Thursday, February 25, 2021
36.0°F

Moses Lake artist Jan Thacker having work displayed in Montana gallery during September

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | August 25, 2020 11:57 PM

MOSES LAKE — Moses Lake artist and writer Jan Thacker will have her work displayed in her home state in the month of September at the Phillips Studio and Gallery in Kalispell, Montana.

The exhibition is appropriately titled “Montana Homecoming” as she brings more than 46 of her paintings and all three books she has published to be displayed in the gallery in the Kalispell Center Mall. Thacker said the subjects of her pieces for the gallery are mostly “Montana-themed,” such as buffalo and barrel racers.

Tammy Phillips, who owns and operates the Montana gallery, used to paint weekly with Thacker when the pair lived outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.

“I painted with Tammy when we lived in North Pole, and she’s since moved on to Kalispell with family and opened up this gallery,” Thacker said. “So that’s how that happened.”

Today, Thacker and her husband are co-owners of the Red Door Cafe in Moses Lake with her daughter and son-in-law, Rick and Lisa Boorman. Thacker and her daughter, Lisa, taught art classes together at the store’s original location on Third Avenue.

“We did have a teaching studio here in Moses Lake for a time too, teaching kids to paint,” Thacker said. “You haven’t had fun until you’ve tried to teach a 3-year-old to oil paint.”

She has found a home in Moses Lake with her two daughters, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren since making the move to be near her daughter’s family about a decade ago. Thacker’s family roots were planted in Montana when her maternal great-grandparents moved to her hometown of Whitefish in the late 1800s.

“My grandmother is said to be the first settler child born in Whitefish, so my roots go very deep,” Thacker said. “It’s weird because there’s nothing there, so I don’t even know how they would have even heard about it. My grandfather, he and his family moved there by train in a boxcar, with cows, chickens, pigs, household things.”

Her first art show she ever presented was in Whitefish almost 50 years ago in the old library building. Thacker said it’s kind of crazy going back after all this time.

She said she still remembers the emotions of coming to her first art gallery.

“They were really gaudy flower pictures, but the best part of that show was my mother,” Thacker said. “She was so proud.”

Thacker said she has been painting since she was a child. She said she likes to mix up her time, between painting and writing.

She spent a long time as a journalist, working as a columnist for more than 25 years, even owning her own newspaper at one time.

“I wrote for a lot of little papers all over the state of Alaska,” Thacker said. “But novels are kind of new to me, kind of a new thing.” She has three novels published currently, all based around her hometown of Whitefish. Novel number four will be out in a few months, and a fifth one is almost completed, she said.

Thinking back over her journey as an artist, Thacker laughed as she said, “I’m a lot better now than I was back then.”

The First Friday reception for the gallery will be on Sept. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Kalispell, Montana.

photo

Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Local artist Jan Thacker holds up one of her numerous paintings in her home in Moses Lake on Tuesday, as she gets her work ready to head off to the Phillips Studio and Gallery in Kalispell, Montana.

photo

Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake artist Jan Thacker focused on her home state of Montana for her art pieces that will displayed next month at the Phillips Studio and Gallery in Kalispell, Montana.

photo

Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake artist Jan Thacker focused on her home state of Montana for her art pieces that will displayed next month at the Phillips Studio and Gallery in Kalispell, Montana.