Her Look

Echo’s Original Voice

Text by Calire Baiz • Photo by Phillip Procopio

Echo Ukrainetz doesn’t have style—she embodies it. “Dressing,” this Great Falls artist says, “is like decorating a canvas.”

When Ukrainetz taught at Great Falls High, her students always picked up on a splashy knotted scarf, a chunky necklace or a new pair of shoes. Even fellow artists took note: the late portrait artist Arlene Hooker Fay would comment on Ukrainetz outfits as though she was a walking exhibit.

Echo’s fashion sense was inspired by her mother, who was always put together. “Mom loved jackets. Sometimes we’d go shopping just so she’d have something to wear next time she went out to buy a jacket.” Take heart, late bloomers: Ukrainetz, whose batik paintings are prized by collectors, became a professional artist about the same time she qualified for an AARP card. Now 64, she has places to go, people to paint and plenty of reasons to remain inspired.