There looks to be art most anywhere you can find it around Missoula this month, whether it's drawings about the West at Western Cider or vintage portraits at the Missoula Art Museum.
One of the biggest “group exhibitions” of the year is opening with the Radius Gallery’s ninth annual Holiday Show. About 170 artists will be displaying their work over the course of two months including a majority of Montanans. The works range in size and price, and new ones arrive as the older pieces are swapped out.
The opening reception is Friday, Nov. 4, 5-8 p.m.
‘Omnipresent: Photography from the MAM Permanent Collection”
Missoula Art Museum
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See the full range of potential of the still image at the MAM, where a new exhibition surveys from the permanent collection.
According to a MAM news release, the show includes “a 20-piece installation of altered vintage portraits,” “compact still-life meditations on pliers and wrenches,” and bird’s-eye views of the cyanide heap-leach mines.
The photographers include Stan Healy, Kristi Hager, Marcy James, Lauren Grabelle, Chris Autio, Jill Brody and David Spear. They include photographers with national followings, such as Holly Andres (a Missoula native), Imogen Cunningham and Lee Friedlander.
Opens on First Friday, Nov. 4, 5-8 p.m.
‘Imaging the Sacred': Birdie Hall, Talia Roberts, Daphne Sweet, April Werle
Missoula Art Museum
This show brings together work by four female artists and a shared sense of art as a “restorative practice,” according to the MAM.
Werle, a Missoula-based artist who grew up in Helena, draws on her Pinay heritage in paintings on finished wood. The patterns, some of which appear to be inlays from a distance, serve as a field of action for expressive gestures from hands, the signature protagonist of her paintings and murals.
Sweet, a recent University of Montana graduate now based in Denver, “reclaims the female nude from art history, reinvigorating familiar myths and classical compositions with her personal vocabulary of cherubs, arrows, flames, water droplets and halos.”
Roberts’ paintings are based in a minimalist planetary motif, repeated canvas by canvas. The shifting colors vary depending on her technique of using Montana river rock to make her own pigment.
Hall, who teaches at University of Montana-Western in Dillon, reaches back through history and belief systems in detailed paintings, such as one that depicts the burning tower of Babel, a particularly prescient image.
On view through Feb. 18.
Smithblack Furniture, 2025 S. Higgins Ave.
Opening Nov. 4, 5-8 p.m. On view through the end of the month.
Landscape and abstraction are both at work in Mikolon’s paintings, where local color and inventive forms play out on stark white backgrounds. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, her latest works on paper will be on view at Smithblack Furniture this month.
Even the Sun goes West: Courtney Blazon and Ladypajama
Two Missoula artists who normally seem very urban in their styles have collaborated on a new show about the region.
“Even the Sun goes West” is a collection of drawings of the West by Courtney Blazon and Ladypajama. They collaborated on seven works, in addition to separate personal ones on the theme, Blazon wrote in an email.
“With this collaborative project, the artists aim to tackle the themes of the West more specifically, and in some ways, ironically” from their viewpoints. (Blazon moved here from the East Coast almost 20 years ago, her collaborator is a Montana native.)
The works were funded with an American Rescue Plan Act grant that went to artists through the Montana Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
On view all month. Opening reception Nov. 4, 5-8 p.m.
Frame of Mind
Baylis, a figurative and portrait painter, is presenting a solo exhibition at Frame of Mind, where she won an award in the juried exhibition last year. Part of the prize is this exhibition, which includes more than 30 paintings including some of local residents and Missoula staples such as Veera Donuts and Bernice’s Cupcakes.
On view Nov. 1-30. Second Friday reception: Nov. 11, 5:30-8 p.m.