Montana is covered in some of the largest wilderness areas in the country. Naturally, it seems best for a Montana native to commemorate 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Missoula artist Monte Dolack created a poster that best represents these places.
The painter originally wanted to include people who helped make an impact on the creation of designated wilderness areas. After some time, however, he got the idea to do a “family portrait” of different animals living in these habitats. The background of the poster is full of different wilderness monuments including Denali, the Florida wetlands and the California redwoods. It also includes references such as a grizzly and a bobcat and a tortoise and a hare.
“I felt this was a dynamic way to use the space,” Dolack said.
He was inspired by the “Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks in 1833. This piece shows animals in a portrait with humans, representing peace among both humans and animals.
Dolack is also involved in many organizations that deal with wilderness such as Trout Unlimited. He is also helps with watershed projects.
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He says that he believes that the environment is something that both conservatives and liberals can get behind.
Wilderness Watch contacted Dolack and they were able to collaborate with other groups on the subject.
They were in talks about the project over four years ago but decided on Dolack last summer. He began work on the project nine months ago. Many of the sketches he composed are available for viewing at his gallery in Missoula all month and the finished poster can be bought there.
The Wilderness Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The landmark act was created to protect the land with the National Wilderness Preservation System. Across the country there are over 110 million acres of wilderness in 13 states.
Samantha Cheney is a journalism student at the University of Montana and a reporting intern at the Missoulian.