Montana Triennial

Missoula Art Museum’s 2009
Montana Triennial
June 26 – September 24, 2009

Lisa Autio


Missoula Art Museum (MAM) is pleased to present the Missoula Art Museum’s first ever Montana Triennial.

Biennials and triennials around the world are intended to function as survey exhibitions of contemporary art that represent the cutting edge art created in a particular region, with works typically chosen by a respected juror or panel of jurors from outside the region. Montana and its cultural institutions have never attempted to host such an all-encompassing exhibition before, but following the reopening of the extensively renovated museum in September 2006, MAM felt uniquely positioned to host this significant regional survey within the new galleries.

Missoula Art Museum’s first Montana Triennial will be hosted at MAM from June 26 to September 24, 2009. This important juried exhibition will feature the artwork of emerging and established professional artists living and working in the state of Montana. MAM’s Montana Triennial will consist of 88 works created by 60 artists, and will represent a full range of media, style, and theme. In honor of the exhibition, MAM will publish a full-color, documentary catalogue featuring the exhibiting artists, their work, and an interpretive essay by MT Triennial juror Beth Sellars.

Beth Sellars is curator of Suyama Space in Seattle, WA, which has featured some of the most avant-garde installation work in the Northwest. For many years prior, she was Curator of Art at Cheney Cowles Museum in Spokane, WA.

Sellars remarked:
“I am honored to have been asked to jury the Montana Triennial for the Missoula Art Museum. The juried art format is in some ways one of the most important exhibitions a regional museum can sponsor. It acknowledges, validates, and provides exposure for the artists of its region and offers museum visitors an assessment of the wealth of talent living and working in their midst. The format also provides the sponsoring museum an opportunity to discover new talent as well as acknowledge artists who they know and respect.

Inviting an out-of-the-region juror to review MAM’s Montana Triennial submissions affords the process a fresh eye; an uncompromised perspective into the large selection of work produced by Montana artists. In making my selections, I ‘blind juried’ the first several rounds, considering only the quality of work under review. After narrowing the selections
down to an acceptable number, I reviewed the artists’ statements and resumes, and finally, in an effort to give statewide representation, I checked the location of the artists’ residence. The end result is visually diverse, as juried exhibitions are wont to be. But there are some definite threads running through the exhibition, clearly identifying it with work created by artists who choose to live in the magnificent beauty of Montana.”

Sellars will present a Juror’s Talk at MAM on Friday, June 26, 6 PM that will focus on the MAM MT Triennial art and artists and a MAM Members’ Gallery Talk on Saturday, June 27, 1-2:30 PM that will focus upon selected exhibitions she has curated at Suyama Space and Cheney Cowles Museum.

Artists featured in MAM’s 2009 Montana Triennial: Jean Albus (Bridger, MT), Chris Autio (Missoula, MT), Lisa Autio (Missoula, MT), Lela Autio (Missoula, MT), Angela Babby (Billings, MT), Kyle Bajakian (Bozeman, MT), Jessica Baldwin (Missoula, MT), Kevin Bell (Missoula, MT), Nancy Birnbaum (Missoula, MT), Larry Blackwood (Bozeman, MT), Mary Ann Bonjorni (Missoula, MT), Andrea Brew (Missoula, MT), Richard Buswell (Helena, MT), Nathan Craven (Helena, MT), Juan de Santa Anna (Seeley Lake, MT), Dan Debrandpre (Missoula, MT), Jane Waggoner Deschner (Billings, MT), Josh DeWeese (Bozeman, MT), Claire Emory (Missoula, MT), Nancy Erickson (Missoula, MT), Stephanie Frostad (Missoula, MT), Kristi Hager (Missoula, MT), Nancy Halter and Greg Jahn (Billings, MT), Kelly Hart (Missoula, MT), Haddon Hufford (Frenchtown, MT), Kate Hunt (Kalispell, MT), Jerry Iverson (Big Timber, MT), Neil Jussila (Frenchtown, MT), Barb Schwarz Karst (Missoula, MT), Dyna Kuehnle (Missoula, MT), Jon Lodge (Billings, MT), Cathryn Mallory (Missoula, MT), Sara Mast (Bozeman, MT), Toni Matlock (Missoula, MT), Karen McAlister Shimoda (Missoula, MT), Gordon McConnell (Billings, MT), Barbara Michelman (Stevensville, MT), Laura Miller (Columbia Falls, MT), Shawna Moore (Whitefish, MT), Shane Morgan (Missoula, MT), Ellen Ornitz (Manhattan, MT), Dan Palagyi (Billings, MT), Michael Parker (Missoula, MT), Noellynn Pepos (Victor, MT), Keely Perkins (Miles City, MT), Sarah Pilgrim (Wilsall, MT), Lee Proctor (Big Fork, MT), Elizabeth Rose (Missoula, MT), Tawni Schuler (Red Lodge, MT), Patrick Smith (Billings, MT), David J. Spear (Pablo, MT), Scott Sutton (Missoula, MT), C. David Swanson (Livingston, MT), Susan Thomas (Great Falls, MT), Phoebe Toland (Helena, MT), Leslie Van Stavern Miller (Missoula, MT), Willem Volkersz (Bozeman, MT), Catherine Walters (Missoula, MT), Laura Wathen (Hamilton, MT), David W. Wharton (Lewistown, MT), and Ralph Wiegmann (Helena, MT).

Missoula Art Museum’s Montana Triennial project is generously supported with grants from the Montana Cultural Trust.

Missoula Art Museum (MAM)