WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.
Art in the home is more than merely decoration; it’s an extension of ourselves. Its materials, color palette, style, and subject matter speak to our passions, personality, and spirit.
An artist working in pastels, Ann Justin captures the West through the vibrant pageantry of Native dancers and tranquil scenes of Yellowstone National Park. For art collectors, David Klasson and his team at Klasson Fine Art Services provide an “art concierge” service and treat each piece like a museum-quality work.
Bozeman-area professionals who work in the art field and understand how personal the pieces in our homes are.
After all, you’re not just decoratinGyour walls, you are creating an extension of yourself through art.
Ann Justin Pastels
Ann Justin, artist
Artistic since childhood, Ann Justin has worked in mediums ranging from photography to costume design. In the past decade, she has discovered and embraced pastel painting, a versatile art form that allows her to capture inspirational moments, from the tranquility of a Yellowstone National Park scene to the expressive movements during a Native American powwow. Her work is tactile, tempting you to dip your fingers in the steaming geysers or rub your hand across intricate beadwork. But please… don’t touch the pastel. It smudges!
What is your current artistic focus?
Pastel landscapes and portraits, focusing on the sublime in nature and character in faces. Commission work gets me into people’s homes where I learn more about their personalities and passions. I then can customize a piece that fits both their spirit and space. The joy for me is to bring beauty to homes and offices by creating reflective depictions of the world around them, or realistic portraits of people
What is your background?
After majoring in photography in college, I studied filmmaking at USC. Distracted by adventure, I dropped out and traveled the world, from Bali to Scotland. Eventually, I found my way to the theater, earning a technical degree in costuming from the Yale School of Drama, and landing in New York City, where I made costumes for Broadway and
Providentially, I married and stayed home with my children for their early years. During that period, I started a knitwear company, Lalamilo Designs. My designs were handknit by a women’s collective in Bolivia.
Inspired by a move to Montana, I have been painting in the medium of soft pastel for seven years. These early experiences inform my work through a knowledge of composition and color harmonies, as well as an appreciation of a moment in time—be it a scene in nature or Native dancers in powwow regalia.
I love the vibrant and rich colors of pastel and flexibility of application. The chalks are pure pigment and allow me to choose the colors precisely and efficiently.
What projects most excite you?
’ve been working on a series of paintings of Yellowstone’s thermal features. I enjoy capturing the subtleties of the sunlight, steam, water, and wind that, in a sense, dance together on the canvas. I’m also excited about my “Powwow Portraits” that have led me to experience and explore Indian culture and craft, while fine-tuning my portraiture skills.
How do you work with clients?
Collectors and interior designers review my past and available work on my website or at shows. I enjoy executing new versions of old work and the fresh challenge of commissions. To my pleasurable surprise, many old and new collectors acquire my pieces just on the basis of what they see on social media.
What do you offer that is unique?
I have traveled extensively and explored art, architecture, and craft from all over the world, from the primitive to the post-modern. I bring a unique and highly informed aesthetic to my art work. Rather than a traditional, romantic vision of the past, I am painting contemporary Indian culture. I am capturing the unique features of Yellowstone in their raw drama.
What words do people use to describe your work?
Empathic! Beautiful, colorful, and refined. Capturer of epiphanies—from the tranquil and serene to the vital and kinetic.
What do you enjoy most about living here in Bozeman?
Emotionally, I am in the right place, not diminished by crowds and skyscrapers, nor silenced by the noise of cities. Being less than two hours from Yellowstone, I have easy access to vast, wild landscapes that offer solitude, peace, and never-ending beauty.
When I head out of Bozeman on the highways, I share the road with Montana drivers who tend to be courteous, generous, and consistent. We all enjoy the open spaces and varied landscapes that range from towering mountain peaks to treeless plains. This inspires me.
How has technology contributed to your work as an artist?
We are blessed with our technology to be able to see an infinite amount of fine art at our fingertips. Technology has also allowed me access to various pastel instructors from around the world. Most recently, Wang Bo, a Chinese instructor, tutors me via the web.
What inspires your Native American portraits?
Having made costumes for the theatre, I have an understanding of the time and skill needed to produce their regalia. I am dazzled by the colors and movement—and I want to share it with the world. Indian beadwork and feather work are not art forms only from the past but contemporary artistic pursuits. The work being made is beautiful high craft, indicative of great skill and ambition. Capturing it in pastels is my passion.
Klasson Fine Art Services
David Klasson, owner
In the simplest terms, David Klasson is an “art concierge.” His firm, Klasson Fine Art Services, packs, crates, transports, stores, and installs fine art. But as you get to know David better, you come to realize that he also functions more like a “fine art curator,” someone who understands art’s intrinsic value, the importance of a piece’s context, and the nuances of its installation.
What services do you offer?
Our focus is on providing a complete array of fine art services for clients. Our services can begin at any time after the purchase of the artwork. During a relocation, new construction, or a remodel, we will collect the artwork from the residence and bring it to our secure, climate- and humidity-controlled facility for packaging and storage. Pieces, and even collections, are often purchased or moved from galleries or homes around the country.
Not only do we install artwork in homes, but we also work in offices and commercial buildings. Artwork that is purchased through art advisors is typically delivered to our warehouse via art shuttle companies. Once we receive the artwork, we inspect it, store it for the time requested by the client or designer, and arrange the delivery to the residence as well as the installation.
What is your professional background and how did you get started in your field?
I have 15 years of experience working for large companies. I found that as a corporate professional, problem-solving, listening, and flexibility were my greatest strengths…strengths that I apply to my business every day. Additionally, my parents taught me to be ethical in my work habits and in the way that I treat others. I’m proud to have adopted these practices in my own business model. Admittedly I’m a perfectionist, but given the importance of handling fine art, this is only to the benefit of my clients and maintaining the integrity of the artwork.
I left the corporate world to pursue other interests and found myself developing agricultural operations in Iowa and Georgia. I came to Bozeman to develop a 42-acre property that was undergoing extensive landscape development and new home construction.
Here in Montana, I started to develop relationships with homeowners, interior designers, gallery owners, and property managers and quickly saw the opportunity to specialize in art installation throughout the Gallatin Valley, Big Sky, and other parts of Montana. In April 2018, I purchased warehouse space and remodeled it to meet temperature and humidity requirements specific to artwork.
How do you see your business expanding in 5-10 years?
We continue to develop our relationships with private collectors, fine art logistics companies, art advisors, property managers, galleries, and interior designers. As clients request a more cost-effective way to protect their works during shipment, we are expanding our packaging options in our repertoire of services. Clients continue to utilize art advisers to acquire pieces and enlarge their collections. With the trend toward larger, heavier, and more complex pieces, we continually employ the most current methods and materials for packaging and improved hanging systems.
Do you have specialty services you are known for?
We are known as problem-solvers who embrace complex projects. We reach out to each party involved and solve the problem to the delight of the homeowner. We love to install items that are in difficult locations, on delicate surfaces, or are unique in their shape, size, or weight. We handle each piece of artwork with utmost care.
What words do people use to describe your work?
Punctual, professional, problem-solvers, trustworthy, detail-oriented, flexible, honest, easy to work with, the best in the business.
Tell us about some of the people who are integral to your operation?
The success of Klasson Fine Art Services can be contributed in large part to my staff. Several individuals have played key roles in our company’s beginnings: Steve Swain, Dave Tillman, Misty Harding, Cindi Stenback, and my wife, Beth Kennedy. These individuals were the foundation of the company and each brings a specific skill set.
As we’ve grown, our installation teams have grown with us. Jim Brown, Dylan Volpe,
Bo Kreiner, Seth Munson, Matt Forbes, Dante Gambardella, and Adam Smith also bring unique strengths and share our vision of taking care of clients. Our goal is to “make it easy for clients to work with us and do it right the first time.” We achieve this goal by working as a unified team and solving problems quickly and efficiently.
What do you do that most people would not be aware of?
Most people aren’t aware of the intricacies involved “behind the scenes” and the expertise required for professional art installation, transportation, packaging, and storage. We frequently work with local craftsmen to build unique installation hardware when standard hardware is not appropriate. For complicated installation projects, we collaborate with a variety of experts from the architect to the project manager to ensure the safest method for securing the artwork.
Much of the art that we touch is museum quality, and if it isn’t museum quality now, it may be in the future. This is always on our minds throughout the process. We treat each piece as if it’s invaluable.