Unleash your inner artist in Helena, MT

Visit Montana's artiest town for a crash course in indoor creativity.

Helena, Montana - Swanson Gallery
Audrey Hall

Carve it from wood at Swanson Gallery

Get inspired: Take one look at the gazelle tables or pagoda chairs at the A.L. Swanson Gallery, and you'll realize that you're in a sort of anti-Ikea, where every piece has been individually carved by hand in the old-school Shaker furniture tradition. The furniture (made by master woodworker A.L. Swanson) is the showstopper here, but the gallery is full of sculpture, photography, paintings, and other work by Montana and national artists.

Try it yourself: Once a month, Swanson offers four people the hands-on opportunity to make a table. At his Bob Vila–style workshop, you don't have to know how to use a sander―the workshops are designed for complete beginners. At the end of the weekend, you will be the proud owner―and crafter―of a Shaker-style cherry end table to show off at home. Workshops usually take place last Sat–Sun of each month; $585, including materials and meals; 810 Front St.; alswanson.com


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