Here's some exhibitions to check out this First Friday. For full listings, see our galleries round-up.
Pattee Canyon Ladies Salon
"Studies of the Figure"
Brunswick Gallery, 223 N. Railroad St.
(Friday-Saturday, Sept. 6-7, Monday, Sept. 9)
This group of veteran artists is marking 30 years of meeting regularly to make art based on the female figure, a practice they developed to create alternatives to the male gaze that has dominated production of such images in the art world for so many years.
The artists are Nancy Erickson, Stephanie Frostad, Kristi Hager, Becki Johnson, Beth Lo, Shari Montana, Leslie Van Stavern Millar and Janet Whaley, and the media range from oils to ceramics and prints.
The Brunswick, 223 N. Railroad St., is only open during select time periods: Friday Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Monday Sept. 9, 2-6 p.m.
"Some Assembly Required"
Clay Studio of Missoula, 1106 Hawthorne St.
This Pocatello, Idaho-based artist's functional works have a certain retro, space-age look, with a bright palette and funky shapes. In his artist statement, he cites a desire to create comfort via nostalgia, form, color and references to childhood and toys. The shapes, with repeated, raised dots (colorful ones, too) and "exaggerated pillow forms" draw the user in. (After all, you're supposed to use them.)
The show is on view through Sept. 27. The opening exhibition is 5:30-9 p.m.
Last chance for some big exhibitions
Missoula Art Museum, 220 N. Pattee St.
The MAM's big summer shows are coming down soon, so it's the last opportunity for a few of them if you're only out on First Fridays.
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The museum's largest space has been home to "Border Cantos / Sonic Border," a traveling show by photographer Richard Misrach and sculptor Guillermo Galindo. Misrach drove the U.S.-Mexico border, shooting haunting images that allude to the often-dangerous migration that people undertake to cross into the United States. His collaborator Galindo crafted musical instrument sculptures that have a likewise visual and aural weight, alluding to the people and issues without directly showing them. Misrach will be on hand on Friday to sign copies of their book on the project.
For fans of 1960s abstract art, the most noteworthy show might be "In Praise of Folly: Five Artists After Philip Guston." The MAM is showing one of his pieces on loan, and challenged five artists (Adrian Arleo, John Buck, Richard Notkin, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Jay Schmidt) to respond to its artistic and political undertones.
Upstairs, former Missoulian photographer Linda Thompson's "Emigrant Memoir" explores a different kind of migration to a different part of the world. With photographs, family images and multi-media installations, she explores her parents' moves back and forth from the United States to Sweden, a journey that she has likewise taken with her own family.
In Frost Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin printmaker John Hitchcock is showing prints — and a soundscape recorded with his band — that touch on issues of his Cherokee ancestors and upbringing with German heritage, steeped in American culture.
The MAM's First Friday hours run till 8 p.m. Normal hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
'Impressions' printmaking show
A cross-section of the state's printmaking community can give some insight into the medium's possibilities, whether artists are interested in the landscape (Gesine Janzen), the figure (Scot Herries, James Todd), or putting text right on the wall (Elizabeth Dove). The full list includes James Bailey, Jason Clark, Dan DeGrandpre, Claire Emery, Frank Finley, Bev Beck Glueckert, David Miles, Katie S. Machain and Doug Turman. The show closes on Sept. 21.
FrontierSpace, West Pine Street
FrontierSpace, the gallery in the alley between Sushi Hana and Thomas Meagher Bar on West Pine Street.
The semester has started at the University of Montana, and with it a new round of exhibitions at FrontierSpace. The gallery is run by rotating a set of UM students, usually MFAs, but is not explicitly affiliated with the art program.
As such, the art, often by visiting creators, pushes in noncommercial directions more often than not in a way that galleries might not.
This month’s show, “Bad Skin,” is a collaborative effort between Torey Akers, Ciara Newton and Ana Hansa-Ogren. In their artist statement, they say that these pieces (drawings, sculptures, paintings and video work) ask questions about contemporary art, such as work that is diverse and queer.
“Whether devotional or irreverent, the pieces in ‘Bad Skin’ shy away from tokenistic art lexis is favor of something weirder, wilder and more relevant to the thorny desires and theoretical pitfalls of lived experience, however stupid, sloppy or shameful,” it says, promising work that’s funny and crass.
The gallery is open on First Fridays only, between 5-9 p.m.