From her studio in Helena, Montana, Helen Rietz can look north, across the tranquil Prickly Pear Valley. This valley, full of wildlife, was inhabited by Native Americans more than 12,000 years ago and now is ranch land sprinkled with the homes of new settlers. In the distance, she can see the Gates of the Mountains, those “most remarkable cliffs” discovered by Lewis & Clark as they passed through in 1805 on their Voyage of Discovery. To the East are the stately old mansions built with the wealth of the gold strike that established this small city.
Here, Rietz’ love of American lands and history and her artistic creativity come together. She is a painter primarily of the sites, scenes, and icons of the disappearing West.