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FIRST FRIDAY: Wood-fired sculptures not typical ceramics

FIRST FRIDAY: Wood-fired sculptures not typical ceramics

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Danny Crump's love of ceramics is fired by wood and stoked by metaphor.

"I choose to use clay as a medium because of its intrinsic ability to change," says Crump in the artist's statement for his one-man show, "Seeing Constructs," which opens tonight at the Brink Gallery as part of this month's First Friday Artwalk. "While (clay) can take on any form in its raw state, its fired form is permanent. Like us, its permanence is framed by fragility. These objects' relationship to the human body in scale and gesture furthers this vulnerability."

In case it's not obvious, Crump's ceramic sculptures (literally) aren't your cup of tea. Instead, the BFA graduate of Utah State University and current wood-fire resident at the Clay Studio of Missoula looks to concepts of repetitive harmony and balance, rather than traditional utilitarian forms, as the inspiration for his abstract ceramic sculptures.

Much of the earthy appeal of Crump's sculptures comes from the time-intensive and often unpredictable process of wood-firing, whereby clay is fired at relatively low temperatures for days.

The result is a body of work that reflects organic forms and colors, yet doesn't clearly depict anything in particular.


For Karen Shimoda, who opens a new show of works around the corner at House Design Studio, the forms are less organic than textual, yet the effect is similarly abstract - and similarly alluring.

Employing a diverse palette of materials including graphite, ink, water color, pastel, acrylic, tissue, vellum, foil, scratchboard and wood panels, Shimoda has created a series of gritty, mysterious, yet elegant works that she collectively calls, simply, "The Experiments."

"One of my artistic interests comes from being both an artist and a book editor," explains Shimoda. "This is an interest in how line might simulate text. Oftentimes, I've stretched this beyond anything that resembles text, but text is usually the catalyst. Some of my markings are the fragments of actual text, such as the lyrics to Beatles songs. My markings on layers of tissue were created while actually listening to music. In a sense, these markings become the text of sound versus the written text of lyrics. This is a kinesthetic exercise for me, as are the markings

I make on scratchboard, a way to physically release creative energy. Other items were attempts to see how line could be created or altered by manipulating foil or paint, for example."

Shimoda's show also opens tonight, adding to yet another event-packed and eye-opening First Friday Artwalk.

Reporter Joe Nickell can be reached at 523-5358, or on


Arlee Museum, corner of Bouch and Fyant streets, Arlee, 726-3167: Featured: “People, Place and Time,” “Then and Now,” “Antique Smith Solar Attachment Transit,” copies of the 1855 Hell Gate Treaty, Dawes Act (1887), and The Flathead Allotment Act (1904); Montana Historical Society educational foot lockers, “To Learn a New Way,” “Inside and Outside the Home: Homesteading in Montana 1900-1920.”

Missoula Art Museum, 335 N. Pattee St., 728-0447. Featured exhibitions: Phoebe Toland, “High Impact,” through May 22. Marvie Redmond, “Skyscapes,” through May 29.  Cathryn Mallory, “Levitate/Gravitate,” through May 22.  Andy Smetanka, “City in Shadows,” March 5-April 24. MAM Collections, Jill Brody and Lucy Capehart, March 9-June 26. Recent acquisitions to the Contemporary American Indian Art Collection, March 9-June 26. MAM Collections, video artists Holly Andres, Grace Carter and Greg Aurell, March 16-May 29, MAM Collections’ “Northwest Narratives,” March 16-June 26. First Friday, March 4, 5-8 p.m. Toland speaks at 7 p.m. and Redmond at 7;30 p.m. Frist Friday Museum hours Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Building 322, 728-3476:  Featured: the permanent exhibit and recent acquisitions exhibit. Featured through January 2012 – “When the Mountains Roared: The Fire of 1910.” Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays, noon-5 p.m.

Montana Museum of Art & Culture, PAR-TV Center lobby, University of Montana, 243-2019. Featured through March 12: “Renoir, Magritte, Gauguin and other European Masterpieces” from a private collection and “Three Centuries of European Prints” for the MMAC permanent collection. First Friday celebration, March 4, 4-6 p.m. Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, noon-3 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, noon-6 p.m. Special viewing hours for this exhibition only, Mondays, noon-3 p.m.


The Artists’ Shop, 304 N. Higgins, 543-6393: Featured through March: “Anthropomorphism, a Collection of Visual Stories,” works by Bozeman area artist Traci Isaley featuring intricate mixed media figures, inspired by cultures from aroundr the globe. Artists reception, Mmarch 4 5-8 p.m.

The Brink Gallery, 111 W. Front St., 531-7671: Featured through March 26: “Seeing Constructs,” an exhibition by Danny Crump. Reception, March 4, 5-8 p.m.

The Clay Studio of Missoula, 1106 Hawthorne St., 543-0509: Featured through March 25: “Temenos,” new work by artist-in-residence,  Lauren Sandler. Opening reception Friday, March 4, 5:30-9 p.m. Visit

Dana Gallery, 248 N. Higgins Ave., 721-3154: Featured through March 11: Annual Collector’s Resale Show featuring works from art dealers across the region, including Rudy Autio, Jay Rummell, Francis Senska, Elizabeth Lochrie, Walter Hook, Lee Nye, Tu Baixong and more. First Friday Art Walk, March 4, 5-8 p.m. Closing reception and final bidding, March 11, 7-8 p.m. 

The Framing Studio, 411 E. Alder St., 721-2288: Featured through March 31: “With My Heart in Your Teeth,” paintings by Marlo Crocifisso. Opening reception, Feb. 4, 5-8 p.m. Food by Abi Gail Atha.

“Hangin’ Art Gallery & Cafe, Highway 93 N., Arlee, 726-5005. Featured: the Killdeer Artisans Guild including wood sculptures by Danny Kraus; light sculptures by Karl Stein; photography by Joe Weydt and  Martie de Alva; paintings by Jerry McGahan, Lindy Johnson and Joan Mason and multi-media works by Karen Francis and Crystal Kingston.

House Design Studio, 133 N. Higgins Ave.: In March: “The Experiments” an exhibition by Karen Shimoda featuring a collection of experiments with mark making using scratchboard, acrylic, vellum, printmaking, foil, watercolor, pastel, graphite, and ink. First Friday, March 4.

Montana Art and Framing, 709 Ronan St., 541-7100: Featured through March: miniature sculptures and tree paintings by Marvie Redmond. First Friday, March 4,  5-9 p.m. 

Monte Dolack Gallery, 139 W. Front St., 549-3248: First Friday, March 4, 5-8 p.m. Featuring “Mythos,” a retrospective showing of magic realism and mythologically inspired works by Monte Dolack, including paintings, constructions, prints and fine art posters. Open weekdays 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Murphy-Jubb Fine Art, 210 N. Higgins Ave., 728-7050: Featured: MJFA -  fifth  annual Spring Training Show and Sale featuring Kendahl Jan Jubb’s southwestern watercolor images on canvas. First Friday reception, March 4, 5-8 p.m., featuring music by Stan Anglen and friends, singer/songwriter/guitarists. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Ohrmann Museum and Gallery, 2 miles south of Drummond on Highway 1. Featuring paintings and sculptures of Bill Ohrmann.

Redress Clothing, 223 Railroad St. in the Brunswick Building, 546-0156: First Friday, March 4, 5-8 p.m. Featuring fun and funky recycled clothing by Barbara Behan plus upcycled prom dresses and formals.

River’s Mist Gallery of Fine Art, 317 Main St., Stevensville: In March: Stevensville High School Advanced Placement Art students including Leah Abdich, Jamie Bush, Kyle Constantino, Shanae Denney, Jessie Devine, Heather Dubia, Stephanie Fernandez, Aubrey Howell, Molly Kenyon, Summer Morton, Logan Noakes, Emily Pateman, Ashley Reid, George Scharbono, Tasha Sorenson, Darren Swallows, Brandon Tieflou, Addie Tom, and Hillary Weidow. Artist’s reception, March 4, 6-9 p.m.

Selvedge Studio, 509 S. Higgins Ave., 866-931-9001: First Friday, March 4 features first Project Selvedge Fashion Show. Visit

University of Montana Gallery of Visual Arts, Social Science Building, UM, 243-2813: Featured through March 24: 16th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. Opening reception, March 10, 5-7 p.m. Awards ceremony, 6 p.m. Hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and by appointment.

Art on view

A & E Architects, 222 N. Higgins Ave.: First Friday reception, March 4, 5-8 p.m. featuring new big, bold acrylics by Nancy Seiler.

American Made Tattoo, 234 W. Front St., 721-3830: First Friday walk, March 4, noon-10 p.m., Featuring paintings by American Made Tattoo artists. Food, drinks and print give aways.

Bernice’s Bakery, 190 S. Third W., 728-1358: In March: Eicka Burleigh’s exhibit, “The Treehouse,” a series of oil paintings with one gouache piece on a variety of surfaces. First Friday reception, March 4.

Betty’s Divine, 521 S. Higgins Ave., 721-4777: In March: “Fresh Reflections,” an exhibition  by Elaine Davis. Davis creates art that reflects her view of society, especially in terms of interpersonal relationships and the affects of modern technology on the human spirit. First Friday, March 4, 5-8 p.m.

Bridge Pizza, 600 S. Higgins Ave., 542-0002: Jay Rummel’s trilogy of prints – “Lady from Missoula County,” “Road to the Buffalo” and “When First Unto this Country.” Monte Dolack’s original movie posters circa 1973.

Butterfly Herbs, 232 N. Higgins Ave., 728-8780: In March: Melanie Chord’s works about clowns. First Friday, March 4.

Clark Fork Valley Hospital, Plains, 544-6654:  In March: “Art on the Walls,” featuring original art by Sanders County students kindergarten through twelfth grade from Dixon, Noxon and Plains.

Downtown Dance Collective, 121 W. Main St., 541-7240: First Friday, March 4, 6-8 p.m., featuring photography by Dax Kuehn.

Families First Children’s Museum, 225 W. Front St., 541-PLAY: First Friday, March 4, 5-7 p.m. Featuring artwork by the Missoula International School.

FrontierSpace, in the alley one block east of Higgins, between Pine and Spruce, (630) 235-6691: Featured through March: “COMA,” an exhibition of  work by Andrew Reisert and Michael Vallera. “COMA” addresse our interface with the physical world as a measure of our consciousness.  Opening reception, March 4, 6-9 p.m.

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana: Featured through March 18: “Faces of Diversity.”  Visit

Missoula AIDS Council, 500 N. Higgins Ave., 543-4770: In March: “Montana in the Dark,” a photo exhibit by Joshua Sanders. First Friday, March 4.

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St., 327-0405: First Friday, March 4, 6-8 p.m. Featuring “Birds on Paper” by local artist Gabrielle Sivitz.

Rocky Mountain School of Photography, 216 N. Higgins Ave.: Through March 25: “The Last Shift: Saying Farewell to Smurfit-Stone,” by photographer Kathy Eyster of Frenchtown. Artist’s reception, Feb. 4, 5-8 p.m. 

Sotto Voce, 121 S. Higgins Ave.: Featured: photographs of the wild horses of Pryor Mountain by Sandy Elmore.

Top Hat, 134 W. Front St.: First Friday, Feb. 4, 4-8 p.m., Featuring Do It Yourself Bazaar (indoor people’s market).

Total Holistic Center, 525 N. Higgins: First Friday, March 4, 5-8 p.m. featuring works by Jeff Pernell. Gun powder mingles with acrylic paint, organic matter and other media of the mixed sort.

Union Club, 208 Main St.: Featured First Friday, March 4, new artwork by Crystal Kingston.

Zootown Arts Community Center, 235 N. First St. W., 549-7555: Featured in March: art work by Sentinel High School students including an array of 2D media. Opening reception March 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Zootown Brew, 121 W. Broadway: “Places, Faces and Struggles of the Global South,” featuring five photographer’s work from around the globe. Hosted by Community Action for Justice in the Americas, Africa and Asia. First Friday, March 4, 5-8 p.m.

Yellowstone Photo, 321 N. Higgins Ave., 728-7637: Featured in March: award-winning street photographer Alan McQuillan’s recent pictures from the seedier side of San Francisco.  First Friday reception, March 4, 5-8 p.m. Visit


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