Category Archives: About artists

Exhibit at MSU Libraries: Paul Heaston

Self-Portrait in Studio

Self-Portrait in Studio

Artwork by MSU graduate student, Paul Heaston, is currently on exhibit in the first floor Heathcote Court at Renne Library through December 2008. Additional works are displayed over the computer area on first floor.

In 2002, Heaston graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio (Magna Cum Laude) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. Some of his Bozeman exhibitions have been included at the Waller-Yoblonsky Gallery, the Weaver Room at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, and the Helen Copeland Gallery. His artwork has also been exhibited at Bear Moon Gallery in Boerne, TX  and the Eye II Eye Gallery and Bismarck Studios in the Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio. Heaston’s artist’s statement is available at

Stop by the library or visit Paul’s website [] for his bio and more samples of his work.

Ian van Coller: “Interior Relations” opens in San Francisco

Ian van Coller, Professor of Photography at MSU, has a solo show in San Francisco at the Rayko Photo Center. The exhibition runs November 5 – December 6, with an opening November 7. Some images from the show, photographed in his native South Africa, have been previously seen in Bozeman. For more of this and other work by Van Coller, see his web site.

Elina Makitla

Elina Makitla

Interior Relations explores the deep fault lines between the country’s public democratic ideals and the ongoing racial and economic inequality that circumscribes the lived experiences of many black South African women. Many of the contradictions evident in South Africa’s transition to democracy are encapsulated within white households that employ black and coloured domestic workers, often housing them in segregated living quarters on their property. These households, simultaneously private spaces for employers and public spaces for the employees, are ultimately political spaces where race, class and gender inequalities are negotiated. Interior Relations is a portrait series focused specifically on female domestic workers—nannies and maids—who continue to embody this daily repertoire of inequalities.

Anne Menge, Bozeman artist

Anne Menge just graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting (and a minor in Psychology). Originally from Billings, she plans to pursue a MA in Art Therapy and a Master of Fine Arts with an interest in glass blowing and metalsmithing in the future at an out-of-state university.

I am primarily an oil painter and in recent years, I have switched to painting on much larger canvases. I enjoy painting the figure and also have a lot of fun with abstract imagery. My technique is always using thick and juicy impasto strokes and I have recently moved beyond the limitations of the brush and palette knife to literally squeezing my mixed paint onto the canvas in various ways. I work with huge mounds of paint on my palette (often 5 and 6 cups of paint at a time) and this is one of the most delightful things I think an oil painter can experience. Oils have a saturation that is unparalleled by any other medium and their creamy consistency only adds to the wonderful sensation.

Also, I have developed my own abstract process of using various types of thick textures, then overlaying them with very thin paint. As the thin paint drips down my paintings it tends to follow the contours of my textures. Finally, I always bring my hand back into the equation by adding finishing touches, often finding interesting shapes in the drip and accentuating them.

See the Bozeman artists page for Anne’s contact information.

Julia Carpenter, Bozeman artist

I’m delighted to continue the Bozeman artist series with Julia Carpenter. Specializing in portraits, she produces some of the most emotionally powerful work I’ve seen. She received her MFA from Montana State University in 2006. Below is her latest news; for more, check out her web site.

Three oil portraits by Bozeman artist Julia Carpenter have been selected for inclusion in a new book Art &Addiction published by Johns Hopkins University Press for release in 2009. The larger than life portraits, Doppleganger, Autopsy and Goodbye, are paintings of the artist’s 24-year old sister, Amy Johnson, who died of a drug overdose in 2005. The paintings are part of a series of 10 that deal with the artist’s stages of grief following the death. Carpenter’s paintings were among 60 accepted out of 900 art submissions on the theme of addiction and recovery selected by the Innovators Advisory board.

This is the second award Carpenter has received from the Innovators Combating Substance abuse program in Washington D. C. Last year the portraits were exhibited in the Art and Addiction show that ran concurrently with the Innovators Award Conference where she received a prize for work that, “best exemplifies the human side of addiction”.

Personal Narratives: MFA Thesis Exhibition by Chris Turbuck

The Helen E. Copeland Gallery invites everyone to celebrate the openings of the 2008 MFA Thesis exhibitions. This last exhibition for this year’s series, which runs from April 14th through April 18th, is the culmination of Chris Turbuck’s Master of Fine Arts studies at Montana State University – Bozeman. A closing reception for the artist will be held Saturday, April 19th from 6-8pm at the Copeland Gallery.

Called Personal Narratives, Turbuck’s work is comprised of autobiographical narratives that relate stories from his everyday experiences. He adopts comic book conventions that allow him to freely incorporate both text and image into the same pictorial space. Different kinds of texts, images and symbols confront one another in the images, suggesting within the conflict that the Self is unstable, divided, and incomplete. Turbuck reinforces the same characters by combining diverse materials and processes, such as printmaking, writing, collage, drawing, painting, and simple sculptural assemblage.

The Helen E. Copeland Gallery is located on the second floor of Haynes Hall on the MSU-Bozeman campus. All receptions are free and open to the public. For more information or directions please call Erin W. Anderson at 994-2562.

Threading Between Worlds: MFA Thesis Exhibition by Stefrose

The Helen E. Copeland Gallery continues to invite everyone to celebrate the openings of the 2008 MFA Thesis exhibitions. The next exhibition, which runs from April 7th through April 11th, is the culmination of Stefrose, Master of Fine Arts student at Montana State University – Bozeman. There will be a closing reception April 11, 5-7 p.m.

The art pieces in this series are accounts of deaf artist Stefrose’s experiences that constantly tug and push her between two worlds. Living her life in a world of silence, Stefrose uses the techniques of quilt making to express the constant struggle she encounters in living “partly in each world for different reasons”. Stefrose goes on to explain that “one of the styles I chose to use in my work is comparable to a well-known quilt making association, Gee’s Bend, especially in the approach of using personal history to create artistic interpretations.”


The series is an expression of solitude and sometimes alienation from a larger community. The pieces both stand individually and fused altogether as a narration that tells of a pulling between two worlds. Amidst the heart of deafening silence, a story emerges.


The Helen E. Copeland Gallery is located on the second floor of Haynes Hall on the MSU-Bozeman campus. Hours to view the gallery are Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm. For more information or directions please call Erin W. Anderson at 994-2562.

Craig Hergert’s panoramic photography


Craig Hergert has just published a book of his panoramic photography, which I saw at the store, Montana Panoramic Gallery & Beaucoup Framing, in the Emerson galleria during the last art walk (second Friday each month). Speaking for myself, not only do I find these images stunning in their gorgeousness, but they draw you in magnetically to peruse the terrific detail and imagine yourself wandering through the scene. One thing you’re never aware of is the effort and skill required, in the field and after, to create these landscapes. But any photographer who has tried it will keenly appreciate the accomplishment represented on every page.

You can order the book or Craig’s prints from the Montana Panoramic web siteUpdate: I also spotted signed books at Country Bookshelf, and they can probably be found elsewhere, as well.

Cherlyn Wilcox

I invited Cherlyn Wilcox to introduce herself here, and I’m almost regretting it. The compelling four-foot canvas shown below is one I’ve already had my eye on. See it for yourself outside the Infusion Gallery in the Emerson.

Untitled 16
Untitled 16

The natural beauty of Montana plays a vital role in my art. However, I am more interested in exploring my emotional relationship to capture a sense of place rather than replicating standard representational elements.

Merging landscapes
Merging landscapes

I enjoy experimenting with textures, color and open space I find in the landscape and learn how they influence our reactions to the natural environment.

You can see other work and learn more at Cherlyn Wilcox’s web site.

Bozeman artists on the web

I have heard that in Gallatin County the proportion of people identifying themselves as artists is several times the national average. True or not, I do know that there are a lot of artists around, but they can be hard to find even if they are on the Internet. I do know that people are looking, because my stats tell me of the web searches that bring people here.

The only online listing site I know of is the Bozeman page of Montana Artists, but to reach their very short list you have to scroll down past ads for real estate agencies, Hannah Montana, and a page-long tourist brochure. If there are other lists I’m missing, please let me know.

So I would like to make this blog available. If you’re an artist and have a web site, tell me and I’ll post it here and add a link on the Bozeman Artists page. And if you don’t have a web site, then Art Bozeman can be a place you might be found if people are searching for you specifically, or Bozeman area artists in general. Either way, just send me ( a few sentences about you and your art, along with contact information, and an image or two to include if you wish. You don’t have to live in Bozeman; any real or imaginary connection is enough.

Ray Sikorski writes about local artists

Ray Sikorski is a Bozeman-based freelance writer who sometimes writes about local artists. He has written about Kevin Connolly for the Christian Science Monitor, Gary Bates for the High Country News and Montana Magazine (that one’s not out yet), and an itinerant artist named Jim Mott who passed through Bozeman, staying at artist Mary Keefer’s house, also for the Christian Science Monitor. The article links are listed below:

A Legless Artist Documents the World in 32,000 Stares
Christian Science Monitor, January 22, 2008

Sculpting a reason to love the wind
High Country News, August 20, 2007

Itinerant Artist Will Paint for a Bed and a Meal
Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 16, 2007

I’ve seen firsthand on this site what happens with national media attention. When Kevin Connolly appeared on 20-20, Art Bozeman received over 2500 hits in the following 24 hours, thanks to appearing fairly high in search engine listings for some searches that people entered trying to track him down on the web.

Ray can be reached at logorhythmic AT