The Montana Arts Council, a state agency, awarded Aunt Dofe’s Hall of Recent Memory a 2009 award for innovation in the arts. The award singled out Aunt Dofe’s approach to presenting art as a unique experience that the artist shares with the rest of us.
Aunt Dofe makes some assumptions in presenting work. There are a lot of rooms in the house we call ‘contemporary art’. And we often take a certain pride in “knowing what we like”. But, by dismissing work that falls short, we have sadly excluded one more person, one more experience from our lives. Maybe, with a little effort we could expand our community. That effort becomes much easier if we can think of it as taking a walk through the world with another person, the artist. One artist might be taken by a sunset, by a mountain valley, or by every hair on a bobcat; but others are just as taken by a leaf, the horizon, or by the way gray wax separates from white lines etched into it. Aunt Dofe has always tried to give such artists a place to present those experiences, but even more importantly she has tried to give us a place to experience along with them.
Aunt Dofe is acknowledging the Montana Arts Council award by beginning the new decade with a special show. Rather than emphasizing one artist or a medium; the show presents work by 20 artists. “It’s meant to be more like fireworks than an art show,” says curator Dave Kirk. “Unrelated images are crammed together. Each one has its own glow or report. Some days one will hit you harder than another. The next time through that one will seem quiet, and another will sing out. I hope that experiencing this show will be a lot like experiencing the world the way an artist does.”
The show is up now and will be constantly changing until early March. Call Aunt Dofe’s at 285-6996 to get directions or arrange an appointment.