Belgrade People is a monthly spotlight of community members.
Wendy Marquis (Wendy Marquis Art) Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA | MT since 2006 Profession: Artist
So who’s this Wendy character? Wendy owns Wendy Marquis Art, a working studio and gallery located at 9 E Main Street (on the corner of Main and Broadway) here in Belgrade. She specializes in oil paintings on canvas and teaches art classes for beginners of all ages. Wendy describes her work as “a contemporary interpretation of old pickup trucks, landscapes, farm and ranch animals, grain bins, barns, and other iconic rural Western scenery, but with a modern vibe.” Some of her art is currently on display at Theory Hair Salon, a venue known for its cutting-edge (no pun intended) style and decor.
Tell me more... Raised in an artistic family -- her mother owned a gallery and her father reconstructed smiles for a living -- Wendy trained in the arts at both the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the University of Arizona, where she graduated with a BFA. Eager to learn more while living in New Hampshire, she pursued workshops in faux finishing, furniture and mural painting. As a faux finisher and muralist, Wendy found herself either carrying or standing on a ladder 6 days a week. Each new job site presented another challenge…(cough)...opportunity to prove herself in a male-dominated field.
Why Montana? Wendy and her hubby moved their two daughters and assorted dogs out here for his work in 2006. Ready for the next evolution in her art, Wendy decided to focus on painting, particularly oil on canvas.
“Typical” days and “finished” paintings In a perfect world, Wendy paints for a couple of hours before working on marketing, planning classes and interacting with the public. In reality, her workflow changes seasonally. With the exception of the holidays, winter lends itself well to more time spent exploring composition and color palettes (her favorite colors are warm and burnt oranges). So how does she know when a painting is done? Laughing, she admits that “It’s never finished.” On the other hand, she has overworked paintings. Ask her which painting in the gallery still drives her a little nuts and she may just tell you. Wendy considers art “a puzzle to solve and put together, which is a really fun challenge.” She mixes and matches pictures of old trucks and rural landscapes, for example, until she finds a compelling combo to recreate on canvas. When she’s not painting, she’s likely adventuring with her dogs. Art is for everyone Wendy firmly believes everyone has artistic flair, but the mathematical, analytical thinkers tend to be harder on themselves. That’s why her classes emphasize breaking the creative process down into simple, doable steps. “It’s not a fine art class, it’s a fun art class!”
Writer,Keiley McGregor would rather read than write. She enjoys dirty chais, cold beers and no humidity. You’ll probably see her being dragged around town by her huskies and/or tricked into doing something epic by her Special Man Friend. She takes full responsibility for any and all mistakes in her writing unless you point them out to her in person.
We came in 10th overall for small organizations money raised (which is awesome considering how big the valley is) and 7th in terms of donor turn out for small organizations. We came in 50th overall in donor dollars as a whole for GiveBig and 35th as a whole for donors. Which is amazing considering 194 organizations were participating.
The Belgrade community really came out and rallied behind us and all the Belgrade nonprofits!
That as a whole, the valley exceeded the giving goal of $1,000,000.00, raising $1,289,777.42, and also surpassed the number of donors goal which was 4,000 with 4,744 donors. Shout out the Bozeman Area Community Foundation for the amazing work they do for all the communities in Gallatin County!
Join your neighbors on Earth Day - Sunday, April 22nd - and show your love for Belgrade!
Ali, one of our rock-star Board Members, had the idea to put together a community and park pride clean-up day this spring. It won't be the first time she's hunted down trash!
Before moving to Begrade, Ali and her family lived in an apartment complex in Bozeman. When she took her kiddos for walks, she found herself picking up trash along the way. So, the little family started making a habit of taking trash bags and gloves on their walks and cleaning up as they went.
"It was always about showing some love and pride for where we lived," she explained.
Now, living in Belgrade, you can find Ali and her twins showing their love for Belgrade, picking up trash as they explore the streets and parks.
Join Ali and the Belgrade Community Coalition for our Community and Park Pride Clean-up Day!
When: Sunday, April 22nd from 9:30 - 11:00
Where: Pick ANY of these community parks:
LEWIS & CLARK PARK - 205 E. Main Street
KATHY HOLLENSTEINER MEMORIAL PARK - South Circle Drive
LION'S PARK - Intersection of Cameron Street and Weaver Street
SUNNYSIDE PARK - 308 Stiles Street
PRAIRIE VIEW PARK - Intersection of Arizona & Missoula
KIWANIS PARK - 702 Home Run Drive
SKATING RINK - Corner of North Broadway and West Park Street
RIVER ROCK POND PARK – Community Center at 101 E River Rock Road
Who: You, your family, your friends, your neighbors! All ages encouraged!
What: Meet the Volunteer Host at a park of your choosing between 9:00 - 9:30. The host will have trash bags and gloves, plus donuts, coffee, and cocoa! Clean up the park!
Winners: Whoever collects the most volume at each location wins a certificate, and more importantly, BRAGGING RIGHTS! Families can team up and any trash you collect on your walk to the park counts toward your volume!
Volunteer Hosts Needed: In addition to trash pick-up volunteers, we also need some group leaders! Sign up to be a host at one of the parks! You'll hand out trash bags and gloves, munch on donuts, and be the judge for most trash collected at your park! Click here to pick your park! Or, call or text 579-8082 for more info!
In April 2010, then Belgrade City Judge, Michele Snowberger was concerned for youth in Belgrade. She was seeing more and more young kids in her court for traffic, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling violations. These youth would talk about their lives and what brought them into the courts. A common thread included a lack of connection to family, school, and community. They spoke about boredom and no aspiration for their futures.
The Belgrade Youth Forum formed in 2010 comprised of more than twenty community leaders, parents, and youth whose mission was to encourage and promote positive youth development. The group worked to create activities and increase opportunities for youth in Belgrade, to enhance youth-school-parent-community relationships, and to prevent alcohol and drug use.
As the Belgrade Youth Forum, we hosted dances at the middle and high schools, brought in guest speakers to talk about alcohol and drug abuse, and conducted a community survey to see what local kids were interested in.
A local skate park ranked high on the list. Through dedication and perseverance, and in partnership with the Gallatin Valley Skate Association and incredible support from our community, the Belgrade Skatepark opened in 2016 at Lewis and Clark Park. The skate park has been a huge success, with kids of all ages using it year-around.
2016 also brought on another big change. The Board of Directors engaged in a strategic planning exercise and uncovered a need to expand its focus to the entire community. With this realization came the name change to Belgrade Community Coalition.
Last year was exciting for the BCC! In 2017, we worked with 100 incredible volunteers and business and organizations partners to help make the Festival of Lights a stand-out event in the valley. We began forming research and planning for our trails project and had a great time gathering ideas for where new trails, paths, and walkways might be located from citizens at events throughout the summer.
Also in 2017, We partnered with other nonprofits in town to make Give Big Gallatin Valley a major event for Belgrade and were wowed by the way our community rallied together.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE BELGRADE NEWS - CLICK HERE TO SEE ORIGINAL By: Tiffany Maierle, Belgrade Community Coalition December 21, 2017
It was Aristotle who said “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. That describes perfectly the 2017 Belgrade Festival of Lights. It was not one individual or one group who made the event successful, it was everyone contributing “their part” - their skill, their resource, their donation, their time, their presence. And when all those parts came together to make a whole, it created a very special event that was gifted to Belgrade. Here are ten “parts” of the festival and the Belgrade Community Coalition’s (BCC) appreciation to all of you who made it happen!
Part One The first part was from the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce when they asked if the BCC would like to take on the event and to Rick Phillips and Debbie Finkbeiner who stepped up with their enthusiasm, ideas, and willingness to help get the ball rolling.
Part Two The parts continued to come together as numerous volunteers met each month. A big thanks goes out to all of them with a special thank you to Adryann Baldwin, Annie Aschim, Bev Tompers, Brad Berg, Brynn Dellwo, Chiara Schober, Deb Finkbeiner, and Stacy Konkol who stepped up to be committee leaders. Other volunteers answered our cries and stepped in to help for event day. These include numerous individuals, the BHS Cross Country team, Girl Scouts, Belgrade Venture Crew, multiple high school groups including Key Club and Art Club, photographer Kelley Wlodkowski, face painter Pricilla Perez, VFW Post 12112, Belgrade Church of Christ, and many more. Over 100 volunteers came together to make this event happen and they are the second part of the whole. Part Three After months of fundraising with the main objective of having LIGHTS, our Santa Claus appeared in the form of a Belgrade alum. Josh Knoedler, owner of Birddog Lighting, donated all the new lights you see downtown. Ron Finkbeiner and Mike Meis were Santa’s helpers and deserve an enormous thank you for hanging the lights along with our lighting committee. Angels are also among us as we honor the memories of loved ones, string by string, wrapping the tree trunks that line the Main Street parking lot. Part Four From George Hoffman with the Belgrade News, to Paul Browning from 99.1, and Kenneth Webb from KBZK – the media was part four as they provided free and discounted publicity for the event. Part Five The fifth part of the gift is a big one - the sponsors and donors. Thousands of dollars and multiple prizes were donated from local businesses and individuals. We thank all of them for their support and know we would not have had such a grand event without their help. Special thanks goes out to our top monetary sponsors – TMC, Inc. and Bozeman Health, Belgrade Clinic. Part Six This part came from Ted Barkley, Steve Klotz, EJ Clark, and all the people at the City of Belgrade, Belgrade Police Department, and Central Valley Fire. They were extremely helpful and patient with this freshman crew. They also went out of their way to get us hooked up with power downtown. We are also grateful to the Chamber for their guidance and use of power and their building. Part Seven The seventh part came unexpectedly but we were immensely grateful. Jo Jones from Milestone Gallery rallied her shop neighbors and they took charge to create their own piece of the Festival. Jo started something great and we hope other businesses will follow in her footsteps during future Festivals. Part Eight In case you didn’t know, we have some amazing retail businesses and restaurants! Montana Camp, Sacks, Sister’s Gluten Free Bakery, Rustic Edge Salon, Wendy Marquis Art, Re:Alignment, and Healthy Out West all opened their doors for people to check out their goods and services as well as enjoy a place to come in from the cold. The Mint, Spotted Horse Café, Rhino Casino, and Center Ice all had warm drinks and/or hot food on hand. Part Nine Without the participation of the Belgrade Community Library, who is a Festival of Lights staple, the night wouldn’t have been the same. Nor would it have been without our local churches and nonprofits who spread holiday cheer up and down the streets. Part Ten The final part, which when combined with all the other parts, created the whole. The whole which was greater than all the parts on their own. This part was you! Your smiling faces, your joy, your families, your kindness, your holiday spirit, and your desire to make Belgrade stronger. You were the final part we needed to create this gift. For this gift wasn’t just an event. It was a building block to a renewed town, an enforcement to community pride, an excuse to get to know your town and your neighbors, and so much more.
Thank you to everyone for bringing your parts to make the greater whole. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Merry Christmas! Tiffany Maierle and the entire Belgrade Community Coalition team
Written by: Freddy Monares, staff writer October 5, 2017
The Belgrade Community Coalition released plans for its first take over of the 2017 Festival of Lights. At the Belgrade City Council meeting, Ali Vasarella and Brenda Baker, representatives of BCC, requested council members to approve road closures to allow for fireworks, a 5K race and other activities during the hours of the event. The coalition is a non-profit with a mission to cultivate a stronger sense of community in the city.
Last year’s event saw little participation from businesses in the area, resulting in fewer events around town than usual, people have said. At the beginning of last year, Belgrade Chamber of Commerce Director Debra Youngberg said she hoped another organization would be interested in trying to ignite some enthusiasm for the event.
Ted Barkley, Belgrade city manager, said the city was excited to see what the non-profit does for the city’s festival.
“They’re bringing new energy to civic life in Belgrade,” Barkley said.
At the council meeting, he said he needed to schedule a sit down with the organizers to mull over some of the details that were mostly traffic related. The group also needed to provide the city with a certificate of insurance before plans can be approved.
“There are some questions we have that need to be answered about how traffic control will be handled,” he said.
Organizers requested the closure of Main Street, from Weaver Street to Kennedy Street. The closure would allow businesses to set up tables and serve warm refreshments and live music at the center of the event. The festival is also slated to include a fireworks show and a library book sale at the end of the night.
“There’s nothing here that could be a show stopper at all,” Barkley said.
A meeting between the BCC and the city is likely to take place early next week to iron out the details and answer any questions the city may have, Barkley said.
Written By: Lewis Kendall, Chronicle Staff Writer September 17, 2017
The weather may have felt more like winter, but Belgrade’s Fall Festival was in full swing on Saturday.
The combination of light snow and cold rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowds that lined downtown Belgrade for the annual celebration that’s grown into a community cornerstone over the years. As usual, there were the dozen or so booths scattered in Lewis and Clark Park, selling everything from dresses to framed photographs.
There were community organizations, from the Knights of Columbus to Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter and Youth Dynamics.
And there was the food. Lots and lots of food, the wafting smells watering mouths up and down Main Street. Fry bread, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones and a handful of barbecue stands, including, of course, the popular, open fire, smoking basketball-sized chunks of meat. All that after the Belgrade Senior Center hosted a pancake breakfast earlier that morning.
One group that had certainly worked up an appetite were the runners, who took part in a 5K through town, put on by the Belgrade Community Coalition.
But the day’s main course was the parade, which led a wide variety of floats, vehicles and groups through downtown to the cheers of onlookers.
“Kindergarten’s where it’s at,” chanted a large cohort of 5-year-olds, dressed in shirts embossed with Belgrade High School’s signature green panther that read “Class of 2030.”
Among them was Amanda Sumida’s daughter, Apryle Sumida.
“She was super excited about it,” Amanda Sumida said. “And I’m just excited to see her.”
Suzanna Porter, whose son, Cody, was also in the parade, admitted that her children were probably more excited about the day than she was.
“They’re like ‘Let’s do it,’” she said.
In addition to the kindergartners, the parade featured Belgrade High’s marching band, as well as vintage cars and the usual procession of emergency vehicles.
For Patricia Karagiosis, celebrating her own 40th high school reunion this year, the festival represents all that is good about Belgrade. Karagiosis, who recently took over the long standing Ladi Bugg salon and also drives buses for the high school, has been to more Fall Festivals than she can count.
And though the yearly events, along with the city itself, have grown over time, there’s still something special about the place she calls home, Karagiosis said.
“Belgrade people are pretty hearty and really support their community,” she said. “I just think Belgrade is a great place.”
We were honored to be recognized for the month of July as for First Security Bank’s Community First Award. Missy O’Malley catches up with Vice President Hilary Brannan to find out the latest on the group’s accomplishments in the video below!
Thank you Belgrade and supporters around the valley! Your incredible generosity during #GiveBigGV helped us surpass our goal! We received $6,230 in gifts from 83 donors for the #BelgradeTrails project. The excitement for Belgrade and all its nonprofits really touched our hearts. Thanks for coming to the events and for donating to the wonderful organizations all around the valley. In total, 3,675 donors raised $678,217.01 for 168 nonprofits during the event! Wow!