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 grew up across the pond, in Liverpool, England. At an early age, painting and guitar sparked his artistic interest. After studying music in college, Henry played guitar professionally for 15 years all around Europe, before moving to Paris, France. At the time, he was somewhat burnt out from music and got a job working for the American University of Paris. Henry rekindled his love for art in Paris, visiting the many art galleries, and he even produced a show as well. Again, Henry drifted away from art, as he explains, but once he moved to the United States in 2011, he slowly picked it up again.
In 2019, in just one year, Henry sold 25 paintings. He goes back and forth between commissioned and personal work, while making a name for himself painting beautiful dog portraits. These intricate and intimate portraits range from 15 to 20 hours each. Henry had this to say about his art: “I’m still developing style, subject, and technique; I’m always learning.”
In December 2019, Henry had a little help from a friend and established a home for his rededication to art, moving into his own room at the Roosevelt Center. It was love at first sight for Henry and his space, jumping on the opportunity the moment the room became available. He committed, knowing it would continue to drive his passion and propel his aspirations as an artist.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.