Erwin (Bud) Helbig (1919 - 2002 )
Bud Helbig was born in Butte, Montana, and lived in Kalispell from
1969 until his death. He wanted to be both a working cowboy and an
artist from the time he was a child, and experienced the former role
by growing up on a horse ranch in western Montana. Since there were
no art schools in Montana when he was young, he enrolled in a
Federal Art School correspondence course, which stimulated his
interest in art. He worked as a bridge builder for the Milwaukee
Railroad to earn money for further study, and went to school in St.
Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Schooling was interrupted by
several years in the military during World War II. After his
discharge he studied with Bill Mosby in Chicago, where he attended
the American Academy of Art and worked as a commercial illustrator.
He stayed in contact with his friends in the west through frequent
return trips and finally moved back to Montana. Bud became a
full-time artist after he moved home. As a traditional painter of
contemporary scenes of the American West, he was elected to the
Cowboy Artists of America in 1972.
Boy on Horse, by Bud Helbig
Gift of Joan Baucus