Art flows through her
Carol Montgomery is a conduit. Stories, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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