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Nnacy McLaughlin Powell

Nancy McLaughlin Powell (1932-1985)

Nancy McLaughlin Powell was a significant artist of Western Indians, especially those of the Plains, Southwest, and Northwest. Born in Kalispell and raised in Western Montana, she was married to renowned artist Ace Powell from 1951-1965. She spent much of her childhood on the Blackfeet Reservation where her only friends were the Indian children. Nancy wanted to follow them to the Reservation Boarding School, but was sent instead to Valier, Montana and later attended high school in Kalispell. McLaughlin worked in a variety of media and considered herself a sculptor above all else. Her influences varied from Charlie Russell and Rodin, to the Russian School of Impressionism. She was trained in art at Montana State University in Bozeman and took many classes from Edward Bailey at Kalispell High School. It was Bailey's influence as an art teacher that led her into becoming a teacher herself, briefly, at the one-room schoolhouse in Pleasant Valley, before turning full-time to her own work and favorite theme of Indian women and tribal lore. During her lifetime she had many individual and group exhibitions, illustrated several publications, was the subject of numerous articles and at least three books.