by Mary Nelesen

Jim Jokerst – Photo Credit: Gail Jokerst

Artist and long-time member, Jim Jokerst is a local wildlife artist who is known for his pastel paintings and his Western Wildlife Portfolio, a set of twelve black and white pencil drawings of Rocky Mountain mammals. Jim is a quiet, soft-spoken man who believes in using his work to support organizations that educate people about wildlife and the natural environment.

He and his wife, Gail, live in West Glacier where he also has his studio. His first season in Glacier National Park came in 1958 when he worked as a ranger naturalist. Since then, he has painted numerous animals and birds living in the northern Rockies. He says he likes to spend time studying an animal he is going to paint so he’s acquainted with its personality – how it moves and reacts in its natural surroundings.

This past December, Jim once again donated ten boxes of his pencil sketched note cards of native birds to Flathead Audubon Society. He requested the proceeds be given to fund the West Valley Wetland Project. The note cards can be purchased at the monthly meeting of the Flathead Audubon Society. They sell for $10.00 for a box of 12 cards with envelopes.

Jim’s wildlife art work can be seen at The Montana House, in Apgar village, in Glacier National Park.