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Hand Plucked Art Exhibit Opens March 3

 

HAND PLUCKED: an exhibit of art selected by your very own friends and neighbors, opens Friday evening, March 2, and runs through April 14, 2018.

When we began planning this exhibit last summer, we knew we wanted to continue our annual tradition which allows us to really step back, take stock, and marvel at the incredible amount of beauty and hard work that has flowed into the gallery over time. Formally referred to as “Best of the Back Room” or “All Artist Winter Review“, this year, we wanted to give it a new twist. We began with a working title– Staff Picks — borrowing from a local independent bookstore that lets staff choose their favorites and give a little explanation of their choice. It’s such a cool way of getting to know the staff on a deeper level and often highlights selections that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. In any case, it creates a cool connection and we are all about cool connections here at 1+1=1. It’s kinda’ our thing.

We didn’t want to limit the plucking to just the six of us; we wanted to include others from our community. Once we started thinking of who to ask help pluck, we became very excited about the concept of getting to know each other through the art we love. If all goes well, we hope to create a new tradition that, each year, our gallery regulars will anticipate with glee. 

So, Hand-Plucked was born. Each “plucker” (as we’ve so lovingly named them) arrived on the scene with their unique taste, personality, lifestyle, decision-making approach and stylistic considerations. The pieces they’ve chosen appeal to them and speak to them in the way only art can. This exhibit will be a gathering of these selections and will, hopefully, speak to you as well about the power of art.

Among the pluckers are: our gallery “staff” Tim and Maureen; Claire who works full-time as our Assistant Gallery Manager; part-time staff Susan Mattson and Marcia Eidel, and, of course, Charlie, whose main job is greeting customers and holding down the floor.

Additionally, this year’s pluckers include those who, in their own way, have been very supportive of our gallery over the past four years. Thank you to Chelsia Rice, Laura George, Andrea Cross Guns, Terri Hamilton, Charlotte and Denis McCahon, Renee´Kowalski, Chelsey and Mike Frank, Tim and Jen Davis, Mike and Colleen Casey, Wayne and Carol Montgomery, Patty Aaberg, Guylaine Gelinas and Mary Ahmann Hibbard, and others.

We have so many folks who support 1+1=1 Gallery in so many ways. You attend our receptions and events (even though you’re so busy)! You visit the gallery when it’s quiet, carving out time to deeply ponder and consider the artwork. You volunteer your time. You buy pieces you LOVE. You help us spread the word and bring new people in to see us. You donate funds to help support Sound Gallery or art student scholarships. Trust us when we say, it was not easy to pluck our pluckers. This is a huge reason we want to keep the Hand-Plucked ball rolling, so we can ask a whole new group next year!

Stay tuned and come get a taste of our fresh, hand-plucked art on March 2.

Scenes from our opening nights. Lotta fun. Better than the couch. 😉   

4th Annual Hygge Open House

This year, our 1+1=1 Gallery Hygge Open House is just one day -- Saturday, Feb. 3rd from 10 to 5 -- designed to get you out of your cabin (we know you have the fever) ... safely over the ice and down to the gallery to enjoy some delicious homemade warm food, hot drinks, energetic live music, a special presentation by a special guest about Hygge and a coffee tasting, a fascinating wood carving demonstration and a peek at the brand new printmaking studio we've been working hard on all January.

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3rd Annual Young Voices

 

Please join us for an exceptionally wonderful event that supports blooming artists and local charities. Our 3rd Annual Young Voices exhibit opens Friday, February 2nd at 5:00pm. Grab a snack and beverage, listen to youngsters bravely deliver their artist talks, browse their original artwork and choose a piece of framed, funky, ready-to-hang art for your home. 40% of all sales go to local charities selected by the young artists themselves. This year the students have chosen Montana WILD and The Angel Fund to receive their donations. What’s not to love?!

During the summer and fall of 2017, these students have worked with artist and art educator, Maureen Shaughnessy, exploring different mediums and techniques. Now, the gallery walls are theirs for the duration of the show which runs from February 2nd-17th. Winter gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 to 6pm and Saturday 10 to 5pm.

In preparation for this exhibit, the six students helped to mount the show with their own two hands; they chose, framed, signed and titled their pieces; helped to patch and paint the gallery walls and pedestals, wrote artist statements, bios and gallery talks and, in return, gain confidence as young artists and entrepreneurs.

Artists featured are: Scarlet Carpenter,Silas Fruge´Lilly Hamper,Adia Terry, Ema Terry and Rachel Kuntz. They range in age from 8 to 15 years old. Over the summer, the students learned to work in various mediums, focusing particularly on 3-D and “Teen Art Adventure” plein-aire art. 

A few peeks at some of our art seshes from last summer: 

Last year the students chose the Helena YWCA and The Friendship Center as recipients of their fundraising efforts. Here they are presenting checks and some of their art which was purchased by gallery patrons and donated to the two organizations to enliven their walls.

 

And here are some scenes from last year’s opening night reception and artist talks at 1+1=1 Gallery: 

 

Carol Montgomery

Carol Montgomery in her studio, Winter 2018.
Art flows through her

Carol Montgomery is a conduitStories, experiences, places, and events flow through her freely- spark, bloom, and burst onto the paper through press or brush, text or image. She is utterly humble, completely curious and extremely allowing. In approaching her artwork this way, each piece is unique and she often shatters standard conventions, steps back, and shrugs as if she had little to say in the matter. Almost as if to say, I don’t know, the story just wanted out, and it wanted out in this way. So, I let it out and kept working until it felt right.

Now Dance ©by Carol Montgomery

Both teacher and student

Carol is a well-known teacher here in Helena and has encouraged and inspired many local artists. When she speaks about her experiences as a teacher it is evident that Carol considers herself a lifelong student and continues to learn from her students just as much as they learn from her. Because Carol remains intensely curious, she is constantly willing to be shaped by all she encounters. Whether it be vividly colored cactus flowers found in the desert or her high-school students’ fascination with comic books, Carol welcomes all considerations into her perspective and allows them to inform her and, ultimately, shape her work.

Pages from one of Montgomery’s handmade books, inspired by comic strip formatting.

The result is work that often takes unexpected turns — perhaps the images need to unfold in a handmade book that alternates between text and image, much like a comic strip (above) or maybe the registration is slightly misaligned, giving the colors more movement which perfectly captures the flapping of wings. Carol is just as surprised as anyone when these serendipities take place. Yet she trusts the process; ever faithful to where the piece wants to go.

Fluent in Art

A couple of years ago, Carol suffered a stroke and she worked hard to regain her ability to speak and connect her thoughts with words. The artistic part of her brain, however, was unaffected and, since then, Carol relies on her artwork almost like a language all its own. Teaching became too tiresome since it requires so much language articulation, but Carol is more content than ever working in her studio for hours on end, speaking what feels like her first language. It is quiet, full of solace and provides a space of focus and retreat.

Sketchbooks full of “scritchy-scratchy” stacked around the house, ideas just waiting to be chosen and brought to life in paint or ink.
Path to professionalism

All artists somehow find their way to their craft and Carol looks back on her own path, in a very matter-of-fact way. She was drawn to art as a child and visited an art museum in Chicago at the age of 18, where she discovered the prints of Kathe Kollwitz. She knew, in that very moment, that she wanted to pursue printmaking and went on to attend classes at Scripps College, The San Francisco Art Institute, The University of Montana. Carol served as an adjunct professor at Cerro Coso Community College in Bishop, California and is a highly respected member of the California Printmakers Association. Carol’s work has been featured in various solo and group shows across the United States.

Grasshopper Song All Summer Long ©by Carol Montgomery

We are honored to represent Carol Montgomery in Montana at 1+1=1 Gallery. Come in to see her boldly beautiful work in person anytime, but especially in our upcoming exhibit: Hand-Plucked opening February 25, 2018. And, in September, Off the Press– Printmakers’ Showcase.

View Carol’s Work

 

3rd Annual Young Voices Art Exhibit

mixed media on wood panel by Adia Terry
Our first show of 2018 is one of our favorites …

because it makes everyone so happy and inspires us all to pay attention to the child-artist within. The third annual Young Voices art exhibit runs from February 2 through 19. Please join us for an opening reception with the artists on Friday, Feb 2 from 5 to 7pm.

An uplifting art show featuring works by seven 1+1=1 studio art students 

Young Voices artists, ages 8 to 15, have taken art classes throughout the summer and many have continued with one-on-ones during the school year. Artists include Ema Terry, Adia Terry, Sophia Albright, Rachel Kuntz, Silas Fruge, Lilly Hamper and Scarlet Carpenter. (See photo albums below for some sneak peeks.)

Each young artist participates in the behind-the-scenes tasks of curating and mounting an art exhibit: from planning, promoting and mounting the exhibit to patching holes in the walls, writing artist statements, bios and short gallery talks – the lessons they learn are about life as well as art.

The student artists will be present during the opening reception to meet the public and give 1-minute gallery talks. This year we are showing sculptural works by the younger artists and plein-air paintings and drawings by the teens. You’ll be delighted and curious when you see the variety of techniques and creativity.

We encourage everyone to join us to support these young, brave creatives. Hope to see you Feb. 2nd, or if you can’t make it to the reception, please stop by the gallery to view the works between Feb 3rd and 19th.

Stretch Your Art Dollars

Each year our Young Voices artists choose two or more local charities to receive donations from the sales of their artwork. In years past, they have donated to the Holter Museum of Art, Mountain Meadow Preschool and Green Arts Montessori School, The Friendship Center and the YWCA. 40% of all sales are given to these non-profits by the kids and the gallery. The rest goes to the kids and to pay the expenses of opening night.

Through your purchases of their art, you boost the young artists’ confidence and contribute much-needed funding to these charities. Watch for more details in our next “love letter” and on our social media posts. If you do not currently receive our email love letters (aka newsletters) and you want to, please subscribe/sign-up here.

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Scenes from the summer Teen Art Adventures (plein aire painting and drawing:) 

 

Scenes from Kid’s Summer Creativity Sesh, Summer of 3d: 
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2017 Small Works Holiday Gift Show

1+1=1 Gallery is exhibiting a large collection of works by 25+ local and regional artists at lower prices (all under $300) beginning Friday, November 17th in their Annual Holiday Show: Small Works. Throughout the gallery are unique handmade gifts ranging in size and medium specifically chosen with gift giving in mind.

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Wood and Wax Exhibit

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Wood & Wax opening reception on October 6th. It was hugely successful and we are grateful for your support of our artists and the gallery.

Featured artists in Wood & Wax are John Andrew (burl bowls and bowls turned of Helena trees) Tim J Carney (contemporary fine furniture) Joyce Watts Coolidge (encaustic sculptures) Dan McArdle (carved wood relief sculptures) and Darla Myers (encaustic paintings)

Wood & Wax runs from October 6 through November 14. If you didn’t make it to the opening, there is still time to see this fabulous exhibit as we have curated it. Stop by anytime during gallery hours Tuesday through Friday 10 to 6 and Saturdays 10 to 5pm. Our opening receptions are always fun, festive and lively — and usually very educational. When the gallery is quiet on other days, visitors often have deeper experiences to the art — for sure it’s easier to step back and see the larger pieces when you are alone or with a much smaller group. Hope to see you downtown at the gallery in the next few weeks.

 

Panel-style Gallery Talk at Wood & Wax opening reception. John Andrew, Darla Myers and Tim J. Carney. All photos ©Eric Seidle Photography.

Thank you to Eric Seidle Photography for taking such great photos at our events. Please visit his website.

Susan Mattson an art activist

Susan Mattson is perhaps the most considerate person I have met. She deeply considers the ways in which various pieces of the world, herself included, influence and impact each other. Through her sculptures, Susan works out unresolved issues; both interior and exterior. While sculpting and carving, she allows her mind wander freely, reminiscing and following the flow of memories, regrets, projections, relationships.

 

Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Susan has traveled the world, taking a solo bike tour across the country at the age of 25. Every experience she has had, every place she has been, is still very alive within her.  The past is carved into her psyche in a powerful way. She is a vessel of lessons.

Susan carries out her intentions through action. She remodeled a house in Butte to rescue it from demolition. She uses the pulp from her fresh juices to bake scones, because, even pulp can be useful. She works in mental health. Every decision Susan makes is preceded by the question, “what would happen if every person on the planet did this?”

She is a steady and humble activist; her art is a demonstration of her deeply held beliefs.  But, she also has a goofy side.  Let’s just say she’s spent a decent amount of time on testing the limits of the face-swapping app.

Driven by curiosity, Susan researches her subjects exhaustively which translates into unparalleled originality in her pieces. For example, her current piece, Nacho Scapegoat, led her on a quest to discover how goats have taken on the burdens of humans throughout history in many, many ways. Susan never just randomly selects a subject, they all have a story behind them, they are thickly layered with meaning.

Susan is pretty much the MacGyver of art galleries. She’ll improve mopping methods, solve temperature and lighting issues with nothing but a bed sheet and a clothespin and conquer mounting dilemmas in the craftiest of ways.

Something to keep in mind when experiencing Susan’s work: every face is made separately with tiny ceramic and dental tools, then pressed onto the body of the sculpture. This requires massive focus, determination, and patience; every sculpture takes many, many hours.

So, come.  Plant yourself in front of one of Susan’s sculptures. Let it speak to you. Let it lead you down new path, or remind you of another time. Open up, lean in, listen.

 

Andrea Crossguns

Here is what I know of Andrea Crossguns. She is all heart. She spends her days caring for children and managing an entire staff of teachers; she inspires them, guides them and reminds them of their gifts. She is nurtures chickens, a guinea-pig named “Cutie” and a faithful canine companion named “Joey”.

Andrea prefers to eat one fresh, heavily seasoned fried egg for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee, egg first, coffee later. She is easily moved to tears. She is a brave and brilliant musician, an intense and deliberate poet, an active member of her community. She needs to hike and deeply breathe mountain air often in order to feel most alive.

 

When Andreas paints, she lets her brush lead the way and surrenders her expectations of what will occur. The result is a collection of work that comes from the deep. Vivid colors that overlap and collide in unexpected ways. Pieces that continue to unfold the longer you view them. Each and every painting of Andrea’s includes a poem, hand-written, rolled and attached to the back of the piece, only to be opened and read by the owner.

Right now- there are 13 Andrea Crossguns paintings hanging in 1+1=1 Gallery. Stop in and feel their power. We’ll make you a cup of hot tea (or coffee) while you absorb.

 

Trudy Skari, minimalist at heart

Trudy Skari is one of those rare people you meet who naturally balances the complexities and simplicities of life. A minimalist at heart, she focuses attentively on only a few things at a time in order to truly appreciate all they have to offer.

Embracing her strong Estonian background, Trudy derives rich meaning and imagery from dreams and the landscape around her. Very early on, she learned to tend to her own needs, overcome obstacles, and use what she had at hand to thrive. It was a basic and simple upbringing. Creativity has always played a key role in how Trudy positions herself in the world.

Trudy owned her first book at the age of 5, The Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. It sparked her fascination with relationships between humans and animals and offered a new way to tell a story. The music of Allan Sherman really developed Trudy’s humor and wit which is still very alive and evident in her sculptures.

From the moment she visited her first clay studio, Trudy was captivated by the immediacy of translating an image in her mind to a physical form in front of her eyes. From there, she fashioned a former ice-house into her own studio/bunker on a farm where art was not valued, settled in behind 18 inch thick concrete walls to carve out time to create.

A champion of resourcefulness, Trudy is known to use clay scraps that most ceramicists would discard. When sculpting, you might find her sipping cold lemonade and listening to Tango music. Trudy doesn’t like to get too hung up on details.  The vision is there, it wants out, she just opens the door and allows her pieces to emerge in a natural way.

Come to the gallery and view Trudy’s incredible sculptures.  They are full of texture and pizazz; just begging to be held, touched, looked in the eye. One of them may even ask to come home with you, you just never know.