Art Activism show + It’s electric!

As I hinted a few posts ago, one of my paintings was accepted into an art show. The opening is this week, so here are the details… I am happy to invite you to the Art Activism group exhibition at the ZACC!

Some of the pieces at the show...
Some of the pieces you’ll find at the show… (courtesy ZACC website)
Just a tiny little slice of the piece.
…and a tiny little slice of mine, as a teaser.

From their website:

“Join the Zootown Arts Community Center for the Art Activism Group Art Show that will be kicking off the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.  Artworks take on a number of political, cultural, social, and environmental issues that are pertinent to the conversation today.  Enjoy an evening of thought-provoking art, ideas, and conversation– oh and wine!  

“Please join us in welcoming these moving and relevant artworks to the gallery during the grand opening February 12, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. If you are unable to attend the show the artworks will be on display in the Main Gallery for the month of February. Please stop by during our open hours, 11am to 6pm, Monday through Saturday.”

The ZACC is just north of the railroad tracks, at 235 North 1st St West in Missoula. This will also be a great year to check out a few films in the coming weeks, support local filmmakers, and indie movie theaters like the Roxy, the Wilma, and the Silver. J. and I haven’t made it out yet, but this will be the year we start.

So… acceptance is nice. I admit to shouting in gladness upon learning that someone accepted my gritty, gooey painting made of oil paint, twigs, trash, seeds and moss to a show. But now that I’ve started putting things out there again, there is always the specter of rejection. I’ve taken it hard in the past: resenting a city art committee that picks anything with a moose, grizzly or eagle on it, no matter how garishly over-Photoshopped, over what I (foolishly) thought was a shoe-in. Or the time I donated a painted satellite dish to a charity silent auction, only to have it ridiculed by the stand-up comedian who provided the evening’s entertainment… ouch! The answer will not always be yes, and I have no magic shield for deflecting the arrows of No. Patience and acceptance are a few small tools. Also: art work is for life, for growth, for beauty. So do the work, and detach from results… right? Easier said than done, but it’s time to try.

My signpainting mentor (and life mentor) Jo Knox told me that artists should encourage one another, and rejoice at others’ successes. There is room for all of us, she says. Perhaps that’s another antidote for rejection: it’s another person’s turn to shine. Not one of us needs to be The Best all the time. We each just need space for one, and grace and gratitude for the rest.

Before I close, a few images from a different type of art activism: painting a wall in the new fifth-grade classroom at Home ReSource, for a program called the Zero Waste Ambassador Program (ZWAP!). Jeremy at HRS came up with a fun, comic-book logo…

…and here it is translated into a 7′ x 10′ painting using donated paint.

So, these pre-cynicism kids are going to learn about reducing waste– even eliminating it– and will help the Missoula community take action to join them. Each kid will sign the wall after taking the class, so there will be a visual representation of how many kids are ambassadors for this cause. What a privilege to be involved! It was also a lot of fun to meet the others working on the classroom: volunteer electricians, staff, interns. The whole building feels like a carpenter-artist’s studio, with a Little Free Library and a native plant garden out front, people making rainbow-colored drawers in one room, upcycling salvaged materials for sale in another, the upstairs floor made of an old bowling alley, and a guy making a sizzling, snapping Jacob’s Ladder in the back workshop. Each in our own artistic space, bouncing electric creative energy off one another, until it releases into the atmosphere… ZWAP!

The nifty, kid-height coat rack... pick your hook!
The nifty, kid-height coat rack… pick your hook!


4 Replies to “Art Activism show + It’s electric!”

  1. Congratulations Ann!!! I will not get to see the show as I will not be back to Missoula until March, so perhaps you would be so kind as to send me a full copy of your art via email????!! And well done with the Home ReSource work as well! I love your art!

  2. I admire your courage and persistence — and the beautiful art it makes possible. And congratulations on having “Water Fable” in the ZACC show – enjoy!

    I hope you will eventually (maybe after the show) post a photo of the whole piece – for those of us following from afar.

  3. Ann you are the best! A grand role model for not only art, but life in general and nature in specific! I also request a photo of your work after the show. Love and hugs

  4. To echo Sarah, I hope another antidote is knowing that your courage in creating and sharing your work inspires us with a sense of possibility…and your candor about the mixted responses you receive reassures us that struggling and being misunderstood are a normal part of the process. It’s like the opposite of most sharing via social media…you’re curating your experience to promote insight into complexity, rather than curating to obscure it. P.S. I would also love a fuller glimpse of “Water Fable.”

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