sculpture artist Chip Clawson posing in front his large artwork, taking up the space of an entire wall behind him
Mar 31, 2023

Wanda Hollensteiner Art Gallery at FVCC Presents Chip Clawson Exhibition Debut on April 7

The Wachholz College Center on the campus of Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell welcomes Montana sculptor Chip Clawson and his exhibition, “Imagine This.” The exhibition debuts in the Wanda Hollensteiner Art Gallery with an opening reception and gallery talk on Friday, April 7 from 5-7pm.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Chip Clawson attended school there and served in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1971. His start as an artist came over years of mixing his fascination with ceramics with building locomotives in his industrial career and the notion of flight from his childhood.

“When I was growing up, my father often took me to the Pittsburgh airport to watch the planes take off and land. I was also mesmerized by the sense of movement in Alexander Calder’s giant suspended work that hung in the lobby,” Clawson explains.

As he developed his current body of work, Clawson kept with the idea of captivating, aerial sculptures and brought along indirect references to forms found in nature - his major source of inspiration. Parts of nature like beetles, shells and budding plants or larger phenomena like lava flows all have a place in Clawson’s mind as he creates.

His colorful, lightweight sculptures feature curved lines and charmingly whimsical shapes that are intended to spark the imagination. Clawson says he aims to, “keep the mind curious as it grasps for what is familiar even while it is excited by what is peculiar.”

Clawson currently lives in Helena, Montana where he dedicated several decades to the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in several roles including the Clay Business Manager, Facilities Manager, and most recently the Owner’s Representative for the Education Building upon his final retirement in 2017. He now focuses on his exhibitions and creating works for public spaces.

Everyone is invited to attend the exhibition opening reception in the Wachholz College Center’s Wanda Hollensteiner Art Gallery on Friday, April 7 from 5-7pm with a gallery talk from Clawson at 6pm. Beginning April 10, the exhibition will be available for viewing to the public during gallery operating hours of 12-4pm, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and to patrons with tickets to WCC performances during show times.

To stay up to date on the current art featured in the Wanda Hollensteiner Art Gallery and to find information about the Wachholz College Center, visit