For Artists

Artist's Innovation Award

Artist's Innovation Award logo

Program Description

In order to foster environments where the innovation and creativity of artists are valued and celebrated, this program rewards Montana artists who have demonstrated:

  • Innovation in their work and artwork
  • Originality and dedication in their creative pursuits
  • A marked capacity for self-direction

Guidelines for the next Artist's Innovation Awards will be available July 2017.
Deadline to apply for the next Artist's Innovation Awards will be October 1, 2017.

2015 Artist's Innovation Award Winners

Eight Montana artists received $3,000 as winners of the 2015 Artist's Innovation Award. The Artist's Innovation Award is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. One of the eight awards is designated for a ceramics artist; the Jessie Wilber and Frances Senska Individual Artist Award, established by a private gift to the arts council from Stacy Hamm and Sage Walden.


Heather Cahoon headshot   Jack Gladstone headshot   Louis Habeck headshot   Maggy Hiltner headshot

Kate Hunt headshot   Steven Lee headshot   Deidre McNamer headshot   Jeremy Sher headshot


  • Heather Cahoon, Literary Arts, Missoula
  • Jack Gladstone, Performing Arts, Kalispell
  • Louis Habeck, Visual Arts, Billings
  • Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, Visual Arts, Red Lodge
  • Kate Hunt, Visual Arts, Kalispell
  • Steven Lee, Visual Arts, Helena
  • Deirdre McNamer, Literary Arts, Missoula
  • Jeremy Sher, Performing Arts, Missoula


How We Define Innovation

Innovation is the act of introducing something new or different to further an artistís vision and practice. This can mean new methods, applications, perspectives, elements, forms, materials, technology integration, project concepts and/or processes that result from study, experimentation or experiences. Your innovation can be from any era of your artistic career. Your innovation can be a personal evolution, or an evolution for the field, or both. Innovation is applicable to traditional art and contemporary art.

Past Winners

  • Jean Albus, Visual Arts, Bridger, 2013
  • Brooke Atherton, Visual Arts, Billings, 2013
  • Theo Ellsworth, Visual Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Mark Gibbons, Literary Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Christine Joy, Visual Arts, Bozeman, 2013
  • Karen Kaufmann, Performing Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Natalie Peeterse, Literary Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Tarn Ream, Performing Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Erin Saldin, Literary Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Shalene Valenzuela, Visual Arts, Missoula, 2013
  • Philip Aaberg, Performing Arts, Chester, 2011
  • Angela Babby, Visual Arts, Billings, 2011
  • Rick Bass, Literary Arts, Missoula and Yaak Valley, 2011
  • Courtney Blazon, Visual Arts, Missoula, 2011
  • Jill Foote-Hutton, Visual Arts, Red Lodge, 2011
  • Tami Haaland, Literary Arts Billings, 2011
  • April Hale, Visual Arts, Bozeman, 2011
  • Charles Nichols, Performing Arts, Missoula, 2011
  • Kathryn Schmidt, Visual Arts, Bozeman, 2011
  • Andy Smetanka, Visual Arts, Missoula, 2011
  • Mark Sundeen, Literary Arts, Missoula, 2011
  • David Cates, Literary Arts, Missoula, 2010
  • Eric Funk, Performing Arts, Bozeman, 2010
  • Kristi Hager, Performing Arts, Missoula, 2010
  • Jerry Iverson, Visual Arts, Big Timber, 2009
  • Dave Kirk, Visual Arts, Willow Creek, 2009
  • Katherine Kramer, Performing Arts, Bozeman, 2010
  • Melissa Kwasny, Literary Arts, Jefferson City, 2010
  • Molly Murphy, Visual Arts, Missoula, 2009
  • Lori Ryker, Visual Arts, Livingston, 2009
  • Phoebe Toland, Visual Arts, Helena, 2009
  • Lea Zoltowski, Visual Arts, Billings, 2009

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