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2013 February 4 - 12:00 am

MONEY TREE: Mural of Flathead Valley Finds New Home at College

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) -- A 32-foot wide, 6-foot tall mural of western Montana’s Flathead Valley has found a new home.

The Flathead Beacon reported that the mural painted in 1960 by Robert Huck was placed in the Flathead Valley Community College’s Arts and Technology Building.

“There’s good light and it’s in a place where it commands attention,” said Rand Robbin, a Creston resident who helped find the new home for the mural.

First National Bank commissioned the painting in 1959 and Huck completed it a year later. The Oregon State University art professor, whose work was displayed around the world, died in a car accident in 1961.

The mural remained at the building that housed First National Bank for five decades even as the building changed hands to Norwest Bank and then Wells Fargo. The building was eventually purchased by the city of Kalispell and the mural moved to the KM Building across the street as the old bank building underwent renovations.

But the renovation work left no wall big enough for the mural, and the KM Building wasn’t suitable as a lasting solution because there was no buffer between the mural and people walking by in the hallway. That’s when community members, the college and city officials worked together to find a spot for the mural that depicts mountains as well as cows roaming farmland.

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