Stuck at Home? Submit to FEED

Updates From Mary Baumstark
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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Works by artists Kristi Hagar, Beth Lo, Stephanie Frostad and Nancy Erickson share a wall during this month’s gallery show by the Pattee Canyon Ladies’ Salon. Photo courtesy of Mary Baumstark

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For the past two years, the Art Center has dedicated a full month of programming in the Wilkins Gallery exclusively to local artists with an invitational exhibition. This year we invite you – yes, you -- to submit to FEED, our annual community show at the Lewistown Art Center.

We encourage artists of all ages, abilities, and media to submit up to three works for this show, centered around the theme of “FEED.” In rural Montana, “feed” can refer to all sorts of practicalities of life, from our breakfast to agricultural work and heritage to the steady feed of Spring Creek’s waters. “Feed” can be a noun or a verb, refer to substance or supply, and can be easily taken in a variety of visual directions.

Already, we’re thrilled to feature the works of local artists like Clint Loomis, Susan Lohmuller, Tobie Liedes, Cheryl Boyle and Rosanna Mecklenburg, as well as the talents of our Hands on Art participants and local Fergus High students.

We are working hard to get as much of this show as possible online for you to view during this time of social distancing. If you’re interested in participating, please email high quality images to lac.executivedirector@gmail.com, and include your name, the title, dimensions, and media in the body of the email.

Thanks Lewistown, we’re excited to make this community exhibition accessible to all.

Pattee Canyon Ladies’ Salon

So far, we’ve covered Nancy Erickson, Janey Whaley, Stephanie Frostad, and Kristi Hagar. This week, I’d love to introduce you to our remaining artists -- Beth Lo, Leslie Van Stavern Millar II, and Linda Tawney -- and cover our final two artists, Becki Johnson and Shari Montana, next week. Enjoy learning about these incredible artists at home. We have a few images from the exhibition available on Facebook since our physical gallery is closed.

I first encountered Beth Lo as a professor of ceramics at the University of Montana in Missoula. She’s an incredibly decorated artist with deep Montana roots, learning from Rudy Autio before eventually taking his position at UM.

Beth Lo was born on Oct. 11, 1949 in Lafayette, Indiana, to parents who had recently emigrated from China. Much of Beth’s ceramic and mixed media artwork draws from themes of childhood, family, Asian culture and language.

Lo has a distinguished exhibition record, and was invited to make a new work for the Main Exhibition of the seventh Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale in Korea, 2013. She has received numerous honors, including the United States Artists Hoi Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and an American Craft Museum Design Award in 1986. Her sculptural work is included in multiple prominent regional and international collections, and together with her sister, author Ginnie Lo, Beth collaborated on two children’s picture books, “Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic” (2012) and “Mahjong All Day Long,” which won the 2005 Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award. She has also collaborated with her mother, Chinese brush painter Kiahsuang Shen Lo.

Beth is also active as a bass player and vocalist for several musical ensembles including The Big Sky Mudflaps and Salsa Loca. The Big Sky Mudflaps is a swing and jazz ensemble that has played on the NBC Today Show and the Kool Jazz Festival among other national venues. All of this is in addition to her collaborative and inspirational relationship to the Pattee Canyon Ladies’ Salon.

Leslie Van Stavern Millar II was the artist that we worked most closely with to plan this exhibition. Leslie’s body of work, “The Talented Woman” series, is based off a series of life-drawing sessions with her daughter. These deceptively simple white-on-black portraits offer a critical look at what constitutes talent, beauty and femininity while relying on the immediate results of monoprinting. Leslie credits her time studying the female figure with the Ladies’ Salon to her confidence in working directly from life, even in a medium as difficult as printmaking.

Leslie says of the series, “Indigo, my daughter, modeled over a week’s time in January in my studio. The images were drawn on plexiglass plates and then run through my Griffin printing press. The vitality of the work reflects the beauty and presence of the model, the one-of-a-kind nature of monotypes and the ability to see the results immediately.”

Leslie has a storied exhibition record and her works are in several notable Western collections. She has performed for Humanities Montana as her alter-ego, “Science Woman,” and takes an active role in arts leadership and advocacy.

Linda Tawney’s contributions to the exhibition are two delightful portraits. I love the way she uses paint to build up expressive faces and carves it away to accentuate details like the edge of a nose or fly-away hairs. Tawney’s subjects suggest a rich internal life against a traditional pose and backdrop, and offer a more subtle perspective of the “figure” than her counterparts. Only pictured from the bust up, her subjects are clothed, but offer interior glimpses through moments of spontaneity.

Lewistown Art Center and COVID-19

The LAC will follow the public schools in terms of closures. At this time, the LAC is closed through Saturday, March 28. Please stay up to date by checking our Facebook page (search for “Lewistown Art Center,”) and our website, www.lewistownartcenter.net. We are checking emails (lewistownartcenter@ gmail.com) and messages (535-8278) regularly, so if you need us, reach out.

All Oakridge Boys tickets have been relocated to Wild Iris.

The Lewistown Art Center is still selling tickets for The Portland Cello Project, rescheduled for Sept. 18, as well as Dueling Pianos, rescheduled for June 5.

Thanks for your patience, and wash your hands, Lewistown.

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