Upcoming Spring Exhibitions & Events at the Montana Western Fine Arts Gallery

The University of Montana Western Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to announce a selection of upcoming events throughout February, March, and April.

Art by Carson Ellis.

Carson Ellis
2/2/2022 – 3/4/2022

Carson Ellis graduated from the University of Montana in 1997 and has had deep ties to Montana ever since. Her husband, Colin, is from Helena and she regularly visits for artist residencies at the Montana Artists Refuge.

Ellis is the author and illustrator of the bestselling picture books Home and Du Iz Tak? (a Caldecott Honor book and the recipient of an E.B. White Read Aloud Award). She has illustrated a number of books for kids including The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Composer Is Dead by Lemony Snicket, and The Wildwood Chronicles by her husband, Colin Meloy.

Ellis has been awarded silver medals by the Society of Illustrators for her work on Wildwood Imperium and on Dillweed’s Revenge by Florence Parry Heide. She’s the illustrator-in-residence for Colin’s band, The Decemberists, and received Grammy nominations in 2016 and 2018 for album art design. She works sporadically as an editorial illustrator for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and other publications and exhibits art on occasion.

Carson Ellis’s gallery exhibit will run from February 2 to March 4 in the UMW Fine Arts Gallery located in Main Hall. Ellis will be Zooming into classes throughout the week of February 7-11, with invitations for the campus and community to join to be posted on the Montana Western Fine Arts Facebook page as the event approaches.

Glass blowing art by Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary
3/18/2022 – 4/20/2022

The art of Preston Singletary has become synonymous with the relationship between European glass blowing traditions and Northwest Native art. His artworks feature themes of transformation, animal spirits and shamanism through elegant blown glass forms and mystical sand-carved Tlingit designs.

Singletary learned the art of glass blowing by working with artists in the Seattle area including Benjamin Moore and Dante Marioni. As a student and assistant, he initially focused on mastering the techniques of the European tradition. His work took him to Kosta Boda (Sweden) where he studied Scandinavian design and met his future wife. Throughout his 30+ years of glass blowing experience, he has also had opportunities to learn the secrets of the Venetian glass masters by working with Italian legends Lino Tagliapietra, Cecco Ongaro, and Pino Signoretto.

In 2010, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound. Now recognized internationally, Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections such as The British Museum (London, UK), The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), The Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA), the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY), the Mint Museum of Art and Design (Charlotte, NC), the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.).

Singletary maintains an active schedule by teaching, lecturing and exhibiting internationally. In 2009, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, launched a major mid-career survey of his work, entitled “Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows.” In 2018 he launched a new traveling exhibition with the Museum of Glass, titled “Raven and the Box of Daylight,” which will push the boundaries of glass as a medium for storytelling.

Preston Singletary’s gallery exhibition will run from March 18 to April 20 in the UMW Fine Arts Gallery. A gallery reception will be held on Friday, March 18 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., with an Artist Talk at 6:30 p.m.; followed by an artist presentation and public demonstration on Saturday, March 19 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.

For more information about these events, please contact Montana Western Fine Arts Gallery Director, Nathaniel Freeman (nathaniel.freema[email protected] or 406-683-7059).

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