West Yellowstone, Montana Painted Buffalo Herd Raises $165,000 for Future Projects

Last weekend’s Painted Buffalo Events and annual West Yellowstone Regional Art Show were the culmination of three years of planning and preparation. The weekend culminated with the final live auction where the painted buffalo herd of 25 cows and 9 calves was sold for prices ranging from $2,000.00 to $17,000.00 each.

West Yellowstone, MT, September 03, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The thunder of the Painted Buffalo Herd was heard on August 29th, in West Yellowstone, Montana when a stampede of bidding began at 7:00 PM and didn’t stop until more than $165,000 was raised. Professional auctioneer, Mark Laucher of Fairfield Montana, along with two point men, challenged the bidders competing for 34 painted buffalo cows and calves.

Last weekend’s Painted Buffalo Events and annual West Yellowstone Regional Art Show were the culmination of three years of planning and preparation. John Greve, Painted Buffalo Committee Chairperson states, “For 3 years, we planned, plotted and proceeded toward this final auction weekend. During all that time, we hoped for, but never realistically expected the auction to be as wildly successful as it was.”

The project was sponsored by WYED, the West Yellowstone Economic Development Council, along with many partners including the Town of West Yellowstone MAP program, the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce, and many local businesses and organizations.

“The Painted Buffalo Roam project was the first major undertaking for West Yellowstone Economic Development Council, Inc. – better known as WYED,” explain Glenn Hales, WYED President.” WYED’s vision for this project began over 3 years ago. The project started with the creation of 26 painted buffalo cows in 2007. In 2008, 10 painted buffalo calves were added to the herd. Having these wonderful works of art in West Yellowstone has been exciting not only for WYED and the local community, but also for the countless number of visitors who have also been able to enjoy them during the past three years.”

“The success of the 3 year project and the final weekend of events would not have been possible without the commitment, support and generosity of countless volunteers, artists, individuals, businesses, sponsors, contributors, organizations, successful bidders and people from around the world who saw the herd. Everyone deserves a stampede of thanks.”

Events were scheduled throughout the weekend. Over 150 hungry breakfast participants munched away at the Saturday morning Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast benefit. Hundreds of others attended the West Yellowstone Regional Art Show which featured a dozen of the Painted Buffalo artists as well as other regional artisans. The weekend culminated with the final live auction where the herd was sold for prices ranging from $2,000.00 to $17,000.00 each.

Fifteen of the cows & calves were purchased by local West Yellowstone residents or summer home owners. Artist Joe Halko’s calf, “Sweet Spring” will be finding a home in Bozeman Montana, along with “Norbert the Notorious” painted by Sean Bryers during his senior year at West Yellowstone High School. “Rounding up the Girls” by Susan Guy (Buffalo, WY) will be headed to Livingston, MT.

“Lulubelle,” a painted calf by Robin Berry (Cody, WY) was raffled off on Saturday morning. “Lulubelle” was chosen early in the summer to be raffled to allow anyone to participate for a $1.00 raffle ticket donation. Altogether, over $2,287.00 in tickets were sold. The winning ticket was purchased by Dan Nelson of Boise, Idaho whose grandparents have a summer home on Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone, Montana where “Lulubelle” will reside.

A unique painted buffalo was the perfect fit for the Painted Buffalo Inn’s, headquartered in Wisconsin and with one Inn located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Artist Cameron Blagg’s painted cow “Four Winds” and Michael Meissner’s painted cow “Spectres of Yellowstone” will now represent their properties.

The Park Family drove up from Ogden, Utah in hopes of successfully buying a buffalo for their father’s 80th birthday present. The family all contributed to the effort and on Sunday morning, the Park’s headed for home with “Iinii” painted by Traci Jo Nichols of Potomac, MT.

The work of Diane Hausmann, Fairfield Montana artist, garnered some of the highest bids of the evening. Her painted buffalo cow, “Penelope,” sold for $17,000.00 and “Snowflake,” her painted calf, sold for $7,250.00.

Successful bidders came from ten different states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia, New York, Utah, Nevada, Washington, California, Idaho, and Montana. “The Unknown Buffalo” painted by Karen Garre (Livingston, MT) will be making the longest trip to a new home in Redwood, New York. The painted calf “Snowflake” will be headed to the other coast and Menlo Park, California.

The Painted Buffalo project was the brain child of WYED Board Member, Clyde Seely. “First it was a thought, a dream, a lot of work, a lot of fun and finally a sense of accomplishment and a dream come true, according to Seely. “ The Buffalo Roam project was, I believe one of the most engaging and enjoyable projects the town has ever had. We had two main goals. To create something memorable for the people and to create an economic diversification that will have an ongoing benefit to the town. We hope that WYED’s gift to the town will be the gift that keeps on giving.”

West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce
Jan Stoddard