Saturday, October 24, 2020

Mosaic Monday #102: Hockaday Museum of Art

Do you like museums?  I do.  And guess what?  So does #1 Son.  Having him home has brought many blessings, and one of them is having a museum buddy!  This post will share one of the two institutions that we patronized in September - the Hockaday Museum of Art. 

The Museum building was constructed in 1903 as a community library, funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.  It was Kalispell's library until 1968 when the library relocated; the building then became the home of the Flathead Valley Art Association.  In 1969, the Museum was named for Hugh Hockaday (1892 - 1968), who was active in the Flathead Valley arts community until his death.

As with many museums, the exhibits change regularly.  At the time of our visit, the main level galleries housed A Timeless Legacy: Women Artists of Glacier National Park, showcasing the work of contemporary artists working in or near Glacier Park.

"The American Bison is an icon of strength and resilience.  When deep snow blankets the plains, bison use their large, powerful heads much like a plow pushing accumulation aside to forage for food.  These deep pathways create passageways for many other hoofed wildlife.  Bitter winds and record low temperatures sweep across the plains and yet the bison remains.  As the world faces challenges, we can look to wildlife such as the American Bison for hope and encouragement." (description next to this piece)

Taking pictures in a museum can be challenging; typically, the ones that allow photography request no flash.  Reflections on the glass over the artwork obscure parts of the piece.  You get it.  So I apologize if some of these photos seem to be at an odd angle, etc.
You may notice that two of the pieces in the mosaic above are by the same artist - I was drawn to her use of light.  And it is probably difficult for you to see in the lower left, but her brush strokes to create the grasses in Whistling Grasses were mesmerizing up close and impactful from a distance.

Nancy McLaughlin Powell (1932 - 1985) was born in Kalispell, Montana, and became noted for her depictions of Indian faces, horses and animals.  Her earlier works, like the one at right, are primarily pencil and pastel, but over her lifetime, she worked in a variety of media.  She was adopted into the Blackfeet tribe in the 1950s, and given the name Me Sa' Maxaki (Swan Woman).

McLaughlin attended Flathead High School in Kalispell, which has several works by her in its library.  She studied art at Montana State University, and was married to artist Ace Powell 1952 - 1965, with whom she ran a gallery in Hungry Horse, Montana.  After a lifetime of painting Montana and its residents, Nancy spent her last years in Newport, Washington.

Isabel Crawford's (1886-1973) fascination with art began at age 6 when her father gave her multi-colored pieces of chalk and a black slate board.  Her connection to Glacier started with a trip to the park in the early 1920s, which resulted in a number of oil paintings, including "Little Chief Mountain," which was exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 1925.  In the 1930s, she produced multi-color wood block prints or serigraphs each December that she sent to her advertising clients.  The view of Sun Chalets and Lake St. Mary in the Hockaday permanent collection was one of those year-end gifts. 

Echo Ukrainetz is a native Montanan artist, specializing in the fine art of batik.  She has never taken classes in batik and has learned through trial and error.  Her preferred subject matter is drawn from history and the beauty of the state of Montana.  She often uses historical photographs because they evoke emotion and are an excellent historical record of a changing world.  

Arrow Top Knot was himself an artist.  In the mid-1900s, he painted a series of pictographs on canvas depicting his war-time exploits.  Originally hung on the walls of the hotels built by the Great Northern Railway in Glacier National Park, Top Knot's canvases were between 20 and 30 feet long.  But Top Knot's art was taken down in the 1950s when the Park adopted a cowboy theme.  Some of his work ended up in museums, and some landed in private collections, but many faded into obscurity.

While most of the female artists in the exhibit specialized in drawing and painting, the space contained a few ceramic pieces by Rebecca Tobey.  An American artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rebecca creates ceramic, brass and patina animal sculptures in both modern and abstract styles.  As a teenager, she was told by an art teacher that neither her talent or her skills were good enough for art and to choose another major.  Aren't you glad she didn't listen?  Her sculptures have been commissioned for public and private collections in the US and internationally, including a six-foot-tall bronze grizzly bear at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, and 15-foot-tall bear at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  The piece in the collage below, Along the Highline Trail, was #1 Son's favorite work in this exhibit.

We descended to the Lower Level Community Gallery, and found ourselves surrounded by wall hangings, the like of which neither of us had ever encountered.  The exhibit is called Picturing Paradise: Cuadros from the Peruvian Women of Pamplona Alta.  The embroidered and appliqued fabric pictures in Picturing Paradise are cuadros, created by women of Compacto Humano and Manos Ancashinas, two art cooperatives in Pamplona Alta near Lima, Peru.   The exhibition places emphasis on the women as artists and the way their art reflects creativity, resilience and hope despite the harsh conditions of their lives.  It intentionally creates a space where women living on the periphery of society, often silent and invisible, tell their stories and express their visions of a better, more just world.  These magnificent embroideries have been exhibited throughout the world.

You can read more about this exhibit in the picture to the right.

I was struck by several observations about the cuadros: first, they are three-dimensional.  Fruits and vegetables have shape and volume.  Women's skirts flare out. Second, the level of detail is infinitesimal.  Take a close look at the Huascaran cuadro (second collage below). Can you imagine appliqueing all those potatoes onto it?  Third: the familiarity of the local scenes - re-creating what they know.  It gives the rest of us such a unique window into their world.


A perfect example is the cuadro below - ChocolatadaChristmas hot chocolate is a unique tradition that involves handing out home-made hot chocolate, Paneton or sweet breads, and small gifts to children in schools, churches and communities in Peru.  Celebrated throughout the country during the month of December, this event is even more popular in the smallest and poorest Andean communities, where the main goal is to bring great joy to the children and their parents.

Many of the cuadros had personal narratives, especially those created in response to the prompts by Dr. Davis, such as "Who Am I?"  As we read them, #1 Son and I reflected on themes that would resonate anywhere in the world:  the hope for a better world for their children, belief in hard work, a prayer for the safety for spouses and other members of the family, simple enjoyment of the traditions of their culture, reliance on Mother Nature for the harvest, faith in God.  It's a pointed reminder to all of us that we may have our differences, but so much of our hearts' desires are EXACTLY the same!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time). 
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog. 
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back. 
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by. 
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully. 
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. How delightful to have a museum bud!

  2. ...the fabric art is my favorites.

  3. Hi Angie :) I haven't been to a museum in ages...but when I was in my early 20's I visited so many fine art museums in Canada. I was lucky enough to visit Le Louvre in Paris when I was in my teens. That "Head Butting Champion" is amazing! The "Cuadros" are very neat, I've never heard about that before. When I see all of these talented artists, it motivates me to keep painting and drawing! Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Some really cool art. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I do love museums and especially art. It is always fascinating to see the different styles and technics. Thank you for sharing with us. Once again I'm struck by the amount of talent that is all around us.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  6. I love museums and galleries too.
    I definitely will explore the art of Francesca Droll. Her work looks so beautiful. I also love the ceramics by Rebecca Tobey. We are all fortunate that she followed her heart. And the Cuadros are stunning. ( Just to name a few.)
    Thank you so much for this lovely informative post, Angie.

  7. What a great post!! I am amazed by the quality and diversity of museums in our country and the number of talented artists of today and yesterday.

  8. Each month we - my friends and myself - go to a Museum. We have many around. Here in Augsburg and in Munich of course. This year we visit a exhibition in Frankfurt called "Die fantastischen Frauen". There was shown Surrealismus, like Frida Kahlo...

    ...I enjoyed your Post. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a wonderful week. Stay healthy and well, dear Blogfriend.

  9. Museums are fun, I've always loved going in one and seeing their displays and exhibitions. There is always something to see. I love the "Head Butting Champion" it's stunning. Thanks for sharing and have a great new week. Stay safe!

  10. I am absolutely in love with the cuadros .... beautiful post, wonderful art right from the beginning, and the tour just kept getting better and better. Although I didn’t know that sad fact about Glacier NP removing the art in favor of a cowboy theme. That is not a good thing at all (IMO). ... but this whole exhibit was fabulous, it was lovely that you had such good company, and your words ending the tour were the perfect wrap up . Thanks for all, I loved this.

  11. Awesome museum with very creative and colorful artwork that is unique to see ~ ^_^

    Live each moment with love,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

    p.s. Had death in family so am way behind in returning comments.

  12. Hockaday Museum of Art seems to be an interesting place. Strange as I mostly find museums boring :) And I agree with your #1 son that sculpture is gorgeous.
    Take care!

  13. What an interesting museum, the paintings are beautiful, love the ceramics, thank goodness that lady did not take notice of her teacher!! I have heard of a few people who have had that kind of comment from a teacher, mine was a sewing teacher! Love the cuadros, so much to find in each one.

  14. What a great trip! I must say I really do not like museums but I love your photos. I hope you are having a great time with your son. Take care and keep warm. Kit

  15. I also enjoy visiting museums of all genres, Angie. The art of Glacier National Park was all beautiful, and I especially liked the animals. The Peruvian embroidered and appliqued artwork cuadros were fascinating for their detail. It's nice you were able to spend time with your son enjoying these exhibits.

  16. Dear Angie - Walking through paintings or crafts is one of my favorite pastime. I enjoyed accompanying you so much. The embroidered and appliqued fabric pictures are so eloquent about the better world. I can feel the creators’ hopes contained in stitches. You were lucky to be able to take photos. In my place, almost impossible. Presence of your son seems to have spiced up your life more. My life is, too, with my daughter’s family living nearby. “We may have our differences, but so much of our hearts' desires are EXACTLY the same!” Indeed!


  17. I love art galleries - they are always inspiring or at least thought provoking - and my husband is getting better at visiting them with me. Thank you for sharing these amazing collections. Take care and enjoy your week.

  18. Hello, Angie

    what a nice trip with your #1 Son. I loved all the art work, the Glacier NP paintings, the sculptures are cool, the fabric art is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your museum visit. wonderful photos and mosaics. Thanks for hosting MM. Take care, enjoy your day! Wishing you a happy new week!

  19. Oh my! The embroidered pieces are absolutely incredible. I think I could sit and examine them for quite some time.

  20. Very Interesting photos and info on Hockaday Museum. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday

    much love...

  21. Yes, I like art and museums, Angie, so count me in! What a wonderful post and a lovely virtual tour of the museum! Thanks! We're about to exist lockdown here in Melbourne after more than 100 days and I'm hanging out to visit our museum!

  22. This made me realize that I haven't been to a museum in years, Angie!! Beautiful, thoughtful and meaningful pieces throughout...:)jp

  23. Beautiful art! It's nice to have fun again.

  24. How wonderful to get to spend time in this museum and see so many amazing things. It really inspires you and raises you up! Happy Mosaic Monday!

  25. I do like museums but not as extensively as my dear husband and daughter. I was happy to let them enjoy them while I waited...

  26. I love art museums! The cuadros are fantastic!

  27. I think it's neat that you and your son both enjoy museums. I love the wall hangings and the art by Rebecca Tobey. What is inside the buffalo?

  28. Oh my, soooo much creativity here! It's a good lesson from Rebecca. Funny how one should never take the word of anyone who diminishes your talents.

  29. really beautiful snippets of the museum, and how nice that you and your son enjoy them and can visit together. i am not a museum person (i sound terrible), the hubs is. i go with him and i pretend i am enjoying myself. i prefer to be outdoors!!

    he pretends to be having fun on nature photo shoots!!

  30. Absolutely brilliant the paintings, love them all.

  31. Such a bunch of beautiful treasures, that Bison sure does look majestic!

  32. I LOVE museums... I MISS museums. YOu're braver than I am to still go out. One day I hope to feel safe again but not now. LeeAnna

  33. I do enjoy museums and require no undue coaxing to visit them - especially museums of natural history. I am a big fan of art galleries too.

  34. The cuadros are fascinating pieces of art. So often the textile arts by women are ignored and undervalued. Women throughout history have worked needle and thread to create beauty in their everyday worlds.

  35. Those were wonderful. I enjoy a good museum and this one seemed to have a wonderful exhibit. I think it's neat when they feature different artists like that. I loved that first photo of the Ram.

  36. So much to see, and nice to go with your son.
    Lovely photographs of your visit to the Hockaday Museum of Art.

    Hope you've had a good week.
    Enjoy these last October days.

    All the best Jan


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