Jean Price: Heart to Hands
May 23, 2019 - July 25
This exhibition explores the private collection & personal work of the late Jean Price. This exhibition of the fine collection of the late artist, teacher, and community leader Jean L. Price includes works by a wide range of Montana artists. Many are represented regionally and nationally in private, commercial and museum collections. Thanks to Jean’s generous donation of her collection to Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, visitors will be able to see and enjoy these well-loved works for years to come.
A personal collection and particularly an artist’s collection is fascinating in that the viewer often wonders what drew the collector to the types of work collected. Jean understood that buying art supports artists financially and spiritually. Her collecting had nothing to do with the current and future financial value of the works and everything to do with a deep connection she felt with each piece and often the artists who created them. She treasured each and every work. Her living space was enveloped with art, each piece a delight and comfort to her. She never stopped collecting, even when she felt that there was absolutely no room for anything more!
Jean had a longstanding relationship and commitment to Paris Gibson Square. She was one of the volunteers who established Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in the late 1970’s, an act which greatly enriched the cultural life of Great Falls and the region. She was a tireless ambassador for the Square. She served as a Board member, dedicated committee member, and docent. She regularly donated her own artwork to the Annual Art Auction fundraiser. Jean’s collection is yet another piece of this remarkable woman’s legacy in supporting Paris Gibson Square and the Great Falls community.
Laura Barrett: State of Grace
June 1, 2019 - September 21, 2019
This exhibition is a survey of works by Laura Grace Barrett (1930-2017). Poet, painter, and playwright, Barrett was born in Froid, Montana, and raised on a wheat farm, which she left at the age of sixteen to attend the University of Montana. At UM, she studied English, Spanish, and Education, and later art at the University of Hawaii and the University of California, L.A. She also received an MFA in Theater Arts from UCLA. She worked as schoolteacher in San Francisco, a stewardess for Pan American Airways. She married Jim Barrett, moved to Los Angeles, and had five children (Stephanie Jo, James Patrick, Michael Sean, Kevin Vincent, and Gabriela Goodwin) while traveling the world. She wrote and directed her play “Garden of Pleasure,” which was performed at UCLA. Laura and Jim founded Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, California. Quickly, their 1973 Chardonnay won the landmark Paris tasting of 1976, catapulting the winery to fame. Barrett wrote a book about the judgment of Paris, titled “What is More Real Than a Dream? Memoir of Chateau Montelena Winery” The 2008 film “Bottleshock” is loosely based on Barrett and the winery. She and Jim separated in 1977, and she was married to Jack Barrett in 1984. The couple moved to Bigfork, Montana, and had a second home overlooking the arts district of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which influenced much of Barrett’s later work. Barrett opened Bridge Street Gallery and Wine Café and Restaurant in Big Fork, Ambos Galeria de Arte y Artefactos in Puerto Vallarta, and later Collage Gallery in Bigfork in 2014. Barrett exhibited and supported Montana contemporary artists, and was influenced by their friendships and art. Particularly apparent are the influence of Bob and Gennie DeWeese, Ted Waddell, and Inez Storer, artists who exhibited Barrett collected and exhibited. During her lifetime, her work was included in exhibitions at the Hockaday Museum of Art and Emerson Cultural Center.
Robert Kruithoff: Artist - in - Residence
May 30, 2019 - September 18, 2019
Robert Kruithoff is a professional local photographer living in Great Falls, Montana. Kruithoff grew up in Central Montana and graduated from Stanford High School. There he met Kim, his high school sweetheart and wife of 29 years. Together, they run a photography studio in Great Falls. He is the current Artist-in-Residence at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, and has been working with students in the public schools on various photography related workshops for the past 8 months. These projects have included cyanotype prints, pinhole camera photography, and Photoshop collage.
His love for photography started at age nine when his grandmother gifted him a Kodak Instamatic 110 camera. He was introduced to the film photography, the darkroom, and a love for black and white images during high school journalism courses. For over the past two decades Kruithoff has been experimenting with new technology while documenting imagery that resonates personally to his life. Robert primarily shoots in black and white, partially because of the darkroom experience and because of his red/green color blindness. Artists like Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Ross Halfin, and Jackson Pollack are inspirations that inform his notions of landscape, and portraiture all the while being intrigued by lighting situations.
On display, is a collection of portraiture, landscape and street photography captured in Central Montana. Inspired by Jackson Pollack’s chaotic yet thoughtful approach to painting, Kruithoff channels this energy when capturing his subjects, allowing the photo to uphold an “it is what it is” attitude. Ansel Adams is the ultimate landscape photographer, capturing the grand in a single shot; Kruithoff looks to Adams when documenting the Big Sky State. His photographs of people are inspired by Richard Avedon’s The American West series - finding beauty in the everyday person and imagining the face as a landscape itself. Kruithoff intends is to relate to his audience by displaying works of art that resonate on a visceral level. His hope is that the viewer can place themselves into the image and spend some time there.