Acrylic Painting Workshop

Sunday, April 29, 1pm - 4:30pm
Museum of the Plains Indian

Native Blackfeet Artist, Valentina LaPier, will teach multiple techniques while painting with acrylics. Find the style that speaks to your soul. All experience levels invited. Snack and supplies will be provided. No cost for Blackfeet residents. Ages 13+


Class limited to 12 students, to register call 406-888-5127 or email blackfeetatheart@gmail.com


Drawing Workshop

Sunday, May 6, 1pm - 4:30pm
Museum of the Plains Indian

Taught by long-time art instructor, Brooke Nelson. She will teach the principles and techniques of drawing. This class will help with the foundation of any type of art you choose. All experience levels invited. Snack and supplies will be provided. No cost for Blackfeet residents. Ages 13+


Class limited to 12 students, to register call 406-888-5127 or email blackfeetatheart@gmail.com


In one year time, this is what Blackfeet at HeART has accomplished:

January  2017 -    Our "Wake Up Call"

"The Two Sues" had a sense that there was a need for art enrichment and opportunities on the isolated Blackfeet Reservation, but ONLY when the responses from a simple ad placed in the Browning newspaper started flooding in did we realize the depth of  need and the niche that we suddenly wanted to dedicate ourselves to. 

The ad read:  Free art supplies by request. 

Some responses were as follows:    

"What do I want?...I will take anything."  

"I am calling for my daughter.  She is artistic, but I have never been able to afford art supplies for her".

 "I am a teacher.  Is it possible that I could ask for art supplies for my classroom?  All I have is construction paper".  

"My wife has died and I am alone.  I used to paint...."  

"I sew and sell my textiles, but my sewing machine is broken.  Can you help me?"

We scrambled and raised enough money under the umbrella of our "Mother Ship", Stumptown Art Studio to fulfill all 64  requests.  The look on the faces of the recipients that braved -35 degree temperatures on that January day will be with us forever.  With the support of monetary and material donations, Blackfeet At HeART is dedicated to the mission of bringing art supplies and art opportunities to these under-served and isolated people. 

February 2017        Community Starts with Women and Children

With the help of The Soroptimist Organization, we secured the funds to make wishes come true for several of the  elementary and junior high school classrooms in both Browning and East Glacier.  In total, 336 school children received quality art supplies.

The counselor/art therapist for the elementary schools received quality art materials to enhance her ability to reach troubled and traumatized children through creative self-expression.  Alcoholism and substance abuse within families is a tragic and familiar reality for many of these precious children.  

March  2017            Passing on Cultural Traditions

The "wish list" was fulfilled for The Traditional Gaming Society.  This Blackfeet organization keeps traditional games of their ancestors alive by engaging  youth in experiential workshops and competitive playing of the games. Participants use leather, beads, sinew, and saplings to fashion their implements.                     

April 2017              Blackfeet Community College Art Show

Blackfeet At HeART participated and supported the library staff at The Blackfeet Community as they put on their 4th Annual Community Art Show.  The art show had good participation with both emerging student artists and the established artists.  For each of the ten categories judged, Blackfeet At HeART gave generous gifts of art supplies to each winner.

May 2017                 A Day Of Deep Listening

Recognizing that the culture in this community is unique, we felt that it was important to spend a day listening and thus sculpting the vision of our mission with the people that we strive to support.

In the morning, we met with youth from the Browning High School.  We came asking for candid answers to our questions.  It was a tremendous experience with a great exchange of ideas and insights.

In the evening, we hosted a dinner bringing an educator, two community leaders, the museum curator, and a major donor together for conversation.

June 2017                        Mentors

Mentors and their“mentorees” were actively engaged with everything from participating together in two-day workshops to critiquing work via FaceTime.  For the more advanced artists, mentors actively coached on the finer skills of marketing . 

July 2017                         Leather and Canvas!

A retired New York City Broadway shoemaker asked to have meetings with various artisans in Browning to see how she could share her expertise plus donate industrial sewing machines and leather supplies into the community.  Crafting leather goods is a skill set that is deeply rooted into the Blackfeet culture.   There was a great exchange of ideas for possible new enterprises.

Blackfeet At HeART will play an important role within schools and community centers in the construction of full size lodges/tepee.  We hope to purchase the huge bolts of canvass and sewing machines.  There is an urgency within the Blackfeet Nation to tap into the skills, stories and wisdom of the aging elder population. 


August 2017                     Blackfeet Nation Gallery Night In Whitefish

For the second year, Stumptown Art Studio hosted a month long exhibit and sale of Blackfeet art.  The success of the event depended on Blackfeet At HeART.  Recognizing that many of the artists could not make the 2 hour trip into Whitefish, we picked up the art at a designated place and time, helped to hang the pieces, and  assisted with bio’s and marketing. A month later, we transported any unsold pieces back to the artists along with checks for the pieces sold.


September 2017               Art Supplies in the Classrooms

Before the first school bell rang, Blackfeet At HeART, with the input of elementary teachers, was able to supply art materials to over 260 early elementary students.  Teachers report that a troubling percentage of Reservation families can not afford basic supplies for their kids.

                                                Heart Butte

Our outreach now includes the small, VERY isolated hamlet of Heart Butte.  All of the children K-12 are housed in one school.   The teachers do their best, but the conditions are tough and challenging.  Under the direction of the dedicated art teacher and the reading/native culture teacher, we have delivered a myriad of supplies ranging from clay, beads, leather, paper, scissors, paint sets and a sewing machine to this school. 


October 2017                      Inaugural Art Contest at the Browning High School

Blackfeet At HeART has initiated a Fall Art Contest at the Browning High School in hopes of infusing more creative opportunities into a school which sadly has a very weak fine arts program.  With the support of the school’s librarian, we have put together a contest that encourages students to create and participate!  The winners were judged by their peers with online voting.  Outrageously exciting and generous prizes served as great motivators for the November announcement of the winners.  It is our hope that this event will serve as a catalysis for creative initiatives throughout the year, and that the contest can be a yearly event.   

It is our mandate to encourage and foster the powerful potential in the youth on the Reservation.  We are seeing, first-hand, how opportunities to  explore self-expression manifest in an elevation of self-worth.

It has been an exciting and busy month as we have organized and carried out three Sunday Workshops at The Museum Of The Plains Indians.  Three extraordinary teachers donated their time.

 Blackfeet artist elder, Valentina LaPier, a contemporary artist, taught Acrylic Painting. 

Kim Shirley, a young, talented artist/entrepreneur, taught Watercolor Painting.

Brook Nelson, beloved art teacher of 30 years, taught Drawing. 


December 2017                 Christmas  Stroll

The Annual Christmas Stroll in Whitefish will take place on December 8th.  Blackfeet At HeART will be there showcasing and selling the work of Blackfeet artists.