Towner, N.D., artist Andrew Knudson took part in the Wild Bunch Art Show at the Hampton Inn during Western Art Week in Great Falls.
Knudson lives in northern North Dakota, where the state of North Dakota completed a four-lane highway, U.S. 2, across the entire state in recent years.
That fact prompted jealousy across the border to the west in Montana, where U.S. 2 remains a modest two-lane road, and a "4-for-2" proposal has languished.
In northern North Dakota, "it's a real good thing it's four-lane," Knudson reported. He said oil and gas development has that area booming, and the four-lane highway is getting plenty of use.
The oil and gas boom has created a strong economy in the area, Knudson said.
"We're really quite insulated from the national recession in North Dakota," he said.
That holds true for art sales, too. Knudson said he continues to sell his artwork in North Dakota, even as sales of his oils and other paintings tapered off in galleries outside the state in areas suffering an economic downturn.
"It's been a good time to be an artist in North Dakota," a cheerful Knudson said.