We (John & Shirl) are artists living in Gardiner Montana at the edge of Yellowstone National Park along the Yellowstone River. We have been professional artists for about 18 years now. I paint (usually in oils these days), John sculpts (mostly in bronze) and together we create one-of-a-kind lighting pieces and some furnishings too.
Our ‘hobby’ is architecture. We designed and built our home, studio and gallery ourselves. We found this amazing spot, south facing with glorious views of Yellowstone National Park along the Yellowstone River in the wonderful little mountain town of Gardiner Montana. Although we had built a home, studio and gallery previously and said we would ‘never do all THAT work again’… how could we say no to this? The sight was calling for beautiful spaces with natural materials, large windows and solar concepts. Right up our alley. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
We were fortunate to have a large existing home on the property, where we could ‘house the family’ and continue our business during our building phase. After we moved into our new space, we took on the project of remodeling the existing home into our Guest House – making it a comfortable, completely furnished vacation rental for larger groups or extended families.
As we opened our doors to Elk River Art studio and gallery in Gardiner Montana, clients came in and enjoyed the new space and the art. Their complements gave us another idea . . . how about adding guest accommodations to this space where the art AND the architecture could be part of the Yellowstone experience. So here we go again! . . . (You can see the Gallery Lodge pages for our most recently completed project on the property.)
What do we do in our ‘spare time’? On the top of our list is hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and sled riding in Yellowstone and the surrounding area with our 2 young children. It’s really a bonus when we manage to fit in some reading, photography and gardening. Now and then we even manage to drag ourselves away from ‘the center of the universe’ and venture a little further. Reminds us when we return why we’ve chosen to call this place “home”.
So now what are we going to do to scratch our ‘architecture itch’? . . . Well, we’ve got a greenhouse in the works, a new deck for the Guest House planned and some other ideas up our sleeves. And we’re always tinkering and updating to improve what we have going. As artists, we don’t lack for ideas – it’s just a matter of time to complete them all!