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Family Workshop: Love Letters
Teacher(s): You!
April 07 - September 01, 2020
Missoula Art Museum - Spacer

Download a version of this workshop to print and complete at home!

Artist: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish-Kootenai, Métis-Cree, Shoshone-Bannock), featured in the exhibition Love Letters to the Collection.

Artwork: Celebrate 40,000 Years of American Art

Materials: Use some or all - whatever you can find!

  • Draw/write: crayons, pencils, markers
  • Cut/tear: scissors, fingers
  • Attach: glue, glue stick, tape
  • Paper: magazines, wrapping paper, a notepad, old assignments, anything you can find - use your imagination!

Age range: The whole family!


1. Take a look at the artwork, called 40,000 Years of American Art by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Jaune was the first artist whose work was represented in the Contemporary American Indian Art Collection at MAM. It is part of a current exhibition called Love Letters to the Collection.

2. Imagine what you might say to this piece of art. Optional sentence starters include:

Dear 40,000 Years of American Art,

  • Through my eyes, you are ___________
  • When I read your title, I feel like you are telling me _____________
  • My experience/history/place in the world makes me see _________________ when I look at you.
  • From the moment we met I connected with you because ________________

3. If writing isn’t your favorite way to express yourself, there are plenty of other options: Create a spoken word poem! Rap! Sing a song! Create a dance! Check out the history of the 49 Dance, a Native American social dance and song tradition from the Great Plains.

4. Send us your love letter! Each artwork on view has its own email address. This artwork’s address is: [email protected]. You can send a photo of your work to this email address. Or, you can post audio or video to your social media and hashtag it #mamloveletters so we can repost it!

Make anything - draw, decorate, collage, embellish your letter. We can't wait to read what you think. Remember, your letters will be added to the permanent record for this artwork!

Interested in learning more about Jaune Quick-to-See Smith? Click here for more biographical info about her!

[Image: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, (Salish-Kootenai, Métis-Cree, Shoshone-Bannock), Celebrate 40,000 Years of American Art, 1995, collagraph,71½ x 47½," MAM Contemporary American Indian Art Collection, gift of the artist, 2006.16, copyright the artist.]

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