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Secretary McCulloch Unveils Next "Treasured Montana Artist"

April 30, 2009

Sara Girard and Jamie MacDonald, second graders at Montana City School, stretch with Secretary of State Linda McCulloch before volunteering at a Global Youth Service Day event on April 25, 2009.
Photographer Barbara Van Cleve

(Helena) - Mark your calendars! Secretary of State Linda McCulloch will officially unveil the next "Treasured Montana Artist" on Tuesday, May 5 at 10 AM in the front lobby of the Secretary of State's office in the State Capitol in Helena.

"The idea behind the exhibit is to showcase diverse talents and unique artwork that has ties to the Treasure State. I'm pleased to announce that the next artist is not only a native Montanan, but a true rancher who tells extraordinary stories from behind her lens," said McCulloch.

"When I saw Barbara's photographs depicting ranch life in the West, I knew in an instant that she was well suited to be the next Treasured Montana Artist."

Photographer Barbara Van Cleve's heritage is rich with family history and firsthand experience. Raised on her family's ranch near Melville, Montana, Van Cleve says she is no stranger to the "true grit" of ranch life.

"I wanted to share with other people how wonderful ranch life was, but I could not draw, or paint, or make things in clay. So, I begged my parents for a camera," said Van Cleve.

"They gave me a Brownie Box camera when I was 11, and that was the beginning of my being able to share with others my visions of ranch life."

Van Cleve is a self-taught photographer who has a multitude of photographic interests. She currently resides in Big Timber where she owns and operates a private studio. More information is available on her website: www.barbaravancleve.com