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The Sky's the Limit

Finding Inspiration in the Last Best Place


Finding Inspiration in the Last Best Place

Dennis Farris had been meaning to get to Montana for decades. As a professional artist, his portfolio was rich in iconic imagery from across the American West but was missing the profound blue skies and mountainous peaks unique to the Treasure State.

After picturing Montana in his mind for years, it wasn’t until Dennis set up his easel along the Continental Divide last fall that he realized how powerful the place truly was. Dennis found his muse in the marine blue shadows of Two Medicine and drew inspiration from the golden yellows of the autumn larch trees surrounding Hidden Lake. With every brush stroke, Dennis brought Glacier National Park to life.

“You can read about a place. You can look at pictures of it. But unless you’ve been there and walked it, and felt it, it’s not the same. When you travel, you take that back with you, and it’s with you forever,” Dennis explained.

Watch Dennis’ story unfold below in Painting Glacier, the third short film in The Sky’s The Limit video series by the Montana Office of Tourism.

I like to paint things that make me go, ‘Wow,’ and Montana’s got a lot of things that make me go, 'Wow,'” Dennis said. The Last Best Place is a fertile landscape for inspiring cultural and artistic opportunities. Give your travel readers a creativity boost with these Montana-crafted experiences this fall.


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Montana-Crafted Fall Festivals:

Sweet Pea Festival 8/4 - 8/6/2017

Bozeman comes alive each August to celebrate the arts with the annual Sweet Pea Festival. The event highlights include music of all genres, performances by local theater and dance troupes, workshops, family-friendly entertainment and activities, a flower show and over 100 arts and crafts vendors.
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An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival 8/11 - 8/13/2017

Butte, America boasts the largest Irish population of any metro city in the U.S. and celebrates this colorful heritage with a week of Irish dance, music and culture. Performances by local and world renowned groups take center stage at the city's historic mine yard.
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Crow Fair and Rodeo 8/16 - 8/21/2017

Over 100 years ago Crow Indian leaders organized a gathering to celebrate arts and culture and invited other tribes to participate. Today this is the largest modern-day American Indian encampment, nicknamed “the Teepee Capital of the World” due to the 1,500 teepees erected during the fair. Events include cultural activities, evening powwows, parades, an all-Indian rodeo, horse racing and Indian-relay races.
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Classical Music at Tippet Rise Art Center 7/7 - 9/16/2017

Montana's newest sculpture park and performance center opened its gates this summer on a 11,500-acre working ranch. Visitors can walk through the large-scale contemporary sculptures throughout fall, and classical music lovers must attend Lucas Debargue's U.S. debut on August 21.
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River City Roots Fest 8/25 - 8/26/2017

Enjoy two days of foot-stompin' music, chow down on locally grown fare and watch surfers catch laps on Brennan's Wave (a man-made whitewater wave on the adjacent Clark Fork River) in downtown Missoula. Additionally there are artist exhibits and children's activities to keep the big and little kids grinning.
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Libby NordicFest 9/8 - 9/9/2017

Grab your favorite Scandinavian (and rucksack of lutefisk) and head to the spirited burg of Libby, nestled in the Cabinet Mountains next to the rushing Kootenai River. Libby celebrates its Scandinavian heritage with a Fjord Horse Show, a parade and a healthy dose of lefsa. Uffda!
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Montana Dragon Boat Festival 9/9 - 9/10/2017

Catch the wave on Flathead Lake and watch one of the fastest growing sports in the world - Dragon Boat Racing. Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steer person race in colorful, ornate, 46-foot-long dragon boats similar to the Chinese watercraft used for the past 2,300 years. All ages, skill levels and physiques can paddle, making it the ultimate team building sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse more than power to win.
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What the Hay 9/10/2017

Fine art meets fine ranching in Utica, Montana. Inspired local agrarians create massive hay-bale sculptures with titles like: Cook-Hay Monster, Hay-lery Clinton and Har-Hay Davidson. Tour the 20-mile exhibit through Central Montana's amber landscape.
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In Montana, the sky’s the limit. Interested in writing about one of these or another story idea? We specialize in creating customized itineraries for journalists with inspired ideas and good outlets. Give us a holler.