Show Preview | Women Artists of Glacier National Park

Kalispell, MT
Hockaday Museum of Art, August 12-September 23

Lori Forest, Just a Little Coy, oil, 24 x 36.

Lori Forest, Just a Little Coy, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

A select group of leading women artists gathers at the Hockaday Museum of Art this month to celebrate “the Crown of the Continent” in a landmark exhibition titled A Timeless Legacy: Women Artists of Glacier National Park. The third annual art show and sale kicks off on Saturday, August 12, with a gala reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a fixed-price sale by draw.

The show features new paintings and sculptures from 28 nationally recognized women artists, including Carole Cooke, Terry Cooke Hall, Darcie Peet, Rebecca Tobey, and up-and-coming wildlife artist Sally Vannoy. In their signature mediums and styles, each artist brings two major works and two miniatures that depict the inimitable beauty, culture, and history of Glacier National Park and the state of Montana. By pooling their talents into one powerful exhibition, the artists also pay homage to the early-20th century women painters who ventured into Glacier’s rugged wilderness at a time when most received neither patronage nor recognition for their creative achievements. “They were working in a man’s world,” says Hockaday Museum executive director Tracy Johnson. “The artists in this show have such a respect for those pioneer artists. That’s why they come.”

Women artists remain under-represented in fine-art exhibitions and museum collections today, notes figurative painter Krystii Melaine. “I applaud the Hockaday Museum for addressing the imbalance and giving a select group of professional women artists our own space to show what we can do,” she says. Melaine’s realistic portrayals of Native American history, people, and cultures long predate her move to Spokane, WA, from her native Australia in 2010. In two new oils she brings to the show, the artist depicts Blackfeet warriors in 19th-century period clothing, but her models were contemporary Blackfeet men who live on tribal lands near Glacier National Park.

A hike to Glacier’s luminous St. Mary Lake inspired the setting for the painting JUST A LITTLE COY by wildlife artist Lori Forest. “It was a blustery day and the water was swirling and wind-
driven, which created these brilliant ripple marks of refracted light on the lake bottom,” recalls the Colorado artist. But a bear encounter she experienced years ago provided the narrative for the painting, in which a cub timidly watches from the shore as her mother wades in the pristine tarn. “When I paint wildlife, I strive to represent some aspect of the subject’s interaction within its habitat,” says Forest, “usually some behavior I’ve witnessed myself.” 

Arizona artist Shawn Cameron traditionally focuses on ranch life and working cowboys in her oil paintings, but she steps away from that theme in her painting GLACIER SOLITUDE, a work inspired by her explorations in the park last summer. In this quiet, contemplative scene, she portrays a rider with his packhorse at Cracker Lake.

For Cameron, the show reflects the passion, hard work, and dedication of all the artists involved. “The ladies in this show have that in common with the original women painters of Glacier,” she says. “They’ve gone that extra mile to achieve their artistic goals. And we’re still on that journey.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
406.755.5268
www.hockadaymuseum.org

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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