Textile artist Jeff Tell shows a piece to attendees of an art show organized by the Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
A colored pencil drawing of a rainbow trout by an artist named Woody hangs on a wall during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
A detail from a large painting by an artist named Buzzard is seen during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
People look at pieces of art during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
A painting by Richard Stewart hangs on a wall in the ballroom of the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
People look at pieces of art during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

City government reporter
Textile artist Jeff Tell shows a piece to attendees of an art show organized by the Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
A colored pencil drawing of a rainbow trout by an artist named Woody hangs on a wall during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
A detail from a large painting by an artist named Buzzard is seen during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
People look at pieces of art during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
A painting by Richard Stewart hangs on a wall in the ballroom of the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
People look at pieces of art during the opening of an art show organized by the Human Resource Development Council at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
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On one side of the room, one artist displayed intricate, miniature models of the interior of homes and other scenes. On the same wall, another artist was showing detailed paintings of wildlife next to large, colorful paintings from a well-known Bozeman artist named Buzzard, who often paints windows downtown.
The art was displayed in a ballroom at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture on Thursday as part of a show put on by the Human Resources Development Council. It was their first show and it focused on highlighting talents of the people HRDC serves, said Emma Hamburg, the organization’s outreach and events coordinator.
Attendees strolled around the room, where in one corner textile pieces from artist and food bank volunteer Jeff Tell hung from the ceiling near glossy photographs of Montana scenes and pottery from the high school-aged sibling of an HRDC employee who often volunteers for the organization.
The inspiration for the show came from one of HRDC’s clients who stays at the Warming Center on Wheat Drive, Development Director Kristin Hamburg said.
The man would show his art to other people at the shelter, Hamburg said, but said he wished he could show it to more people.
His art hung prominently at the ballroom at the Emerson, including a colored pencil drawing of a rainbow trout in a simple wooden frame. A plaque near his work noted he is loved by all, and says his art “brings me solace and peace of mind.”
“I enjoy sharing my art with other people and being able to do things with my hands, even at my age,” the plaque reads.
The show featured both artists who receive services from HRDC and from volunteers, staff members and other people connected with the organization.
Another artist, Richard Stewart, was showing three paintings. Stewart uses Montana’s mountains and rivers as inspiration for watercolor and oil paintings that he’s shown in galleries locally and regionally.
But the COVID-19 pandemic hit Stewart and other artists hard. It seemed like people stopped buying art altogether, Stewart said.
The art show was a welcome opportunity for Stewart, who has cancer and receives support from HRDC’s senior program, which helps with things like transportation, food assistance, and housing support.
“COVID just flattened the market. It’s been really bad for most artists, a lot of local artists,” Stewart said. “This show is needed in Bozeman.”
Stewart’s pieces Friday included one of the Shields River and two of the foothills near Gallatin Gateway. Stewart has a particular affinity for painting underwater rocks — one painting shows the Shields River shining bright under a cover of light snow.
Hamburg said the nonprofit wanted to show off how multi-talented its client base is.
“We have amazing artists within our HRDC family who often use art as a way to express themselves, or escape for a moment the situation they find themselves in,” Hamburg said. “It’s a nice way for us to show the diversity of the customers we serve.”
All the pieces were accompanied by cards with the artist’s names and a description of their connection to HRDC. One artist wrote that she is a “tattooed cat lady” who sells art on Etsy as a side hustle and has only done one art show before.
Another artist wrote that he had “no idea” he could paint, but started to while staying at the Hope House. The three paintings that hung on the wall are his first, according to the card.
“I painted these while going through a very difficult time in my life and they are a reflection of some of my greatest, most positive memories,” the card read.
The show wasn’t a fundraiser for HRDC — proceeds from the sale of any of the pieces went entirely back to the artist. It was the first art show for a few of the artists, including photographer Tyler Andreas.
Andreas, who heard about the show from a friend, got into photography after taking a photo class at Montana State University that was required for his graphic design program. He said he’d like to do shows like Thursday’s more often.
It was the first show for Livingston resident Galaxy Sheldon, too, who was showing a few pieces at the event. Sheldon has been in HRDC’s work experience program for six years.
Sheldon works with a few different mediums, including digital art and traditional sketch. The opportunity for artists to receive profit from their pieces is a big deal, Sheldon said.
“There’s a lot of people in there that are still trying to get up on their feet,” Sheldon said.
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Nora Shelly can be reached at nshelly@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2607.
City government reporter
Nora Shelly covers city government for the Chronicle.
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