Show Preview | A Timeless Legacy

Kalispell, MT
Hockaday Museum of Art, August 11-December 1

Sally Vannoy, Swans in Red, White and Blue, oil, 24 x 36.

Sally Vannoy, Swans in Red, White and Blue, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

The Hockaday Museum of Art has always strived to preserve the legacy of Glacier National Park. Over the past few years the museum has hosted an annual show to honor the women artists who have painted the park but have received scant recognition. This year the museum expands its mission to include male artists as well as artists from Canada in a groundbreaking show that brings art lovers and naturalists together. A Timeless Legacy: Peace Park 2018 includes works depicting Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. The combined area was the world’s first international Peace Park and was established in 1932.

“This is the first time anyone has done a group show shared between the two countries and the parks,” says Tracy Johnson, executive director of the museum. “The show is setting a wonderful precedent for other organizations to show that these collaborations are possible and valuable.”

The show opens on Saturday, August 11, with an artists’ reception and sale from 6 to 9 p.m. Artists have spent the past year visiting and painting both parks to produce up to six original works each, both en plein air and from their studios. In a range of styles and mediums, they portray the area’s landscapes, wildlife, and iconic historical monuments throughout the vast, forested terrain.

Johnson says the artists were given access to exclusive locations in each park. “It’s fun to open those doors for this collaborative group of artists,” she says. “It’s an honor to have both countries come together through nature.” Participating artists include Charles Fritz, Mark Ogle, Lori Putnam, Linda Tippetts, Michelle Grant, Doug Swinton, and Linda Wilder.

During the past year, artists’ plans were sometimes derailed when wildfires ravaged the land, with 70 percent of the canopy lost in Glacier National Park. While some artists adjusted their painting trips to capture before-and-after scenes, others stayed to document the blazes from a distance. Robert E. Wood, a landscape painter from Canada, says the fires are a reminder “to slow down and appreciate the fleeting beauty of the world around us.” Artists were also able to capture the Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park before it was lost to the fire. “As I painted Glacier National Park this fall, the beauty of the yellow leaves touched the devastation of the burned ones,” says Putnam. “Working on the studio pieces from that trip is both difficult and emotional.”

Johnson says the wildfires represent a moment where artists have the unique opportunity to convey their love of the land. “This kind of show can record fact and fiction, beauty and devastation, in a way photography can’t,” she says. “It’s the artists’ personal views of being there to capture this moment in history. It’s like they’re creating an artistic journal of the devastation and the regrowth.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
406.755.5268
www.hockadaymuseum.org

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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