The Russell Riders Sculpture Garden, a vision and project of the long-standing Charlie Russell Riders Foundation, was launched in July 2012 with five major bronzes: Change of Seasons by T. D. Kelsey; The Emperor by Dan Ostermiller, donated by Steven L. Rose; Nose to the Wind by Joe Halko, donated by Margaret Halko, Michelle Halko Stivers, and Stephanie Halko Groux; September by Michael Coleman, donated by Brad and Ginger Richardson and the artist; and Last of the Buffalo, donated by the artist Michael Coleman.
The sculpture garden not only showcases outstanding sculpture, but also adds a new level of accessibility to the arts for the public as a free permanent installation. “This is a place families can come, free of charge, all four seasons,” said Henry Bedford, founding member of the Charlie Russell Riders. “They can picnic at the benches, roam through the garden, and appreciate wonderful art, enjoying the museum anytime.”
The Charlie Russell Riders formed in 1985 as an offshoot of the C.M. Russell Museum’s National Advisory Board. The original concept of the group was to expand the scope and knowledge of the C.M. Russell Museum and increase involvement in the organization beyond the Montana state limits. Beginning with 40 members, the group has grown to nearly 100 members who live all over the United States from Hawaii to Connecticut.
The Charlie Russell Riders and C.M. Russell Museum look forward to the continued development of the Sculpture Garden for the public’s enjoyment through future acquisitions.