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Secretary of State Linda McCulloch Unveils “Treasured” Montana Artists
Matt and Heather Holmes of Polson, Montana

Matt and Heather Holmes with Montana Secretary of State Linda McCullochHELENA – Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is pleased to introduce Matt and Heather Holmes of Polson, Montana, as the next “Treasured” Montana Artists. The husband and wife team are accomplished artists who create ceramics, mixed media art and oil paintings to showcase a variety of subjects.

“This is our first three-dimensional exhibit,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Matt and Heather’s combined talents create one-of-a-kind pieces that showcase various artistic mediums and the West as an art form. Their work is colorful, natural, thoughtful, and extraordinarily unique.”

Matt and Heather Holmes’ exhibit features raku-fired ceramic vessels adhered to textured oil paintings, and other original designs. Raku is an ancient Japanese ceramic firing process in which the clay is traditionally removed from a hot kiln and air-cooled or placed in combustible materials to alter the glazes. Matt and Heather prefer to remove their pieces from the kiln at around 2,000 degrees and place them directly into wood shavings, leaves, and grass to alter their handmade glazes.

“Each time we open the container after the piece has cooled, it is a surprise,” said Matt Holmes. “We never quite know what we are going to get with this process.”

“It could be the barometric pressure, material it was cooled in, or simply our attitude at the moment we take it from the kiln,” added Heather Holmes. “This unpredictability is why it is so exciting for us.”

Secretary McCulloch launched the “Treasured” Artist exhibit in January 2009 to showcase Montana artists whose work is tied to the Treasure State. She personally selects each artist from a competitive pool of nominated candidates.

“Matt and Heather are an exceptional talent,” Secretary McCulloch said. “This exhibit is an integration of the arts and sciences, and a celebration of the element of chance.”

Matt and Heather Holmes’ exhibit will be on display April through July in the front lobby of the Secretary of State’s Office, which is located in the State Capitol Building in Helena. It is available at no cost to the public. Past and present “Treasured” Montana Artist exhibits are featured in an online gallery at sos.mt.gov/Gallery.