Plein air painting at Sperry Chalet artist residency

Celebrating Sperry Chalet through Painting With Artist Residency Recipient Ken Yarus

Plein air painter Ken Yarus enjoyed an artist residency at Sperry Chalet for the 2021/2022 season
Plein air painter Ken Yarus enjoyed an artist residency at Sperry Chalet, which culminated July 6 at FoR Fine Art.

Kalispell, Montana artist Ken Yarus has been exploring and painting Glacier National Park his entire life. So, when he was offered the opportunity to live and paint at Sperry Chalet for two weeks as their resident artist, it was an easy yes.

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As Ken describes it, “I was devastated when I read the news that the chalet was lost in the Sprague Fire back in 2017. I thought I missed my chance to ever be a resident artist. After these last few years and the incredible story of the chalet being rebuilt, my dreams of doing the residency were rekindled. I did one of those happy dance air punches when I heard I was chosen for the 2021 season.”

The goal of the artist residency at Sperry Chalet is to “share, through art, the experiences of visiting the backcountry of Glacier National Park; the beauty, emotion, and intrinsic value of wilderness,” as stated on their website. This resonated poignantly with Ken, who uses his career as an artist as a tool for amplifying and supporting conservation efforts. His 2021 Sperry Chalet Artist Residency culminated on July 6 at FoR Fine Art in Whitefish. The evening included an artist talk and an unveiling of the paintings he created throughout the residency, with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Glacier Conservancy.

Ken Yarus, "Undaunted," oil, 24 x 30 in.
Ken Yarus, “Undaunted,” oil, 24 x 30 in.
Ken Yarus, "The Toll Keeper," oil, 14 x 11 in.
Ken Yarus, “The Toll Keeper,” oil, 14 x 11 in.

When asked about his residency experience, Ken described it as surreal. “It feels like being in a space station but at the same time traveling back in time. The rest of the world seems so small and far below you,” Ken recalls. “Locations I could only dream of painting became an easy day hike. The basin that Sperry Glacier sits in was stunning.”

Ken Yarus, "A Sperry Sunset," oil, 12 x 16 in.
Ken Yarus, “A Sperry Sunset,” oil, 12 x 16 in.
Ken Yarus, "A Distant Calling," oil, 36 x 24 in.
Ken Yarus, “A Distant Calling,” oil, 36 x 24 in.

Most visitors to the chalet only stay for a night or two, so getting to live at the chalet for two weeks leaves a lasting mark. “The staff and guests really elevated the experience. I loved the camaraderie and teamwork,” Ken says. “The living is rustic and challenging in some ways, but I can honestly say living at the chalet was a dream. As an artist with a love for the mountains, this experience only deepened that fondness. I really felt like I lived in the mountains. . . I recognized the mountain goats, I could tell when the weather was coming in, and I painted the views every day. I took thousands of reference photos and painted over 25 pieces. It will be an experience that fuels many more paintings for me in the future.”


Visit to find out all the amazing opportunities for artists through Streamline Publishing, including:
– Online art conferences such as Plein Air Live
– New video workshops for artists
– Incredible art retreats
– Educational and fun art conventions, and much more.

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