CCEF Evening of Art features local artists and beyond

24_artinactionSTEADY HANDS  – Steve Lillegard of Stanford sculpts a cowboy being bucked off a horse out of clay during the Art in Action event held in Great Falls earlier this spring.  Lillegard will be featured at the CCEF Evening of Art along with other local artistians. Photo courtesy of Larry Beckner, Great Falls Tribune


By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

The Conrad Community Education Foundation is gearing up for their first ever Evening of Art on Oct. 15 at Norley Hall.

The event begins with art viewing at 6:30 p.m. and the auction gets underway at 7:30 p.m. There is an admission fee and appetizers will be served and a no host bar from Ed’s Tavern will be on tap.

One of the featured artists is Steve Lillegard from Stanford, Mont. Lillegard was born in Great Falls and was raised in central Montana’s Judith Basin.

His earliest influences came from his mother who attended art school in Boston. He attended Montana State University where he majored in Fine Arts and later studied Graphic Design at Bismarck Jr. College in North Dakota.

He worked in advertising art before turning his interest towards sculpture. He returned to Stanford in 1981 where he built a foundry and began learning the casting process.


Lillegard’s sculptures have found homes worldwide and he has won numerous awards. His larger sculptures include a life-size Revolutionary War soldier that he completed in 1984 and a girl watering flowers in the Community Labyrinth Garden in Lewistown which was installed in 2005. Another is the life-size jumping horse at Larkspur Farms in Whitefish which was installed in 2010.


In 2006, he was commissioned to create the Wally Buono Award which is Canada’s equivalent to our Heisman Trophy.

Lillegard also enjoys painting, drawing, cartooning and drawing caricatures. He recently illustrated a children’s fantasy book titled The Holly King by Montana author Anne Williamson and a coloring book for the Outfitters Association.

Lillegard brings to the Evening of Art two bronze sculptures titled Battle of Winds and The Blizzard. Photos of the sculptures are available for viewing at Stockman Bank.

Other artists include Mark Bergstrom, a CHS graduate whose prints benefit Haiti and other countries dealing with poverty. A painting by Monte Dolac from Missoula will be up for auction and a drawing or painting from Bob Moritz. There will be bronze work from Dale Sheldon and artwork from local students. Bob Kovatch from Valier will also be doing a wood carving and a bronze for auction.

Students can participate in art classes during the day at UMS and Lillegard will be teaching basic sculpting. Students can attend a sculpting, chalk, collage, painting or woodworking class. Students must be enrolled in a class before Oct. 10.

Money raised during the Evening of Art and off of online purchases through Lillegard’s website,, will benefit area youth as CCEF’s ultimate goal is to start an afterschool program.