A community call to support a faithful friend


Jeff Arcel — musician, artist, and entrepreneur — is well known for his love of community, and especially Whitefish. His creativity and generosity are part of the fabric of the small town in which he lived most of his life – where he built his own home, raised his family and left his indelible mark.

Two and a half years ago, Arcel suffered a series of strokes which left him wheelchair bound and unable to work.

Friends gather to raise money to help Arcel and his family renovate their home, pay for assisted transportation and ongoing medical expenses.

The fundraiser taking place on Sunday, September 18 at the Great Northern Bar and Grill in Whitefish is the vision and brainchild of Whitefish musician Ed Boggs, a longtime friend of Arcel. Boggs’ partner, Margery Fox, organizes the event.

Arcel’s influence on the Whitefish community goes back years. From 2005 to 2019, he was the lead artist and designer behind the artwork for the Whitefish Winter Carnival. During this time, he worked on posters and materials for concerts and events while frequently donating his iconic works to fundraising auctions and community projects.

His works are exhibited in many galleries and restaurants in the city. Most of Arcel’s prints will be on sale during the fundraiser. Its popular print “The Regulars” is a caricature of the locals as animals in human form hanging around the Great Northern Bar. Its companion track, “Wildlife at the Great Northern Bar” is from the same bar scene and depicts a wild party. Arcel’s eclectic and colorful style is undeniable.

In a 2015 article in the Daily Inter Lake, he said he had always been interested in comic book art as a child like MAD Magazine. He was also influenced by cartoonist Winsor McCay, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss), Shel Silverstein and Arthur Rackham.

Arcel’s entrepreneurial contributions to Whitefish extend many years before his contributions to the Winter Carnival. In 1984, Arcel started his own Whitefish-based computer consulting firm, Applied Information Services (AIS), which employed up to 120 people at a time, providing well-paying white-collar jobs for the Valley for 10 years. the first company of its type and size in the region.

Next, Arcel founded and served as CEO of AEON Renewable Energy, Inc., a company that designed sustainable energy solutions using wind, solar and hydroelectricity.

Many people know about Arcel’s musical career. Having learned the guitar at 12, music is an integral part of who he is. In the late 70s and early 80s he was a member of local band Wonders of the Invisible World. Since then he was a longtime regular at Craggy Range’s Wednesday night open mic, and in the late 2000s managed sound and booked live music for the Whitefish Farmers Market.

Well-known local musician John Dunnigan and bands The Bad Larrys and 20 Grand are all volunteering their time for the September 18 fundraiser.

Arcel built his own home in the 70s. Jean, his wife of nearly 50 years, their two children Ashley (a writer raising a family in the Flathead) and Jules (who lives and works in Whitefish and follows in the musical footsteps of his father) and his many friends would like to see that he can stay at home as long as possible.

Some maintenance and modifications are required to meet Jeff’s needs, including repairs to the patio so he can get out, building a ramp, replacing the carpet with a non-slip surface, and l addition of housekeepers as needed for added security.

Jean, who is Jeff’s caretaker and also works three part-time jobs, hopes they can hire part-time in-home care and in-home physiotherapy sessions for Jeff.

“Our goal is to raise $25,000, which is incredibly ambitious,” said event organizer Fox. “Our small team has pulled together over 50 amazing silent auction items from nearly every local business in Whitefish. This is a high-end silent auction.

The live auction features three pieces: one worth $400 donated by the Whitefish Golf Course—Jeff practically lived on the golf course; also a Whitefish Mountain Resort ski pass with food and accommodation; and a large format print of “The Regulars” framed by Frame of Reference.

“We touch every walk of life, every kind of passion you can think of — from skiing to wire to music to art to golf,” Fox said.

EVENT DETAILS

“An Evening for Jeff Arcel” will take place from 6-10 p.m. on Sunday, September 18 at the Great Northern Bar and Grill in Whitefish.

Live music will feature John Dunnigan, The Bad Larrys and 20 Grand.

There will be live and silent auctions, including original Arcel prints and artwork.

For more information, contact Margery Fox at 406-544-4419.

A GoFundMe page has also been created to help raise funds for Arcel’s medical care and expenses. To contribute, go to www.gofundme.com/f/jeffarcel

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