“Something Holy to Say,” a solo show of Gregory Wilhelmi will be on display for the month of July at Coila Evans Gallery, 119 Main St. in Roundup. In this exhibition, Wilhelmi explores "a world of spirituality obscured, faith smudged, and the struggle to walk again in light," according to the artist's statement.
Wilhelmi lives south of Roundup on Halfbreed Creek with his wife and business partner, Cheryl, in a historic log cabin, circa 1893, with a studio on the property. This show is the most personal he's ever done, described gallery owner Coila Evans, and features images culled from his life in Roundup, as well as works spanning his career as an artist.
"The story to me, when I look at it, is about his life experiences and his revelations and his healing and his growth, which he doesn’t profess, and also paying dear homage to his community that he’s been living in for some time," said Evans.
Wilhelmi studied at Montana State University Billings and Bozeman, and finished his bachelor's degree in fine art at the University of Denver. He worked as an editorial illustrator and political cartoonist for the Catholic Press Society and then pursued his fine art career with an extended trip through Mexico painting watercolors outdoors. He also painted his way across Europe. His first one-man exhibition included these paintings in Denver in 1975.
While in Denver, the artist taught life drawing and color theory for the Colorado Institute of Art. In 1992, Wilhelmi moved his family to Roundup. “As a boy and a young man, I developed this love of place. It never left me. It was like getting reacquainted with a dear friend," he said in a press release from the gallery. "After all the years I could see it anew, and through the eyes of a more mature artist.”
Wilhelmi’s paintings reflect a wide variety of life’s explorations and travels, encompassing studies of Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and his favorite subject, the American West. He views the American West in an unsentimental way, showing views of life in the prairie towns and through abandoned buildings in the shadow of the Rocky Mountain front range. Wilhelmi’s paintings have been collected, exhibited and sold in various museums including the Holter Art Museum, Missoula Art Museum, Yellowstone Art Museum and CM Russell Museum.