(HELENA) History came alive on Wednesday morning for students at the Mackay Gallery of C.M Russell Art.
Mary Jane Bradbury is a reenactor who tells the story of Charlie Russell through the eyes of his wife Nancy.
Bradbury says reenacting is a great way to bring history to life.
“Because we are all in a life,” she says. “We all have a story.”
And what a story; Bradbury brings Nancy Russell to life, telling the tale of a unique and productive partnership between the artist and the woman who was his partner.
“They came together and each one was good at something the other one desperately needed. So together without Nancy, we would not have the Russell legacy,” said Bradbury.
Wednesday Bradbury, acting as Mrs. Russell, guided two groups of students through the gallery, giving the kids a chance to see the story in each of Russell’s pieces of art.
“To look at the art and not just see a picture. But to look deeper. What are you hearing? What are you seeing or, of course, what are you smelling?”
Whether it’s a bronze, a simple sketch or a painting, Bradbury encourages the students to think of art as an experience.
“That puts you, not just as an objective viewer but now you’re involved in what the artist was doing.”
That’s what makes Bradbury a Class Act her vision of the past and her goal for the future.
“The next generation is who is going take care of all this. So we have to hope that we can plant the seeds that they will want to do it,” said Bradbury.