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The Missoula Art Museum's "Behind the Vault Doors" exhibit is part of a statewide collaborative venture among six Montana museums spurred on by the film project of Allen Powers. The exhibit runs June 11 through Aug. 31, with a reception and gallery talk with Powers on June 17 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The project highlights the rich artistic heritage found in the collections of Montana museums, home to many of our most precious cultural treasures. Powers spent the last three years assembling and editing stories from Montana artists, curators, museum professionals and historians. In addition, he conducted interviews with representatives from the cultural institutions that protect and preserve the artists' stories. This pilot film emphasizes the uniqueness of Montana and celebrates the tightly knit community of artists that impacts the contemporary cultural life in the state.

Six institutions in Montana, each with a unique set of stories, artists and artworks, agreed to participate by featuring work from their collections. MAM is the first institution to host the "Behind the Vault Doors" concept, and its exhibition features works created by the first wave of skilled and innovative artists who brought modernism to Montana in the 1940s and 1950s.

In addition to this monumental showing of Gennie DeWeese works, MAM will feature the work of Lela and Rudy Autio, Bob DeWeese, Frances Senska, Peter Voulkos, Walter Hook, Jim Dew, George Gogas, Freeman Butts, Ted Waddell, Maxine Blackmer and Aden Arnold.

For more information, call the Missoula Art Museum at 728-0447 or visit www.missoulaartmuseum.org.

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