A Whitefish, Montana Artist is Inspired by Local Holiday Decor

Montana local Rob Akey makes art from oil on panel
Gallery Copy

Holiday Glow by Rob Akey, oil on panel 10 x 8 inches.

Rob Akey

“I grew up in Whitefish, Montana—camping, fly-fishing—I have a real affinity for those things. Glacier Park is our backyard. My summer jobs were railroading on steel gangs and trail crew in the park. I’ve done some harvesting on the east side of Montana where all the wheat fields are. That’s just part and parcel of growing up here, and it so informs my work now. The common thread is it’s all Montana and it’s all what I know.”

“I wasn’t an art star in high school, but I really liked it. It never dawned on me that I would pursue art as anything like a career. I graduated with a BFA in design [from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design] and ended up at Tonka Toys for 10 years. I was director of creative services, going down a road and getting farther and farther away from art. It took a conscious, willful departure from the corporate world to go back to my fine-art roots. I always wanted to move back to Montana.”

“We have a Christmas Stroll here. The town gets decked out, and it’s kind of over the top—Christmas lights actually stay up from Thanksgiving all the way through February because we have Winter Carnival. Everybody just loves to be here when the Christmas lights go up. The Stroll happens at night, and it’s sort of a magical little holiday town.”

Akey is working on a new series of rodeo paintings, and his artwork will also be featured in two holiday miniature shows, at FoR Fine Art in Whitefish and at Bozeman’s Montana Trails Gallery.

Categories: Artists & Artisans