October through December 2020
E M B R A C I N G
Montana Forestry Diversity
Welcome back Judy! One of the original founders of the gallery, comes home for an exhibit of traditional pine needle basketry, coiled one needle at a time.
Judy has been creating contemporary designs with a deep respect for the methods of “the Old Ways” since 1980
and has been an instructor with the National Wildlife Federation at various international locations, and currently teaches the coiling technique in her private studio. She has exhibited her works nationally at galleries and museums, and has been featured in the Sundance Catalogue.
For this show, Judy has incorporated slices of Montana Juniper as pedestals into the body of the pine needle baskets, creating unique sculptures woven with the natural materials she has respectfully gathered from the forest floor. Pine needles, Spruce root, birch bark, willow, and bear-grass, as well as the serendipitous volunteer feather, create the bridges between the forest, the basket, and the viewer. In her words: “With a respect for the ancient craft of coiling, and a spirit of gratitude for the blessing of our beautiful forests, it is my prayer that the language of my work will be understood as I allow it to speak for itself.”
Check out these unique baskets in her collection here, or stop by the gallery to see them in person.
This collection will be available
through December 31.
Would you like to pick this item up in the gallery and avoid the shipping charges?
and we'll make that happen!
Experiments in Cold Wax and Oil Medium
My most recent work continues my interest in transparency which I acquired when doing early watercolors, but my media of choice for this 20/20 show is cold wax and oil medium. This medium is a new departure for me and utilizes my love of marks, print making, and color explorations. I love the built up textures and transparencies and layers of oil paint. This series is a play on words and the meaning of 20/20 Vision: My vision as an artist, playing with a new medium and thoughts on vision and the importance of sight to me as a visual artist. This series is a natural culmination of my work with letterforms in graphic design and mark-making in calligraphy as combined in cold wax oil painting. My goal is to combine the painted shapes and free mark-making with the structure of hard edged letterforms in a entertaining way with many layers of meaning.
Blending Stained Glass and Fused Glass
We have often used the tagline “art glass from cold to hot,” referring to the temperature changes glass processes through in the fusing cycle from room temperature to 1500 degrees. For this show it also reflects the reference to stained glass as “cold glass” and to fusing as “warm glass.” Mercurial can also refer to a volatile personality trait, which glass as a material always exhibits, no matter which technique is used.
I have been designing with glass since landing a job in the stained-glass department of a local antique dealer in 1978. I added glass fusing design in 1982, and even though the focus has been on kiln-fired glass since Leonard joined Mercurial Art in 1988, I have always wanted to combine the two techniques. The visual pleasure of background movement behind a mouth- blown antique glass is impossible to replicate in fusing, but the intricate detail rendered in a frit painting is not realistic in a small stained-glass panel. When our scheduled artist for July backed out, the extra time available in my studio during the pandemic let me start down that design path, playing with combining clear textures in geometric patterns with the organic frit paintings from the fused grove series. The background behind these panels translates any movement into a dance between the viewer and the outside world.
As with any new design direction, more questions were created than answered. It will be rewarding to see where the concept can go from here.
“Birds Bears and Bees”
original oil on canvas
This show will be a display of the 3 Bs....
Beautiful native Birds, Bears and Bees.
A series of oil paintings created specifically for
4 Ravens Gallery, in sizes from miniature to large. Patrons and collectors will recognize Kat’s unique style with an emphasis on individual
Kat Houseman is a wildlife artist currently living in Bellingham Washington. She grew up in Great Falls Montana regularly visiting the C.M. Russell Museum and Paris Gibson Square. After high school Kat attended Montana State University in Bozeman Montana and received her Bachelor of Fine Art degree. Over the last 15 years she has traveled back and forth from Washington to Montana showing work and participating in festivals, galleries and museum shows. And even spent a year living in Missoula! Kat works primarily in oil on canvas or panel. She strives to create dynamic images that all can enjoy, giving honor and respect to the wildlife subjects she so loves. The importance of animal and habitat protection fuels Kat’s work.
March - May 2020
Helena artist Bill Ryder draws on a background of mechanics, welding, and life experiences to create mixed-media sculpture using new and found metal, driftwood, and unique pieces found at estate sales. Movement and dynamic tension are expressed in the flowing lines of driftwood supported by a welded infrastructure, or in the rescued old Singer sewing machine that morphs into a proud horse. Bill notes “Deep primal feelings are evoked which are expressed in tears of joy, smiles and laughter when people interact with the large driftwood elks as well as the tiniest wire horses.”
opening reception March 6
Featuring live music