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A select group of Montana artists are being honored for their lifetime achievements as recipients of this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards at the Montana State Capitol.

Out of 109 nominations, Governor Steve Bullock chose six people, including authors, visual and traditional artists, and a filmmaker.

One of those artists is Annick Smith, who was born in Paris, grew up in Chicago and settled in Montana more than 50 years ago.

Since moving to the Treasure State, she has co-edited the anthology The Last Best Place and was a co-producer of the film A River Runs Through It. 

“It was love at first sight for me and Montana,” she told the crowd during her acceptance speech.

After the ceremony, she told MTN about the important role Montana plays in her work.

“It’s my place, it’s my hearth,” said Smith. “I just edited a book called ‘Hearth.’ It contains the words heart and earth. So Montana is the place where my heart and my earth combine with art.” 

Author Rick Bass and artists Monte Dolack, Jackie Parsons, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith and Kevin Red Star also won the award.

In order to win, an artist must first be nominated by a Montanan. The process includes writing a biography and getting letters of support for the artist.

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