The Missoula Art Museum will present six major exhibitions featuring work by Native artists. Four Native artists have been invited to guide the museum in curating a year-long series of exhibitions from its American Indian Art collection. Love Letters to Objects will feature rotating installations of items hand-selected by artists including elder Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith and others, who will share insights into their process of selection in public events throughout the year.
Throughout 2021, the Museum’s Frost gallery will host three solo exhibitions, one large group show, and one exhibition featuring a pairing of two established Native artists. Harlem, MT resident Sean Chandler (Aaniih/Gros Ventre), who put his art career on hold to respond to the need for leadership in his community, has recently returned to making bold, dynamic abstract paintings; this will be his first solo show in Montana. Ka’ila Farrell-Smith (Klamath Modoc) is a mixed media artist based in Modoc Point, OR who will exhibit new work that extends her interest in rock paintings and petroglyphs. Neal Ambrose-Smith (Salish/Kootenai) lives in Corrales, NM, where he specializes in natural printmaking techniques and large-scale abstract scenes populated by imagery of animal spirits and Western pop culture references. The group exhibition will focus on artists such as Natalie Ball (Klamath/Modoc) and Rochelle Kulei-Nielsen (Shoshone) who employ a combination of traditional Native approaches and contemporary modes of art making in their work. At the end of the year, the museum will present a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho) and Marcus Amerman (Choctaw). Based in Idaho, Amerman is well known for his intricate bead and glass work, but the artist also works in performance and fashion design. Edgar Heap of Birds, who has gained significant attention for his political, text-based paintings, will work with the students at the University of Montana to create a new edition of prints.