Jane and I traveled to one of my all-time favorite places: Missoula, Montana. Unfortunately our daughter Courtney could not get off of work. The trip would have been even more fun with her because she also loves Montana and we often celebrate her birthday there.
Our gracious host was my former professor and tremendous friend, James Bailey. Jim is a printmaker extraordinaire and the confluence of events and artists has me chomping at the bit to do even more prints. Please check out his work at his website.
The trip was to attend the homecoming reception for Tyler Krawsowski and myself. Our show was given the title by Tyler. Seriously, Serious, Unseriously was a two-person show curated by Abby Sweet and Samantha French of the UC Gallery on the campus of the University of Montana. Both Tyler and I are graduates of UM.
The show had many connections between our work–most notably to me the humor, brilliant colors, attention to drawing and an undeniable dark streak. Tyler’s work was entirely hand-colored relief prints executed with the utmost precision. I exhibited a combination of paintings, etchings and monotyped-digital prints. Check out Tyler’s work on his website.
Opening night was well-attended and one of the first people to show up was my good friend and fellow art alumni Jason Clark.
Jim and Jason are the kinds of friends who you can pick right up where you left off as if no time had gone by. That said–it breaks my heart that we realized it had been a decade since we had actually seen each other in person. Also pictured above is my surprised look when my good friend, former student and supporter Renee Cooke showed up with her husband, Barry. I knew they might be traveling through Montana but what a thrill that they took the detour to the gallery for opening night!
The following night was Jason Clark’s opening at the Brink Gallery. His exhibition Repeat Offenders was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. It isn’t easy to perfectly combine strong politics, condemnation, aesthetics and hope into work and Jason did it very well. Inspired by Tibetan Mandalas, Jason repeated tiled relief prints to create visually striking yet painfully poignant images depicting social, political and environmental calamities around our world. Check out the show at the Brink and check out his website.
During Jason’s opening reception, Gallery Owner and fellow UM art alumni Jennifer Leutzinger invited us to her family’s amazing house for a rooftop performance by the musician Paul Benoit. As the sun set over Missoula an amazing trip of great art and friends concluded.