By Kathy Senkler, Associate Director

Ninepipes Museum Of Early Montana 

CHARLO – Saturday, June 1, promises to be a splendid and fun-filled day at Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana. The June “First Saturday” event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. offers one watercolorist, one jewelry maker, a DVD film showing, and a book reading and signing.

Discovering you have an artistic talent at a time in your life when you are nearer to retirement age than kick-starting your career, is an experience not everyone gets to enjoy. But Barbara Shrider did just that, and she can thank her mother for changing her life. Barbara was born to Kathryn and William Shrider in Polson and was raised in the Mission Valley. Barbara worked as a registered nurse for 48 years, and had returned home to the Mission Valley in 2000 to take care of her aging parents when her mother asked if she would like to be gifted with a series of six painting lessons given by Joanne Simpson. Once Barbara saw paint colors merge on the watercolor paper, she was hooked. Kathryn passed away before Barbara took her sixth lesson, but the gift keeps on giving. Barbara now paints watercolors of animals, nature and has recently tried portraits, and lives within the confines of her motto, “Excess with Control”. She will exhibit and sell her paintings, and be on hand to visit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the museum’s gift shop.

Local jewelry maker, Helen Camel-White Quills, will showcase her designs of brightly-colored crystal stringed jewelry. Her creative use of crystals makes her pieces “pop and twinkle” as her earthy brown tones are livened up with purple and lavender hues. While she creates her pieces, she finds each has its own personality and she enjoys watching people’s reactions as they make their choice. Helen was born in St. Ignatius and is a member of the Pend d’Oreille tribe. Her father, Henry Camel, was an African-American, and met Helen’s mother, Alice Nenemay, while working at a naval shipyard in Oregon during World War II. Helen’s research into African jewelry has resulted in bringing her two cultures into play with her designs. 

At noon, author Ednor Therriault will entertain all with excerpts from his book Montana Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities and Other Offbeat Stuff. Therriault lives in Missoula and describes himself as a “naturally curious guy with a quirky sense of humor, and I like examining life on the fringes, bringing light to subjects that aren’t covered much in the mainstream. This made me a perfect fit to write my first book, Montana Curiosities, which was released in 2010 on Globe Pequot Press.” He is also a musician and working under his nom de guerre Bob Wire, Therriault has written and recorded five albums of original materials. He has been performing all over the West since 1995, and was named Missoula’s Entertainer of the Year in 2007. Look for his writing in Missoula Valley Lifestyle, Montana Magazine, Mountain Outlaw and Distinctly Montana and other regional publications. 

“A Montana Legacy: The Melton Bison Ranch 1948-1962” film will be shown in the museum’s diorama room at 2 p.m. The film paints a great story about Whiskey Trail Ranch, a buffalo ranch located near Hot Springs, Montana and the Melton family and friends associated with it. William “Ike” Melton moved to Montana in 1912 and homesteaded on the Flathead Indian Reservation; he worked at the National Bison Range before managing his own private bison stock. Interviews with three of his surviving children, Nora Jean Malinak, LaRue and Terry Melton are included, as well as some archival 8mm silent film. The 56-minute film was produced by Caribou Crossing and co-directed by Frank Tyro and Larry (Joe) Darlington. 

Be sure and add Saturday, June 1, to your calendar and come to Ninepipes Museum to enjoy some of our local talent. Light refreshments will be served. The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and features a new exhibit that opened in May of Native Alaskan hand-carved ivory. Schedule your school or group tours by calling 644-3435.

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