• Artist Hadley Ferguson works on her "Women Build Montana" mural. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Missoula artist paints Montana women building the state in new mural

    Missoula artist Hadley Ferguson’s work is well-known across many parts of the state and region.

    Missoula artist Hadley Ferguson and her daughter Sarah, right, stand in front of one of Ferguson's 'Women Build Montana' murals after their unveiling at the state Capitol in Helena. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Missoula artist Hadley Ferguson and her daughter Sarah, right, stand in front of one of Ferguson’s ‘Women Build Montana’ murals after their unveiling at the state Capitol in Helena. Photo by Tom Bauer

    But the artist expanded put her own mark on history this year when her mural, “Women Build Montana” was installed in the State Capitol.

    Ferguson’s mural, which includes two 5-by-10 foot panels, was our Glimpses feature for the March/April issue.

    The mural’s purpose is to honor the role that all women of all ethnic groups played in building Montana’s communities– from the era of maintaining a homestead in a harsh environment to the shaping of political and public life. The entire project was funded with private donations.

    In a scene of one panel, a woman hangs a poster on a wall to commemorate women's suffrage. Photo by Tom Bauer

    In a scene of one panel, a woman hangs a poster on a wall to commemorate women’s suffrage. Photo by Tom Bauer

    To say it’s a beautiful addition to the Capitol is an understatement. 

    Photographer Tom Bauer, who took the photos of the work, said Ferguson worked day and night leading up to the unveiling. Bauer and reporter Cory Walsh put together a moving feature on the work.

    Be sure to take a look at Ferguson’s work next time you’re in Helena.

    – Jenna

  • Philip John's "Hunting Party" included a murder confession. Photo courtesy of MMAC

    Behind the scenes: A confession by a murdering artist

    Art is many things. The Montana Museum of Art and Culture’s “Art of the State” exhibit proves that – showcasing the work of Montana artists whose work is part of its permanent collection.

    But have you ever heard of art as a confession tool?

    In our March/April Behind the Scenes feature, writer Kelsey Dayton tells us about on Montana artist who proudly proclaimed his crime on the front of one of his drawings (which now is part of the MMAC’s permanent collection).

    Here’s the full story from Dayton: 

    “Staff at the museum told me every piece in the exhibit has a story, either about the work or the artist. My favorite piece isn’t necessarily the prettiest, but it has a great story. ‘Hunting Party’ by Philip John is almost a crude looking watercolor on paper, depicting men playing a stick game and a parade of seven horses, while in the background hunters take aim at game. The best part of this painting was found in the left corner of the drawing. There, an inscription told the story of John, who drew the picture in a Missoula jail in 1892. He also detailed his crime: ‘Philip John, Indian Artist, Companion of Pot Latch Fanny and Peter who murdered ROMBAUGH in the Bitter Root Valley 1889 …’

    The inscription references an incident in August 1888 when John, Peter and Potlatch Fannie were accused of attacking two prospectors and killing one named Jack Rombo, near Darby. The story is no longer on the front of the piece, but is preserved on the back.”

    "Cavalacde" by Rudy Autio is part of the MMAC's permanent collection. Photo courtesy of MMAC

    “Cavalacde” by Rudy Autio is part of the MMAC’s permanent collection. Photo courtesy of MMAC

    Read more about the beautiful collection and all the Montana artists featured in it here.

    Want to read the full story? Subscribe today!

    Jenna

  • The MMAC is celebrating the 120th anniversary of its permanent collection in 2015. Art by Ken Barnedt

    Art of the State: Montana artists well represented in museum’s permanent collection

    By Kelsey Dayton

    Every work of art in the Montana Museum of Art and Culture’s 11,000- piece collection has a story.

    Sometimes the stories are obvious and told in paint. Sometimes they are hidden, secured in history and legend. Sometimes the story is about the sculpture. Sometimes it is about the sculptor.

    But when the best of the collection comes together it tells the stories of the histories of the museum, art and Montana.

    To celebrate its 120th anniversary, the Montana Museum of Art and Culture is featuring an exhibit of 120 pieces from its permanent collection. Paintings, prints, ceramics, photography and tapestries, as well as traditional and contemporary Native American art and Southeast Asian textiles, are on display in the anniversary exhibit.

    The show, divided into two galleries on the University of Montana’s campus, is meant to be a global experience, said Barbara Koostra, director of the museum.

    Brandon Reintjes, museum curator, selected works that showcase the diversity of the permanent collection, along with works important to the museum.

    MMAC is hosting a series of special events to celebrate the permanent collection’s 120th anniversary

    "The Great Easter Buffalo Visits the Festival," by Walter Hook. Image courtesy of MMAC

    “The Great Easter Buffalo Visits the Festival,” by Walter Hook. Image courtesy of MMAC

    Art of the State: Celebrating 120 years of the MMAC Permanent Collection

    Show hangs through May 23 in the Paxson and Meloy Galleries in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center at the University of Montana. The museum is open to the public during the academic year from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday with a $5 donation. For more information call 406-243-2019 or visit http://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum.

    Special events

    • Free talk ““Predilections and Possibilities: the Virtues of a Teaching Collection” by art history and criticism professor Rafael Chacon 7 p.m. March 3 at the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center at the University of Montana.
    • Family treasure hunt day 1 to 3 p.m. March 7 in the lobby of the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center at the University of Montana.
    • Docent tour of the exhibit focusing on European and American masterworks, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 19.
    • Display of two tapestries 7 p.m. March 19 in the Masquer Theater at the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center at the University of Montana
    • Docent tour of the exhibit focusing on contemporary and modern art 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 9.
    • Family treasure hunt day 1 to 3 p.m. May 2 in the lobby of the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center at the University of Montana.

    To read the entire MMAC story, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.

  • World Champion brown trout carving by Clark Schreibeis

    World renowned wildlife sculptor describes Montana using three words

    If you could pick only three words to describe, Montana, what three words would you use?

    Hard question to answer?

    We put a Montanan on the spot with that question in each issue for our Big Sky Spotlight feature. We created the feature because we figured there are plenty of Montanans you ought to know. So why not put one in the magazine?

    Clark Schreibeis, truly a hidden treasure in our state, is a world renonwed wildife carver and sculptor who has won dozens of best in world awards for his work. Clark was featured as the Big Sky Spotlight in the March/April issue. He answered several questions for the story’s writer Jim Gransbery, telling us about how and when he finds creativity to create such amazing art. Check out the full post of the story to learn more about Clark and what three words he uses to describe Montana.

    Have you thought of your three words yet?

    Check out our January/February Big Sky Spotlight if you need more inspiration.

    -Jenna