The Montana Museum of Art & Culture’s summer exhibits will conclude with a lecture, reception and gathering of Montana Institute of the Arts artists from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center lobby at The University of Montana.
MMAC Curator of Art Brandon Reintjes will present a lecture titled “The History of the MIA” at 5 p.m. in the PAR/TV Center’s Masquer Theatre. The reception will immediately follow at 6 p.m. in the lobby.
The exhibits – “Cultural Homesteaders: Montana Institute of the Arts from the MMAC Permanent Collection” and “Edith Freeman: Montana Seasons” – celebrate Montana artists.
“Cultural Homesteaders” features selections from the MIA. Founded in 1948, the institute was a statewide grassroots organization that tied together the relatively isolated practitioners of various arts and crafts across Montana through publications, an annual festival and traveling exhibits.
In 1954, the MIA began a collection of artworks solicited from member artists. The organization collected for more than 30 years at a time when there were few other collecting institutions in the state and none that focused exclusively on fine art. The MIA collection illustrates the history of the development of the arts in Montana during this time period. In 1994, this collection was transferred to the MMAC and is now part of the museum’s Permanent Collection.
“The MIA artists we have notified thus far about this exhibition and closing reception have expressed appreciation and excitement about a reunion of sorts,” said MMAC Director Barbara Koostra. “Their positive response signifies the richness of the Montana arts community from the 1950s through the 1980s.”
“Edith Freeman: Montana Seasons” is a traveling exhibition sponsored through the Museum and Art Gallery Directors Association-Montana, on loan from the Yellowstone Art Museum Permanent Collection.
Freeman (1913-1992) was a noted artist, rancher and teacher. Upon her retirement as an elementary school teacher, she began her second career as a printmaker. Active in the MIA, she is recognized as a master of reduction woodcut printing. She studied with noted Billings artist Isabelle Johnson. Freeman was the recipient of an Eastern Montana College Distinguished Alumna Award and received the Montana Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1983.
The final opportunity to view these exhibits is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.
MMAC’s hours are noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Friday. For more information, call 406-243-2019 or go online to http://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum.