Carol Hartman has always been in tune with her senses. As a child, she would venture off on her family’s land, adjacent the Missouri River to explore, smell her surroundings, and meditate. This was the beginning of a fascinating art career. It wasn’t her first choice, but Carol could afford MSU Bozeman and graduated with $210 to her name. It was just enough to rent a $205 U-Haul that would send her to New Mexico. She explains it as “skimming through, barely.”
Carol and her family eventually moved to California, where she was determined to get her master's degree in fine arts. There she illustrated textbooks to help pay her way through more college classes and would culminate four degrees: K-12 art education, traditional fine arts, graphic design, and K-middle school science. In California, Carol also found her passion for interactive installations, which kept her busy for about 25 years, producing pieces that would lead people to question their ethos, religion, and government.
As time went on and circumstances changed, Carol found herself longing for the quiet Montana mountains and moved back in the early 2010s to be closer to family. As she became acclimated to the Montana environment again, Carol was amazed by the color and says simply, “it’s beautiful here.”
Fast forward to 2020, and Carol is a renowned landscape painter in Eastern Montana. She travels all over the states participating in residencies for weeks at a time, then coming back to her studio at the Roosevelt Center in Red Lodge to continue to work on her beautiful paintings.
Ellen Herminghaus considers herself “at the beginning of [her] artistic journey.”
Ellen grew up in Billings, Montana, adventuring all across the Red Lodge area with her family.
While out in the woods on her family adventures, Ellen would wander off gathering leaves, bark,
moss, and rocks. She now attributes these experiences to her art. Being a quilter,
Ellen collects fabrics, and many have a nature theme.
She did not start as a quilter, though. Ellen attended the University of
Montana to study art but decided after a year to go in a different direction.
Her 30-year career in the gas and oil industry started and ended in Houston,
Texas, after receiving her finance degree from the U of M.
She met her husband in Houston, and with Ellen having retirement already in the back of
her mind, they visited Red lodge and both decided they would like to retire here.
They bought a couple of properties around Red Lodge, so that by the time they were able to
retire, their home was already constructed.
After retiring to Red Lodge full-time in October 2017, Ellen found herself at some of the meetings
on the revitalization of the Roosevelt Center. She took one of the tours of the building,
and thought it was perfect for her and what she wanted to do.
Ellen moved into the Roosevelt Center in June 2018. Says Ellen of the Roosevelt Center,
“it is extremely important for Red Lodge, and it’s building a community of artists.”
Elizabeth LaRowe Watercolor Artist can be found at the Roosevelt Center in her art studio rm107 C.
She welcomes visitors as she enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of art. Color and light are the focus of
Elizabeth LaRowe’s artwork, her personal artistic efforts have concentrated on using water media
techniques for the past 42 years.
She loves plein air painting. For the past five years she has co-sponsored the Beartooth Plein Air Society Blitz,
a week-long painting exploration of our area, open to all interested adults regardless of experience.
Elizabeth, also known as Betsy and her husband Miles have enjoyed owning property in Red Lodge since 1988.
Regardless of their job locations as educators they were able to enjoy summers here.
For Elizabeth being involved in Red Lodge’s art scene through both painting and teaching workshops
was an important part of those summers. After thirty-nine years as an art educator she and Miles
retired to Red Lodge in 2009.
Her studio space in the Roosevelt Center is a long-awaited dream.
After so many years of public-school teaching just entering the old school building brings a feeling of comfort
and belonging. She is finding her space to be an excellent place to creatively stretch. Having other artists
in the building is beneficial. It’s a place to share ideas, get critiques and learn of ways to
expand the arts in the community.
Always a champion of education she holds a BFA degree from the University of Denver and a MAT from the
University of Wyoming. Elizabeth has participated and won awards in many local and regional juried shows.
Her paintings have been published in North Light Books Splash 16 The Best of Watercolor Exploring Texture,
Splash 18 Value and Splash and Splash 20 Creative Composition..
Always the teacher, she welcomes visitors to her studio. She is available for art presentations and workshops.
2020 AmeriCorps Team “Red 1”
“It's been an honor and a privilege to serve the Red Lodge Community. Sponsored by the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, we have gotten the chance to work with Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, Recycle Red Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, and Boys & Girls Club. We learned so many hands-on skills such as painting, planting trees, building houses, and doing renovations.
We have also seen unique approaches to community development that Red Lodge is pioneering such as the Habitat for Humanity Land Trust Model created by the Workforce Housing Project team of the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation. Lastly it has been really inspiring to meet so many change agents who are authentically invested in uplifting their community. This is what makes Red Lodge an amazing and resilient town. Instead of being apathetic in a time of such great difficulty and divide, Red Lodge has community members who have taken initiative to grow, develop and move their community forward. To all of Red Lodge, thank you so much for the opportunity to serve and for the generosity you have shown us” -Parth Singh
The name “Madwoman Sewing” derives from the state of having lots of stuff on my mind combined with the parts and pieces of fabrics, threads, and embellishments on my cutting table simultaneously. Since I can rarely resist the impulse to collect interesting trims, buttons, and beads, I routinely run into the dilemma of not enough time nor energy to create those designs dancing around in my head, hence the “mad” woman syndrome. Currently, I am transforming “found fabrics”, like upholstery samples, used jeans, men’s ties, and placements, into purses, shopping bags, book covers, and hats. These one-of-a-kind items come about in steps. First, I sort textures and colors. Next, I determine the item’s function and design. Drafting, cutting, sewing follow. My training began when I was 10 years old.
I was born in Torrington, Wyoming in 1952. Like most girl children brought up in a farming community, I began sewing with a group of fellow 4-Hers. It was a highly competitive scene at fair time, and I was awarded more than my fair share of purple and blue ribbons. As structured as the 4-H agenda was at that time, I was able to express a creative, nonconforming streak. Even as a youngster I liked to deconstruct clothes... like my dad’s 501 Levis. A little cutting here and there, and I would have fashionable cutoffs with lots of rickrack trim. I continue to enjoy and profit from my early sewing education. College-level art classes and haute couture training have also served me well. I currently live in Red Lodge Montana. In my workshop, surrounded by numerous totes filled to the brim, I actively remake, upcycle, reassemble, and go a little mad...
Henry Blond is a British born artist originally from Liverpool in the North West of England. Introduced to art at a young age, his father an artist, mother a keen collector and both gallery owners, Henry’s influences grew from the world around him.
As a teenager, after picking up the guitar, his creative energies were directed towards music. He earned a BA Hons degree in Jazz Studies and spent fifteen years as a professional musician playing and touring extensively around the UK and Europe.
After moving to Paris in his early 30’s, Henry’s love for painting was reignited, heavily influenced by the great masters on show in Paris’ finest art museums. As a result, the guitar was replaced with the brush and his creative pursuit resulted in his first full solo exhibition at the American University of Paris.
Henry moved to America in 2011, bringing his graphic design company, “BlondCreative”, Stateside. Over the last ten years he has pursued art alongside the design work, with the later becoming less prominent and the painting slowly becoming his primary focus.
Working primarily in the ‘alla prima’ style of oil painting (Italian, meaning at first attempt or wet into wet), he brings creations to life with a unique realistic, yet ‘painterly’, edge.
As a resident of Montana, Henry primarily works on his own creations from his Red Lodge studio. He also takes human, animal and pet commissions. He is deeply influenced by the breathtaking scenery, wildlife, people and pets that this wonderful state has to offer
The Carbon County Arts Guild & Depot Gallery, located in the historic train depot on the north side of Red Lodge, is a place for local and regional artists to show case their work. Of the nearly 400 members at the Arts Guild, about 180 of them display artwork in the Depot Gallery all year and others chose to participate in art shows which change each month. Space at the Guild is limited. This is where the Roosevelt Center project comes into play. The Roosevelt Center is providing a “Satellite Gallery” for Arts Guild members to show their work, specifically larger pieces.
Kim Kapalka, Executive Director of the Carbon County Arts Guild says, “It is really exciting that the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation wants to keep the Guild involved with the Roosevelt project. I think it is another great opportunity for people to see what’s happening in the art world and extends viewing art to the south end of town.”
The Roosevelt Center Satellite Gallery allows artists to display larger work than can be shown in the Depot Gallery. Carol Hartman, known primarily for her large oil paintings, was the first artist to show at the Satellite Gallery.
She said, “I certainly did appreciate having an exhibition space such as the Satellite Gallery to install my large artworks so that viewers can see them together.”
Carol goes on to say, “With all the new uses of the Roosevelt Center this exhibition space will become a more visible place.”
For more information about showing at the Satellite Gallery, contact the Carbon County Arts Guild & Depot Gallery
Sean Keeney, from Minot, North Dakota, moved his family to Red Lodge three and a half years ago. North Dakota’s oil and population boom transformed the area, so Sean and his wife decided shortly after visiting Red Lodge for a friend’s wedding to move their family to this beautiful area. Sean started his career in video editing in the 1980s as a young kid with a camcorder and a VCR, and as time went on and technology grew, he continued to learn.
In the later 2000s, Sean started MightCouldDo with a colleague, where he provided video services for North Dakota and the surrounding states. His company prided itself on the quality of work it could do to help people or companies on a shoestring budget. MightCouldDo made documentaries, music videos, and production videos for nonprofits. Sean goes on to say, “We tried to focus on people who normally would not have the means to work with high-end production values”. When Keeney first moved to Red Lodge, he was still working in North Dakota and traveling back and forth, but that agreement fell through, so he started working on his own freelance projects for more than a year. This was a lot more challenging because having help in any production work is invaluable depending on the project. Another important part of his production is having a space that can accommodate the work that he needs to do.
Sean was searching for a space to run his company Jun[K] Farmers for about eight months and then was able to get in the Roosevelt Center space a year ago. “This was exactly what I was looking for,” Keeney said. The high ceiling allows him to use his production lighting the way he needs. “I think Roosevelt [Center] is hugely important with what they’re doing with the spaces
they offer and the artist community,” Sean says.
Robust Arts & Culture Vista
Carthage College, Kenosha, WI.
Studio Art major, Art History minor
Reason for joining AmeriCorps:
Favorite Montana moment:
Driving the Beartooth All-American Highway
Years of service: 2
While in Red Lodge Alex Albright worked to Revitalize Old Roosevelt School into a multi use community art center for the benefit of the whole community. Alex helped to form an independent committee dedicated to revitalizing Old Roosevelt , helped to select an architect to complete a re-use study of the building, secured funding as well as developed and expanded public engagement and outreach.
Alex worked with volunteers from A Place for our Arts to establish and streamline a new grant program, the Educating Emerging Artists fund. Perhaps most important to Alex’s impact and legacy however were the chalk wall drawings at the community foundation.
Anton Wilhelm is from Twin Bridges, Montana, a small town in the southwest part of the state, known for its fantastic fly fishing. Anton went to college in San Diego to study acupuncture, and came to Red lodge 15 years ago after working in Billings. He opened his practice at the Roosevelt Center seven years ago, which grew rather quickly for the time he had been in the space. Wilhelm treats 20-24 people a week for about an hour. His patients range in age from infants to the elderly.
Wilhelm practices Japanese acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Shiatsu message. In Japanese acupuncture, they use a finer gauge of needle in comparison to the Chinese version where the “heavier needles are more sedating to the body”. The reason Anton uses the Japanese method is because “you are able to create a more activating response in the body.” Also, the mellower needle approach can cater more to chronic illnesses.
Anton started his practice with herbal medicine, but eventually moved more towards acupuncture because he didn't need the herbs to get the desired outcome of acupuncture. He also enjoys acupuncture more because, “I really like to do hands-on work so I can create change with a person with my hand, it is a very satisfying feeling.” Wilhelm said on the profession he has done for almost two decades, “It kind of found me more than anything.”
Gracie Andrews, a freshman going to Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, is an aspiring artist whose niche is “semi realistic.” She was asked to do an extensive mural inside the Roosevelt building for Red Lodge to enjoy. Tracy Timmons the Executive Director of the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, approached Gracie to do the mural because, ”The Foundation wanted the voice of youth to become engaged at the newly established Roosevelt Arts and Culture Center.“ Danielle Shilling, the Foundation’s Youth Internship Coordinator, who worked with Gracie said, “During this time she grew into a much more confident and capable artist.”
Gracie spent more than 200 hours working on this fantastic piece and what she found challenging was, ”Realizing my own limitations, putting aside my perfectionism, and overcoming the frustrations.” She also mentioned that she thinks the Roosevelt building is beneficial to the Carbon County because “They are going to inspire the community artists to contribute and express themselves.” Gracie presented a magnificent piece to the community while paving a way for future artists at the Roosevelt building.
You can view her work on
Instagram at smile_like_psychos.
Gregory T Harper
Gregory T. Harper was a man dedicated to teaching music. He taught music in Red lodge around 20 years, starting in the early ’80s, and could play or teach any instrument you could think of. He was a man dedicated to his students, as well as the idea of music flourishing in the Red Lodge community. Mr. Harper had a vision to create a music performance art center for the students and the people of Red Lodge, by bequeathing the balance of his estate for an auditorium. The Old Roosevelt Project (RLACF), in honor of his commitment, has named the 3rd floor the Gregory T. Harper Recital Hall.
Tamara Upton, a former student, remembers, “how kind he was and how supportive he was,” and that he was a “Jolly” man. She also said, “With the Old Roosevelt being converted to a new performing art space lends creditability to his statement that music and performing really drives people.” Gregory T Harper lived for music and with his help, the Roosevelt building continues its transformation into his dream for the town of Red Lodge.
Photo by Merv Coleman
Still Playing Today!
The upright piano in the storage room off the Performance space was sold to the Foundation in 2016 by Gary and Kathy Robson when they were closing their Broadway Books & Tea store. The Robson’s had bought the piano at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary's annual fundraiser. It was donated to the fundraiser by long time Red Lodge resident Irma Capps, 416 S. Platt,
where Mrs. Capps had the piano from 1946-2005. Mrs. Capps had grown up a block away on S. Platt and her mother had bought the piano from the Roman Theatre when the Roman transitioned to "talkies," so the piano was no longer needed to accompany silent films. Mrs. Capps took her childhood piano with her when she married and moved to 416 S. Platt. The upright piano is a Cable-Nelson brand, and its serial number indicates that it was made between 1905-1910.
Story By Sue Logan
Janice Marie Polzin is an artist from Detroit, Michigan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies. After spending years as an art educator in the city, she now calls Roberts, Montana home.
Janice became engaged in the Roosevelt Revitalization Project three years ago by facilitating design thinking workshops with the Red Lodge community, helping to collect specific ideas for the utilization of the space. Inspired by the scale and scope of the Roosevelt project, Janice designed and created the mural titled “Mark the Movement” which adorns three of the exterior walls on the building. She is honored for the opportunity to share her mark with the charming community of Red Lodge. The imagery of the mural reflects the natural beauty that surrounds the town and suggests the creative harmony that exists within its members.
As Janice continues to grow as an artist in our community, she looks forward to participating in future projects and programs as the Roosevelt revitalization vision progresses.