29-year-old Missoula artist opens wildlife animal in downtown

A 29-year-old Missoula man has sold over 700 art pieces in 2020 alone. This week he opened his own art gallery in the heart of downtown Missoula. 

James Corwin said he didn't start painting until his senior year at Flathead High School. That's when he said he fell in love.

"Been painting full time now since 2014," Corwin said. 

Early on, Corwin said he started painting landscape, but in 2013, he took a trip to South Africa and spent time with a rhino. Shortly after his trip, the rhino was poached. He said that opened his eyes to the tragedy of poaching, and he started painting wild animals. 

"I realize that with wildlife, I can express more emotion, and more story than I can with a landscape," Corwin said. "Also, people tend to recognize animals like an elephant, everyone knows what an elephant is."

Since the transition from landscape to wildlife, Corwin's talent and business have grown. After just six years painting professionally, Corwin opened up his own gallery at 111 W. Broadway. 

"I kind of wanted bring more traditional style artwork and wildlife to the market here in Missoula," he said.

Throughout the course of his career, he's made it his mission to support a variety of organizations, ranging from wildlife and land conservation, the protection of hunting freedom, to HIV/AIDS prevention. 

Corwin said he wouldn't be in his current position without the support of his loyal collectors. 

"The best part of what I do and makes me the most happy is seeing the joy that my art brings somebody else."

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