Geoffrey Sutton

Project Manager
Montana World Trade Center

Geoffrey Sutton is a nationally recognized business leader of the arts in the United States. Mr. Sutton has worked in the visual arts field since 1976 as a professional photographer and art gallery owner. His gallery, SuttonWest, represented many nationally recognized artists and he has curated over 200 exhibits. SuttonWest was one of the largest and best-known contemporary galleries in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Sutton has served on many non-profit boards. From 1989 to1998 he served as Chairman of the Missoula County board of Trustees for Museums, including the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula and the Art Museum of Missoula. During his tenure, both museums received American Museum Association (AMA) accreditation. He also served as President of the Clark Fork Coalition, an environmental organization dedicated to protecting water quality in the Clark Fork River Basin, from 1998-2003. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Holter Museum in Helena, on the Capital Campaign Executive Committee for the Missoula Art Museum, and is Vice President of the Board of Headwaters Dance Company, a modern repertoire company based in Missoula.

In 1993 he founded, and served as Board President for six years of the Gallery Association for Greater Arts, a non-profit organization consisting of the Missoula Art Museum of the University of Montana, and privately owned galleries. First Friday Gallery nights were sponsored by the organization and they continue to be a major event for the visual arts in Missoula. The association also raised money to promote the arts, offering scholarships to individuals and grants to organizations working in the area of the visual arts. Sutton also created airport art a changing exhibit of Montana artists at the Missoula International Airport.

Sutton has worked as a grant reader for the Montana Arts Council Awards of Excellence. He has curated exhibits for the Holter Museum in Helena and the Art Museum of Missoula. He sold his Gallery in 2002 and is currently working as Program Manager for the Montana World Trade Center at The University of Montana. Through his involvement with the Montana World Trade Center, he has curated an exhibit titled “The American West, A 21st Century Perspective” which opened July 1, 2003 at the Bank of Ireland’s Cultural Center in Dublin, Ireland. The exhibit traveled throughout Ireland until January, 2004. Other venues for this exhibit included the County Cavan Museum, Hunt Museum in Limerick, and Yeats Art Center in Sligo. While in Ireland, Mr. Sutton gave a fifteen-minute interview with Myles Duncan of RTE radio on the trends of The American West artwork. In March of 2004 he opened an exhibit titled, “Montana: Two Visions”, a modern look at the Arts of Montana at the Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The exhibit included 34 artists in two separate exhibits. The first included the artwork of 20 Native American artists, representing all 7 of Montana’s reservations. The other exhibit had twelve contemporary Montana artists. Both exhibits represented a broad overview of the contemporary art movement in Montana.

Geoff is currently working with the Meridian Foundation in Washington DC as co-curator of the exhibit “Wide Skies”, contemporary painters of the American West, which is set to open in Peking, China in 2007. He has worked for with The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity as Director of the Creative Enterprise Development Program under both the Martz and Schweitzer administrations, and the National Governor’s Association 2004 Issues Brief on Creative Enterprise cited his programs as “best practices”. In 2005 he was awarded a Planning Grant from the EDA, to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for creative enterprises in Montana. He also owns SuttonWest, Inc., an art publishing and consulting business.

Mr. Sutton has published thousands of images as a professional photographer. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Parade, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, USA Today and on the cover of two-dozen magazines. He received two Kodak Gallery awards for photographic excellence. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Montana and currently lives in Missoula, Montana.

EXTERNAL LINK: Montana World Trade Center