up on a small ranch on Miller Creek south of Missoula. It is easy to trace some of the elements that formed him as an artist and as a man. He often sketched and did art projects for hours. He says, “When I was in the 4th grade I drew the same horse over and over again.” When he and his two brothers received wood burning kits for Christmas he wore out his and then his brothers’ when they didn’t show interest in using them. He developed his love and appreciation of the backcountry and wildlife through time spent with his dad who was a packer and the inspiration of his neighbor John Craighead, famous American conservationist and wildlife biologist. These two fundamentals merged as he began to do artwork with a focus on wildlife.

Artist Chip Jones created a unique art form through what he calls splash bronze, a form of three-dimensional sculpture.

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Tree Treasures

River Bottom Restoration Furniture with Andrew Bishop

Text by Kay Bjork and Photography by Jim Wells

The Russian Olive tree means different things to different people. To the 1900s 13876587_920972534695488_1624390110191627639_npioneers it was precious shelter from wind and sun in the eastern plains where nothing else would grow; to a biologist, an invasive species that chokes out native trees and to hunters and fisherman, a bush-like beast with a knarled trunk and nasty two-inch thorns. To Andrew Bishop it is a treasure chest waiting to be opened.

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Colors of Our World

A Glimpse into the Artistic Journey of Karlie Kafka

Text and Photography by Holly Matkin

On a desolate stretch of Montana backroad, just before the dim hues of day crest the eastern horizon, the telltale banging and clanging of a rolling horse trailer usher in a new morning. At an hour when the idea of activity seems asinine to most, Karlie Kafka is taking one of her six horses to the foothills of the Bear Paw Mountains to get a head start on what she calls “a day at the office.” Riding through the rolling hills as the radiant sunrise climbs over the mountaintops, it becomes easy to understand how such inspiration can make a person feel overcome by the need to create.

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Tooting His Own Horn

Dr. Everett Lynn, the Wind Behind the Woodwind

Text by Polly Kolstad | Photography by Nicole Keintz

Dr. Everett Lynn, a ninety-two year old clarinetist makes music wherever he goes.

Dr. Everett Lynn, a ninety-two year old clarinetist makes music wherever he goes.

Whatever you’re looking for, when a clear eyed gentleman answers the door in a blue “Last Chance Dixieland Jazz Band” shirt, you know you are in for some music.

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Forging Forward

Text by Brian D’Ambrosio  •   Photography by Crystal Nance and Jim Wells

Montana Bladesmiths Rick Dunkerley & Ed Caffrey

Rick Dunkerley is fascinated by the flames of his forge and all of its twisting, searing possibilities. With more than 25 years of knife making practice, the forge is more like an invitation from an old friend. What comes out of it still leaves him breathless.

 “I provide a knife that will be passed down as a cherished family heirloom,” said Dunkerley. “You hope that such a knife becomes an honored and loved piece of art. There is a large collector-base of the Civil-War era, and I feel like that is like what I’m making now, if taken care of and passed down.”

Damascus steel is his favorite step of the bladesmithing process.

“I enjoy manipulating the patterns and controlling the pattern development,” said Dunkerley. “There are multiple ways to accomplish that, bending steel a certain way. I am also looking at it three-dimensionally. I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want in a finished piece. I leave my mind open to what the materials seem to want to be, rather than always forcing my idea.”

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