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Past

PAST EXHIBITIONS

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Continuum: Contemporary American Indian Art
from the MAM Collection
February 1 - April 15, 2019


Continuum is a special group show toured through MAGDA and sponsored by the Missoula Art Museum. This exhibition is a survey of art by contemporary American Indian artists from MAM’s Collection, organized by Nikolyn Garner during a curatorial internship at MAM.

Garner’s curatorial statement asserts “Too often, artworks by American Indian artists are subjected to the attempt to impose dichotomies upon it. Is the artist speaking to an authentic American Indian experience or are they responding to their experiences in the non-Indian world? Is their artwork traditional or contemporary? Is it art or is it craft? However, these polarizing tendencies oversimplify the voices of the artists. Many American Indian artists occupy spaces in between cultures. They have varied histories, and they draw from multiple art and craft traditions.

The artists featured in this show represent diverse tribes and life experiences, both on- and off- Reservations. They utilize many techniques in their artwork and have individual voices and means of expression. Yet, they also express the connections between cultures and the continuums that run through the contemporary experiences of all American Indians. This exhibition, Continuum, reflects the continually developing, adapting, and exploratory voices of contemporary American Indian artists.”

-Nikolyn Garner (Kickapoo / Oneida / Cherokee), Curator

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From Here to There: Sheila Miles
December 20, 2018 - March 24, 2019

Come hear Sheila talk about her career in Montana and her prolific portfolio. Sheila spent 26 years in Montana living (and following jobs) in Laurel, Miles City, Billings, Bozeman and Missoula; prolifically creating and working in the arts. She served as the Curator of Art at the Yellowstone Art Center (now the Yellowstone Art Museum), and taught in the art departments at Montana State University-Billings, Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of Montana in Missoula. In 1999 she received a $20,000 Gottleib Foundation Fellowship, and she was chosen in San Francisco as a Public West Coast Artist for the Public Arts Project. She now resides in Santa Fe, NM with her husband and is a full-time artist.

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Cottonwoods & Color: Edd Ender’s West
October 22, 2018 - March 25, 2019

Cottonwoods & Color features 14 large oil paintings by Livingston, Montana artist Edd Enders.  The viewer finds themselves swept across Montana landscapes strewn with cottonwoods, fences and telephone lines.  The color and movement in Ender’s work is spellbinding.  “My work is inspired by everything around me.  As I travel around the West, I see things compositionally; how shapes and colors interact.  When a scene moves me—emotionally or visually–I gather information with a sketch and notes.  Back in my studio, I use the sketch as a starting place for my oil paintings and choose colors, often abstract, to convey the mood or meaning I want to evoke.  My intended statement is often more ominous than my vivid colors suggest.  While painting, I focus on composition and fit shapes and colors together like puzzle pieces. I often use iconic imagery like roads, crows, fences, and road signs to add both visual interest and symbolism.  A crucial part of my painting process is the time I contemplate the puzzle of my next painting while building, stretching, sizing, and priming canvases.  I consider myself a contemporary western painter.  I’m not interested in portraying the West as it’s commonly idealized with pristine landscapes and romanticized wildlife, cowboys and Indians. I am deeply connected to the western environment where I’ve grown up, worked, and lived.  I want to portray human’s inevitable activity and impact on this region.  In the bigger picture, I hope that in 100 years people will look at my paintings and learn something about this place and time, as I see it.”

Livingston Montana native Edd Enders, was born in 1962, graduated from Park High, and studied art at Montana State University, Bozeman from 1990-1993.  Growing up, he spent his free time outdoors observing nature, drawing, camping, and hunting.  As a young man he worked on archaeological survey teams throughout the West and as a hunting guide, packer, wrangler and cowboy from Alaska to Arizona. Enders has been painting since 1989 and has been a prolific full-time painter for two decades.  Widely admired, Enders has collectors ranging from New York, Key West, Chicago, and Shanghai and has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

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News of the World: Stephanie J. Frostad
September 20, 2018 - February 4, 2019


Stephanie J. Frostad’s latest work will be on view in the Mungas/Volk Gallery through the new year. In News of the World, Frostad visits narratives that include Norse mythology, biblical symbols and references to contemporary issues. Most of these works focus on ravens and the natural world and in many, human subjects appear in the background of her detailed paintings, flushing out the meaning of the individual work. Frostad states, “….in stories and paintings, songs and plays we encounter themes that are relevant for every generation, even as circumstances change. This is one reason I am drawn to history, mythology and folklore as I investigate my current interests. Imagery and allegories of other times and places continue to illuminate our lives today.” A series of sketches, in pencil, inkwash and paint are displayed on a wall inviting the viewer to look more closely at the artist’s process. Referring to the title, the artist explains, “In Norse mythology the god Odin appears with animal companions, including two wolves and two ravens, Hugin and Munin. The name Hugin means Thought, while Munin has been variously interpreted as Memory, Emotion or Desire. Each day, these birds would fly out to gather news of the world and report back to Odin. I love the notion that ravens might be engaged in such reconnaissance. What’s more, this legend aligns with what we know scientifically about the capacity of ravens to learn, reason, communicate and remember. I consider these borrowed characters as witnesses who bring historical consciousness and reason to what they observe.”

Frostad studied at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy where she began painting in 1985. She received a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1990, and in 1994 completed an MFA in Painting at The University of Montana. In 2017 Frostad was recognized with an Artist’s Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council, an agency of State Government, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Born and raised in Walla Walla, Washington, Stephanie J. Frostad’s studio is now nested in her Missoula, Montana home.

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Spectacles, Tophats & Ties:
David Driesbach Prints

October 24, 2018 – January 15, 2019

Spectacles, Tophats & Ties features an incredible variety of this prolific artist’s work on loan from the North Dakota Art Gallery Director’s Association, NAGDA. In 2014, Minot State University received a remarkable donation from the internationally known print maker David Driesbach. A master of visual storytelling, David’s work often draws upon his own life experiences, dreams, and imagined dramas. Colorful characters float across surreal and dreamlike scenes. Some prints hearken back to his experiences in the South Pacific during World War II, while others are more humorous recounting events such as his home phone number was one digit different than the local pizza place when he taught at Northern Illinois University. David often puts himself right in the middle of the story with round spectacles, a top hat, and a tie (a personal homage to his wife). Viewers find numerous Little Orphan Annie cartoons, American currency, and appropriations from the history of art throughout many of his pieces. With these recurring themes and imagery. David has an unmistakable style that spans back to the earliest work in the collection from the early 1950’s.

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Powwows & Rodeos:
Communities at Play by Harry Lee Harpster Jr.

September 28 - December 15, 2018

Harry Lee Harpster Jr.’s photographs engage viewers with late 20th-century Native American culture on the northern plains. Harpster’s black and white images illustrate the beauty and challenges of reservation life and lands. Intimate photographs of Native American children and adults featured in this exhibition were taken during visits to powwows and rodeos between 1979 and 2001. Harpster captured encampment scenes, preparations for parades and dancing, booths and vendors, spectators and competitors. Sponsored by the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, MT, this travelling MAGDA exhibition will be on display in the Wylder Gallery at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art until December 15 at The Square.


Sheila Miles,  The Real Deal.

Sheila Miles, The Real Deal.

Art Auction After Sale
September 20 – December 1, 2018

Paintings and sculpture from The Square’s 21st Annual Art Auction included in an after-sale through the month of November. 15 works representing 13 artists are on display in the Dufrense/Cobb Gallery.

VSA Montana Annual Arts Exhibition
May 23 - July 28, 2018

VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 36 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. The Square's annual VSA Art Exhibition will be on display beginning May 23, 2018 in the Dufresne/Cobb Gallery. The exhibition will showcase the work of students with special needs engaged in classes at The Square, namely from the Easter Seals – Goodwill Adult Day Program. The annual VSA – Montana Arts Exhibition showcases the accomplishments of The Square's student – artists with special needs over a year's time. Students enrolled in special needs programs at The Square meet quarterly to engage in mixed media and ceramics based classes that continue to stir the imagination and uphold the intuitive art making process that these individuals are naturally gifted with. Allowing students the freedom to use art as a means of self-expression, the VSA Montana Arts program at The Square focuses on the social, emotional and artistic well-being of each student served. Working with and getting to know this ever– evolving group of artists enriches the lives of those involved in the VSA experience.

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Sound/Play: Sam Krahn 
May 31-July 28, 2018

Sound/Play: Sam Krahn will be on view in the Mungus-Volk Gallery late May through July at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art this summer. This exhibition is a series of sound makers culminating in an exhibition of Krahn's 2017-18 Artist in Residence (AIR) position. As part of Krahn's residency, he has taught art classes with each instructor, shared his talents with GFPS students throughout the school year and maintained a studio at The Square.

The artist in residence program is made possible by a partnership between The Square and the Great Falls Public School district.

Here in This House:
Courtney & Molly Blazon

June 12 - October 5, 2018

Artist Courtney Blazon’s imagery takes us someplace between the known world and a dreamscape, while her mother Molly’s three dimensional creations leave the viewer in awe of both familiarity and oddity. In this one-of-a-kind exhibition, mother and daughter team up to create a reality firmly rooted in surrealism, magic and storytelling. Molly works with raku fired clay, doll faces, fabric and found objects to create haunting sculptures that are reflected in her daughter’s drawings. Details such as perfectly pleated skirts are paired with abstract bodies against multi- layered colorful drawings on Mylar that reveal the creatures’ existences. This marriage of naturalism and fantasy, old and new, imperfect and exquisite, leave one’s imagination left to wander through a unique narrative designed by Courtney & Molly Blazon in the Thayer Gallery at The Square. Molly is a self-taught artist and Courtney is an award winning Montana artist whose work has been exhibited at the Missoula Art Museum and is held in private collections.