In Plain Sight at Yellowstone Art Museum

Enjoy a Visual Feast at Yellowstone Art Museum

The dog days of summer are upon us, but the Yellowstone Art Museum is a great destination for beating the heat while enjoying a feast of visual offerings with family members and friends.

Just in time for the harvest season, the YAM offers a new exhibition that examines an often misunderstood rural community, which is known by the public primarily through their interactions at local farmers’ markets. Jill Brody: Hidden in Plain Sight reveals everyday moments from life in Liberty County Hutterite communities with her large-scaled, beautifully composed photographs. The exhibition remains on view September 1, 2016 – December 30, 2016 with an opening reception on Thursday, September 1, 2016. The public will have an opportunity to learn more about this exhibition and the artist’s work at Brody’s artist’s talk 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 22nd.
Members of the centuries-old Hutterite group live among us, yet separately. We see them, know of their unique colonies, and occasionally do business with them, yet we understand little of their history and the nature of the way of life they follow. Like so many minority groups, the Hutterites have suffered persecution and hostility throughout their history, from their earliest days in the 16th century to the present. Theirs is a group that is both ethnic and religious in its origins, yet their essential human kinship with those of us who live in the contemporary, technology-driven world is not evident to everyone. 

What one person said

“People think we are ignorant because we only go to school through eighth grade, and because we don’t go out of the colony very much.  But here we learn from the time we are little children to care for each other and live in peace. So why would we go out when we already have what other people want?”—young Hutterite woman

If anything is commonly known about Hutterite colonies, it is their reputation for being self-contained and private.  So much more is the privilege, then, to be able to view this selection of photographs by Jill Brody, a photographer who earned the trust and support of the Hutterite colonies in Liberty County, Montana, to the degree that they allowed her to document their daily lives and share her masterful photographs with audiences who wish to build their understanding of the broad diversity of ways of life among people.
Brody has a long history of aesthetically impactful photo-documentary work in Montana.  She is a consummate professional whose attention to detail and thoughtful composition have garnered much praise.  Brody approached her work with the Hutterites as she had her previous projects: with careful observation, patience, and empathy.

As former senior curator at the Missoula Art Museum, Stephen Glueckert, has stated, “Brody is a genuine artist, true to herself and to her audience.  Her work helps clarify ideas, concepts, and imagery that have emerged from the isolation of the West.” Hidden in Plain Sight was originally organized by the Missoula Art Museum and traveled the state under the auspices of the Montana Art Gallery Directors Association. The presentation at the YAM is under special arrangement with the artist and is sponsored by an anonymous donor, Dr. Stephen and Marilyn Kramer, Dave and Cynthia Hummel, and the Stapleton Gallery.
Other offerings abound at the YAM and the public is invited to learn more about the works included in its current exhibition Echo: Unspoken Dialects. Join other area art patrons at Deep Echo: A Conversation with Kate Hunt, Jerry Iverson, and Michael Haykin, three of the four exhibiting artists. The conversation will be moderated by the museum’s senior curator, and takes place 6:30–7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 18th. An additional conversation with exhibiting artist Catherine Courtenaye will take place 6:30–7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8th.
The timing of these exhibitions and programs should appeal to area residents and to the many cultural visitors who travel during the summer and fall seeking a taste of the cultural treasures found across the nation. The YAM is fully accessible and family friendly, members are admitted free, and the general public can visit for a nominal admission free. For more information, visit the museum’s website

Jill Brody's Pumpkins at Yellowstone Art Museum

Photo: Jill Brody: Hidden in Plain Sight

The nationally accredited Yellowstone Art Museum is the region’s largest contemporary art museum offering changing exhibitions, adult and children’s art education, café, Art Collectors’ Corner, Visible Vault, and a 7,500-piece permanent collection.  The Yellowstone Art Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.  – 4 p.m.  Admission: Members free, $6 adults, $3 students with valid ID, $3 children 6 – 18, under age 6 free, $4 discount price (please inquire).

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