Russell Rowland

Recent Posts

One writer’s picks for memorable gifts of literature

We are blessed with an embarrassment of riches in Montana as far as good books by good writers, so for your gift-giving pleasure, I thought I’d cite some of the best Montana books I’ve read in the past couple of years. I’m going to focus mostly on writers that aren’t getting as much attention as I think they should. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Painter blends animals, surrealism, medieval imagery

Red Birds

When Jennifer French was in first grade, she drew a horse. And after looking at the similar drawings of the other kids, she realized her horse looked a lot more like a horse. From that moment forward, Jennifer knew exactly what she wanted to do. When people asked her as a child, she told them straight up, “I want to be an artist and a part-time waitress.”

So even then, French had a notion that being an artist might represent a conflict between the creative and the practical. French’s father worked for Conoco, and because of his job, they moved every three years or so. Continue Reading →

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Native American lecture series moving to Missoula


About two years ago, I gave a talk at the Pictograph Caves just outside Billings. Inspired by the Native American pictographs that are the main feature of the site, I focused on a subject that had become something of an obsession since I returned to Montana 10 years ago, which is the treatment of the Native Americans in our state. I grew up in Montana, but I had been gone for 25 years when I returned. I moved from San Francisco, and I was stunned to find that people still talked very openly about Native Americans as if they are all lazy, drunk and a drain on our economy. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Stapleton exhibit a stunning mix of old and new

Red Star

If I were to assess “Crow Now,” a collection on display at the Stapleton Gallery, based solely on its aesthetic impact, it would already be one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. But in this case, there is so much more of a story to tell. A story that goes back more than a century. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Reasons for hope at Native American lecture series


“When I started telling people in Amherst that I was Native American, their most common response was ‘Wow, that’s really cool!’”

This was one of the more striking statements made by Caleb Williams, who was the speaker at the most recent Native American Race Relations and Healing Lecture Series. And the striking thing about it was the expression on his face when he said it. It was clearly not the reaction he is accustomed to getting when he talks about his heritage. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: As Gianforte shows, money can’t buy everything


There was a recent French movie called “Marguerite,” about a wealthy aristocrat who decided to become an opera singer, based on a true story. Marguerite Dumont hired the best music teacher money could buy and set to work to achieve her goal, but unfortunately, she had no natural singing ability whatsoever. She was tone deaf, and nobody around her could convince her otherwise. (more…) Continue Reading →

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