Small Montana School Raises Money to Buy Their Painted Buffalo from Herd in West Yellowstone, Montana
“Every May since 1974, Arlee Montana’s 8th grade biology class has camped for 5 days in Yellowstone to experience the Park’s rich offerings of landscape, geology and wildlife.” This is the inscription found on the painted buffalo “Sunrise to Sunset in Yellowstone” created by Arlee artist Janet McGahan. This year on the way to Yellowstone, Ken Hill’s eighth grade class stopped to see their buffalo. Once home, they began raising money to purchase their painted buffalo in an August auction.
This year on the way to Yellowstone, Ken Hill’s eighth grade class stopped to see their buffalo on the lawn of the Yellowstone Historic Center. Here their buffalo was corralled with 25 other cows and 10 calves, all part of the Painted Buffalo Herd. In early June, the herd was dispersed to sponsor locations throughout West Yellowstone for the summer. This is the final summer for the herd. On the evening of August 29, 2009 the West Yellowstone Painted Buffalo herd will be auctioned off to the highest bidders.
Upon returning home, Ken sent a letter to Janet explaining, “I am putting together a plan to buy the bison and to bring it back to Arlee. We propose putting it up in the annex of the new sports facility being built in Arlee. I have sent e-mails out to everyone at the Arlee School and everyone else in my address book that has gone to Yellowstone on the 8th grade trip, be it chaperone or student. Hopefully we can get enough money together to bring it back to town. It is truly beautiful.”
During the summer, everyone can follow the “Trail of the Painted Buffalo” with trail maps available from local sponsors and the West Yellowstone Visitor Center. Use the Treasure Trail map to find, explore and uncover the secrets of each artist’s work and collect a few rewards from sponsors along the way. Don’t miss the Painted Buffalo Herd in West Yellowstone’s annual July 4th Parade.
For the months leading up to the auction, bids will be accepted via http://www.wyed.org. The herd gathers one last time from August 20 to 26th, 2009 at the Yellowstone Historic Center and then moves to the Grand Hall at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. The herd will be displayed for viewing and silent bids on August 28th and 29th in conjunction with the annual West Yellowstone Regional Art Show in adjoining Hayden Hall. Other events, including a pancake breakfast and a raffle drawing for one of the painted calves on Saturday, August 29th, are being planned.
On August 29th, 2009, the beautiful babes and babies will complete their 3 year roam through the streets of West. At that time, the 34 painted buffalo will be auctioned off to the public, including Janet McGahan’s artwork “Sunrise to Sunset in Yellowstone.” Auction proceeds will benefit the artists, local non-profit organizations and future WYED projects.
The Painted Buffalo Roam Project is sponsored by the West Yellowstone Economic Development Council, Inc. (WYED). WYED is a non-profit organization created for the primary purpose of creating a healthier and more vibrant economy as well as a revitalized community in West Yellowstone, Montana and the surrounding Hebgen Lake Basin. This project was designed to introduce a new venue for artistic expression in West Yellowstone and provide local citizens and visitors with a fun, rewarding, cultural and artistic experience. These summer events are also supported by the Town of West Yellowstone MAP Fund, Chamber of Commerce, and the Three Bear Marketing Fund.