A quick guide to some upcoming events around Missoula in the coming week.
Peace sign unveiling
(Friday, Sept. 3)
Twenty years after it was removed from the hillside north of Missoula, the iconic peace sign has been reassembled in its new home behind the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center.
The sign, a defunct microwave transmitter tower, was painted repeatedly over the years by activists, and a succession of telecommunications companies would paint back over it. The cycle repeated itself until 2001, when Qwest Communications removed it and gave locals a day's notice that they could pick up the nine panels, each 8 feet tall, before they went to the dump.
Volunteers held on to the pieces, often in their own backyards, and sometimes passing them along when they needed to move. In the meantime, efforts to find a new location eventually led to the Peace Center’s back alley, where it would be viewable as public art but not a constantly visible sign to those who objected to its message, such as Vietnam veterans who felt it symbolized those who blamed them for the war.
The unveiling will take place on First Friday, Sept. 3, from 5-8 p.m. at the center, 519 S. Higgins Ave. They’ll also feature local artists Dre Castillo and Kim Kresan, and have live music by the Shenanigans from 5-7 p.m. and live storytelling about the sign from 7-8 p.m.
Indigenous Art Exposure at ZACC
(Friday-Saturday, Sept. 3-4)
The Zootown Community Arts Center is hosting “Resiliency of Montana: Indigenous Art Exposure,” a two-day extravaganza that includes gallery exhibitions from youths to teens and adults, poetry readings and music, an art market and a fashion show.
See this week’s preview or the calendar listings for more information.
National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society
(Multiple dates, events)
The National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society is bringing its “Best of America” exhibition to Missoula’s Dana Gallery this year. The show will feature more than 150 paintings representing 37 states and Canada, juried by professional artists from a pool of almost a thousand submissions.
The show itself is opening at the Dana next Friday, Sept. 10, and will stay on view through Oct. 9.
The work includes landscapes, interiors, portraits, wildlife, still life, photorealism and impressionism.
There’s also a three-day “Painting the Portrait Sketch” with visiting artist Albin Veselka; a two-day plein-air paint-out led by Lori McNee, and demonstrations from her, Veselka and Aaron Schuerr.
Death Cab for Cutie and Deep Sea Diver
(Saturday, Sept. 4)
Ben Gibbard and company are making their only stop in Montana at Bonner’s KettleHouse Amphitheater. They were originally scheduled for the grand opening of Logjam Presents’ new Bozeman venue, the Elm, but canceled, citing the delta variant and a re-evaluation of all its indoor shows on this tour.
The opener is Seattle indie-rock band Deep Sea Diver, led by singer-guitarist Jessica Dobson, whose music includes plenty of shoegaze texture.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $42.50-$52.50. Go to logjampresents.com for information on shuttle buses or parking.
John Maclean’s memoir reading
(Sunday, Sept. 5)
John N. Maclean explores the deep history in “Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River,” released earlier this summer. He’ll make his only appearance in its home area this Sunday, with a 1 p.m. reading event at the Double Arrow Homestead Pavilion in Seeley Lake.
Kirkus Reviews wrote that “loves of literature and nature will be captivated by this heartfelt tribute to place and family.” Maclean traces back his family’s history, fictionalized by his father, Norman Maclean, in his classic 1976 novella, “A River Runs Through It.” Maclean, a lifelong journalist, researches the darkest chapter of the book — his uncle Paul’s death — to try to clear the air around a story that’s become mythical.
(Sunday, Sept. 5)
Beer, schnitzel, tubas — Germanfest is back this year after a 2020 hiatus.
The 27th annual celebration of Missoula’s sister city friendship with Neckargemund, Germany, is on for Sunday, Sept. 5, in Caras Park from 2-6 p.m. It’s free and family friendly with activities.
Jürgen Knoeller and Bayern Brewing have provided a keg of Oktoberfest beer along with pretzels. If you need more, Alpens Guten Eaten food truck of Stevensville will be selling schnitzel, bratwurst, leberkäse, sauerkraut, fries and potato salad. The music to match that menu will be performed by Oktubafest.
You can buy commemorative beer steins with or without lids. The event is put on by Arts Missoula’s Global and Cultural Affairs and the University of Montana German Department.
Shakespeare in the Parks
(Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 7-8)
This summer, a touring troupe of actors went back out on the road, bringing classic Bard plays to small communities around Montana and the broader region.
The annual tour wraps up in Missoula, with two evening performances on the Oval at the University of Montana. You have your choice between a light comedy, with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” on Tuesday, or a drama with a twist of hidden identities and subverted gender roles in “Cymbeline,” on Wednesday.