Angela Babby: Wolakota
Missoula Art Museum (MAM)
September 16, 2010 – February 6, 2011
Missoula Art Museum is thrilled to host Wolakota, a new exhibition featuring the enameled art glass mosaics of Angela Babby. The subject matter in these works includes a combination of floral designs and portraits of significant tribal influences and is made entirely from glass, mortar, and tile board. The ritual required to plan and execute the design, coupled with the resulting luminescence, places Babby amongst a very few artists in the region working with this medium and very unique practice.
Wolakota will include mostly completed and refined works. However, one area of the exhibition will be dedicated to providing insight into Babby’s process. This process will be revealed through a working area, which will include a conceptual drawing, taking the visitor through the cutting and gluing process and providing documentation of the final finished work. The idea of this aspect of the exhibition is to manifest appreciation for the unique vision and patience achieved by this artist. Babby was included in MAM’s first Montana Triennial in 2009 and has received attention through commissions, juried exhibitions and group exhibitions. MAM is curating her first solo museum exhibition.
According to Babby, the old Lakota term, Wolakota, is a spiritual way of life that calls on us to act and behave with ultimate respect, harmony, peace, and friendship. Following this way of life is a deterrent to arguing, fighting, making enemies, jealousy, belittling other people, and is also a strategy for maintaining peace and balance in our world community. It speaks not only to our treatment of other people but also to our earth. Wolakota is also the closest Lakota word to describe the concept of art.
White Buffalo Calf Woman, the Lakota Savior, said: “The four-legged (all creatures), the winged ones (all avian), the water people (all ocean, sea and lake dwellers), the silent standing ones (all of plant life), they all cry out for us to re-educate ourselves to live in peace, harmony, and friendship with them and with one another—to follow the path of ultimate respect and end the mass destruction of ourselves and the earth, the mother of all.”
The exhibition will be hosted in the Lynda M. Frost Contemporary American Indian Art Gallery. This gallery is dedicated to honoring the creative cultural contributions of American Indian people to contemporary art, and to ensuring that Indian artists will always have a place to celebrate that contribution. The exhibition will be the educational foundation for the Fifth Grade Art Experience and is cosponsored by the Art Associates of Missoula and Trail 103.3.