It is a special honor to welcome into MAM’s Permanent Collection an artwork by esteemed Missoula artist Stephen Glueckert. MAM would like to thank Susan and Roy O’Connor for their generous donation of Glueckert’ s kinetic sculpture The Escapee, an engaging assemblage
of hand-carved wooden figurines, old license plates and fruit signage, and repurposed chain. At the turn of a crank The Escapee clatters to life. Two sheriffs and their hounds advance on the heels of a prisoner desperately hiding in the bushes. Noise, movement, and a compilation of mixed media offer an intense and playful narrative, inspired by a notable prison break at the now defunct state penitentiary in Deer Lodge, MT.
Glueckert is an essential figure in contemporary art in Montana, both as an innovative and committed artist, and a beloved friend of MAM as Senior Curator Emeritus. Raised in Missoula and Great Falls, Glueckert’ s roots are firmly planted in the contemporary art world of Montana. He earned his BFA from University of Idaho, followed by a master’s degree in art education from Western Washington University. He returned to Montana for a career in art education and exhibitions curating. Over his 24 years as Curator at MAM, Glueckert established a deep connection with the community and artists by creating an energetic and diverse exhibit schedule showcasing local, regional, and national talent.
Glueckert draws inspiration from notable artists such as Montana legends Rudy and Lela Autio and politically minded sculptor and printmaker H.C. Westermann. Glueckert’s artwork is also influenced by outsider art, as demonstrated by his affinity for compiling any material imaginable into his interactive sculptures. While most cling to the term “found objects,” Glueckert explains he sees his chosen materials as objects alone. Glueckert adopted this attitude from Dada master Marcel Duchamp, and refines the idea with each carefully articulated sculpture he creates.
Raised around machinery at his family’s industrial laundry business, Glueckert’s father taught him about fabrication and mechanical maintenance. Meanwhile, his mother imprinted in him a knack for telling stories, true or imagined. As a result, Glueckert produces artworks that engage through colorful and sometimes controversial cultural content, biting humor, and by requiring the viewer to also physically engage with the work by turning a crank. Perhaps the most important element of
his sculptures are their requirement for audience participation, by placing the viewer exactly where he wants them to experience the work.
Stephen Glueckert Contemporary Montana Collection
If you are an artist or an art lover, please consider giving a gift of art to MAM’s Permanent Collection in honor of Senior Curator Emeritus Stephen Glueckert’s recent retirement. The intended focus of this collection is contemporary art created by living artists whom Glueckert had the good fortune to work with and know. MAM is seeking primarily work from artists of Glueckert’s generation (who studied in the 1960s and 1970s) to be the foundation of a collection that reflects the conceptual and intellectual spirit of contemporary art in Montana as it is—and was—being formed.
Christine Joy: Tornado
If you happened to wander into Missoula Art Museum’s Morris and Helen Silver Gallery in the winter of 2013/14, you would have experienced a room of wonderful, energetic forms of woven willow, apple, cottonwood, and red maple branches. These meticulously crafted sculptures by Bozeman artist Christine Joy were featured in the exhibit entitled Currents. Joy generously donated one of the artworks from this exhibit, a swirling funnel form of moving line and subtle color shifts justifiably called Tornado.
The notion of weaving together boughs harvested from nature to create some sort of vessel is suggestive of a traditional basket. However, Christine Joy’s intuitive and sculptural approach of weaving “one stick at a time in collaboration with the willow and the form taking shape” creates works of gracious presence displaying nature’s subtle, subdued palette. Employing a technical process developed over years of practice, Joy weaves her materials of choice, simultaneously guiding and constraining the forms while she creates them. The fundamental nature of the artwork— that the medium enlightens the form until the material and object become one—is its power and demonstrates the measure of confidence in Joy’s skilled, intuitive approach. The viewer gets lost in Tornado’s repetition, rhythm, and flow and connects with the natural materials that suggest natural force was at play in the object’s creation.
Missoula Art Museum is deeply grateful for Christine Joy’s gift of Tornado to the Permanent Collection, so that such a beautiful and masterful artwork can be held in trust for future generations to enjoy.
The Missoula Art Museum is celebrating the gift of over 240 Hmong textiles donated to our permanent collection by Susan Lindbergh Miller. Miller is a scholar of textiles from around the world, and close friend of Missoula’s Hmong community. This gift is indescribably rich, featuring Hmong textiles and cultural items of all sizes and every color of the rainbow. Lovingly collected, each textile displays the gorgeous embroidery, appliqué and other masterfully applied techniques used by the Hmong artists. MAM invited Miller to explain the impetus for her donation.
When I first entered the home of my friend Ia Vang as her volunteer tutor in 1981, I was swept into a rich world of friendship, Hmong embroideries, stories, and generosity, receiving far more than I could possibly give in return. Now I want to give back to the community in the hopes that these embroideries and other cultural items will be available to the grandchildren and great grandchildren, and beyond, of the women who made them.
While collecting embroideries from homes and local craft fairs I realized that Montana needed a collection preserved for future generations. Over the centuries the Hmong migrated from country to country, and in the United States, from city to city and state to state. How long would they remain in Montana? I am delighted that after 40 years since the first Hmong arrived in Montana, there is still a core population living in Missoula.
In the early 1990’s MAM embarked on a three-year collaborative adventure with the Hmong community and me, culminating in the comprehensive exhibit Hmong Voices in Montana. Museum director Laura Millin’s enthusiasm and leadership ensured that the Hmong community, including my two remarkable cocurators Bounthavy (Vee) Kiatoukaysy and Tou Yang, felt completely at home. A room was turned over to the Hmong women for three months to embroider and sell their work during the exhibition.
Many of the items in my collection were displayed in the exhibit, and many are gifts from the women who made them. With love and admiration, I would like to dedicate this collection to the artists and families who shared so much with me over the years. It is with deep happiness that I see these embroideries coming home to MAM.
Patrick Zentz: Trio
Thanks to the generosity of John and Carol Green of Billing, MT, MAM has acquired an outstanding example of the artwork of avant-garde farmer/rancher/artist Patrick Zentz.
The gift consists of three large “instruments”, Renowind, Puget Sound Table, and Horizon (Songline) Translator, each a sculptural representation of, respectively, a drum, a cello, and a flute. When installed in the museum, these instruments will translate environmental phenomena such as wind, sound, and humidity through sensors installed on the exterior of the building.
While studying biology at Westmont College in California, Zentz realized he was not as interested in studying life forms as he was studying the interactions between life forms. To Zentz, art was the ideal way to explore this vein of thought, and he returned to Montana to study sculpture, earning an MFA from the University of Montana in 1974.
Zentz’s art grew from what art critic Gordon McConnel calls the “great intellect and passionately engaged spirit” he brought to his life as a rancher and farmer. Zentz interpreted the relationship between today’s mechanized farming operation and the land as one where “farmers act on nature with their machines.” He inverts this relationship in his art to explore the ways nature impacts machinery. The creations, which Zentz calls “systems,” look like pieces of equipment used for scientific purposes but are actually controlled by the natural phenomenon surrounding them.
His work has been exhibited from Miami, FL, to Newfoundland, Canada, in a broad array of venues, and has been documented in a long list of magazines and journals, including Newsweek, the Washington Post and Audubon Magazine.
MAM is deeply grateful to the Greens for this unprecedented donation to our permanent collection. MAM depends on the good-heartedness of our community to continue to grow our art collection, which is cared for and held in trust for present and future generations.
Northwest Narratives is a portfolio of prints organized by Boise artist Benjamin Love. The portfolio features twenty artists from Washington , Oregon , and Idaho , along with Missoula artists Elizabeth Dove, James Bailey, and Jim Todd and Bozeman artists Harold Schlotzhauer and Kerry Corcoran. Each artist was invited to create a print demonstrating their philosophy surrounding visual narration, leading to a rich portfolio displaying a wide range of imagery, method, and idea. Representation, abstraction, minimalism, photorealism, expressionism, and collage are just some of the techniques found in this diverse and beautiful portfolio.
Recent Gifts to the Collection from the Estates of Will Farrington and Miriam Sample
Missoula Art Museum is honored to share with you five art works gifted to our Permanent Collection from the estates of two Montana art enthusiasts: Will Farrington and Miriam Sample. MAM's permanent collection would not have reached the 1,000 objects that it consists of today without the generous support of the community through gifts and donations from individuals, estates, and artists, whether a single artwork or a large collection. Will's family gifted Jerry McCauley's Harley "Super Glide" Prototype to the collection, while the estate of Miriam Sample left MAM four works: a pit fired bowl by Paul Slaton, a cast aluminum sculptural work by Clarice Dreyer, a wood relief work by John Buck entitled French Town, and a painting by Harold Schlotzhauer entitled Classical Intrusion. These works are on display in MAM's f oyer through March in honor of Will and Miriam as well as all community members who have helped build such a beaut iful collection of art works, held in trust for all generations.
Montana 's own Gennie DeWeese and Walter Hook were the first two artists whose work was acquired for Missoula's contemporary art collection through purchase awards at the 1973 Missoula Festival of the Arts, two years before the establishment of the MAM. Our community recognizes the importance of collecting contemporary visual art for the benefit of future audiences. Across three decades of creative change and growth, the MAM has maintained its commitment to acquiring artworks representative of th e region's unique creative spirit, and will continue to preserve the best of contemporary Montana art.
In 2000 MAM received its first bequest of artworks to the Collection from Joyce Folsom. Inspired by her generosity, MAM established the Joyce Folsom Society to identify and encourage planned givers to the collection, and rest assured, some incredible personal collections will be entering the Collection in the years to come. If you are interested in including MAM's Permanent Collection in your will-or are interested in donating artworks at anytime-please contact Registrar Ted Hughes or Director Laura Millin at 728.0447.
Alex Kraft and Hak Kyun Kim
The Missoula Art Museum is often gifted artworks by the outstanding, hard working artists of our community, and we are grateful for the donation of these exciting artworks by Alex Kraft and Hak Kyun Kim and honored to share them with our visitors. Continuing an established Montana tradition, Kraft's ubi uber and phileal ocinea, and Kim's After Serving 04, push the envelope with philosophical, expressive, and formal explorations in clay.
After earning an M.F.A. from The University of Montana in 2006, Kraft spent time as an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray in Helena and then the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. Currently she is an artist-in-residence at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico. Kraft creates imagined life forms and their environments composed of visceral and bodily systems that explore the physical internal and the sacred internal, the material versus the intangible. Surfaces are brightly colored and multi-textured and the titles convey a Latin-like biological language invented by the artist. In Kraft's pieces, the physicality of form, color, and surface correspond to the emotion, intellect, and instinct within these beings. Ubi uber (top left) is a creature that radiates a life-force of its own, a heart-like beast with an up-thrust neck, teetering on its small legs. Phileal ocinae (right) is a wall-mounted painterly creation suggesting either a cross-section view of some beast, displaying the viscera, or a window into an alien or microscopic environment of floating organisms. Both pieces are fantastical, adventurous works that push the limits of clay manipulation.
Hak Kyun Kim traveled to The University of Montana from Korea, with an education and aesthetic strongly rooted in industrial design. Kim earned his M.F.A. in 2008 and is currently artist-in-residence at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, KS. In contrast to Kraft's expressionistic beings, Kim returns to the vessel with a quiet simplicity, exploring the edge between function and non-function. Kim's piece After Serving 04 (left), a platter with five cup-like vessels spilling across its surface as if ready for wash up, displays philosophical tension by presenting a sensuously clean and smooth surface, calm color, and the suggestion of utility contrasted by its slightly asymmetrical forms and an askew arrangement of objects. Masterful craftsmanship and conceptualization invite the viewer to experience harmony between idea and form, emotion and surface. The vessel becomes the content, interplay between Kim's aesthetic philosophy and highly skilled clay handling.