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Gallery helps artist

Birdhouses for sale crafted by cancer patient


April 29, 2021

Miriah Kardelis

BIRDHOUSES made by Ted Lockwood of Polson are available at the Sunflower Art Gallery in Thompson Falls. Lockwood was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Alongside any artist's work, a unique story of how each piece was crafted, closely follows. The same runs true for a new installation at the Sunflower Art Gallery in Thompson Falls. The birdhouses, as some may have seen sitting on the railing outside the gallery, are made by Ted Lockwood. A native Montanan who grew up in Polson, Lockwood is now a retired Seeley Lake resident. His passion for woodworking has led to the creation of the birdhouses. Each one taking on its only individuality and standing out from the next.

The artist has been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. When news broke of Lockwood's diagnosis, family and friends from all around stepped in to provide support in any way they could. Brian Larabee, a local artist whose work is at the Sunflower Art Gallery in Thompson Falls, reached out to his fellow gallery officers for help.

"I got together with the art gallery to see what we could do," Larabee said. "Everyone has been really supportive and it's all just worked out." While Lockwood still tries to make one birdhouse a day, and his children have jumped in to help assemble.

Showcasing the birdhouses at the art gallery is indeed an altruistic endeavor, the funds, Larabee says, will go to the family to help with hardships during this time. "The officers are really excited to have the birdhouses here and everyone has been onboard," Larabee stated. "We're going to try and make as many as we can before he passes away."

The birdhouses are carved into a number of different animal faces and cost $50 each. "No one has even had a second thought about the price," Larabee said. The gallery has sold around 16 birdhouses so far, with a new shipment coming in next week. According to Larabee, it's the story behind the birdhouses that has people invested. "Ted has been my best friend since 2002," he said. "You meet him once and it's like you've known him forever. It's really kind of neat. He's going to be missed."


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