Toucan Gallery continues its “In Conversation” series on Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. with artists Maggy Rozycki Hiltner and Louis Habeck, the most recent Billings-area recipients of Artist’s Innovation Awards from the Montana Arts Council.

The “In Conversation” series features area artists and creative professionals in conversation with Toucan co-owner Mark Sanderson. The sessions are free and open to the public at the Toucan Gallery and Framing Shop, 2505 Montana Ave.

As described by the Montana Arts Council, the Artist’s Innovation Awards were founded in order to foster environments where the innovation and creativity of artists are valued and celebrated. Eight Montana artists, including Hiltner and Habeck, received awards in 2015.

Hiltner, whose home and studio is in Red Lodge, specializes in fiber art and is known for her use of traditional technique and vintage imagery which she reimagines and remixes to create a narrative art that may appear merely whimsical on the surface, but reveals a darker, if not sinister, subtext upon closer inspection. Hiltner was recently an artist-in-residence at the Yellowstone Art Museum, where her 288-square-foot piece, “Vantage Point,” was on display.

Habeck is primarily dedicated to his artistic exploration as a sculptor, but he is also an accomplished photographer and a skilled painter-illustrator. He wields practiced, careful craftsmanship to render subjects in peculiar fashion so as to unsettle and unmake the experience of the familiar. He has given lectures and demonstrations around the region and has also been Artist-In-Residence at the Yellowstone Art Museum's Visible Vault.

          

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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.