Boldly Beautifying Bozeman

Setting up for Art Walk Bozeman artist Will Hunter hangs one of his large collage pieces titled “Hummingbirds and Handguns” at the Phoenix Gallery on West Park Street for Friday night’s Art Walk in Uptown Butte. Walter Hinick / The Montana Standard

Bozeman honors the Arts.


Beautifying Bozeman

Brayton, Lea
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Local artists turn utility into art.

Three years ago, the plain grey traffic box on the corner of Wallace and Main was given a trial facelift by local artist Krista Morey and the Bozeman-based urban beautification company, the Clean Slate Group (CSG). These days, the outdoor-inspired wraps are ubiquitous. You’ve no doubt strolled down Main and passed Morey’s work, “Gallatin Gallivant,” and enjoyed the eclectic paisley portrait of trout while waiting for the light to change.

The Artistically Reclaimed Trafficbox, or ART project, was started as both a beautification project and a historical initiative, creating functional pieces of public art that showcase Bozeman’s love of the outdoors, our local artists, and Western history. ART collaborated with artists and Bozeman’s Pioneer Museum to print historic photos and designs on downtown-area traffic boxes, but didn’t stop there.

Once the eleven downtown traffic boxes were complete, the CSG and the City of Bozeman wrapped another 64 boxes. The Gallatin Art Crossing helped the project grow by including the original 11 boxes in their online art mapping and featuring the artists on their website. The Art Crossing says their goal, in addition to helping local artists find outlets to display their work, “is to add vibrant public art to the streetscape and decrease the instances of graffiti and poster and sticker vandalism on traffic-control boxes.”

Bozeman’s boxes feature more than 50 local artists and have received a positive response from locals. Ryan Rickert, CSG founder, takes the success of the project in stride. “We’re just a bunch of farm kids keeping our heads down and working hard, and we’re stoked that the city embraced this and we’re doing something we love.”

If you’ve been to Yellowstone lately, you’ve seen CSG’s wraps on recycling bins in the Park and on the bear-proof garbage cans in West Yellowstone. They’ve also taken on projects in other parts of southwest Montana, like a similar traffic

The Downtown Bozeman Association, Downtown Bozeman art galleries, and retailers and the Emerson Center for Art and Culture are proud to present this summer’s Downtown Bozeman Art Walks. The Art Walks occur on the 2nd Friday of the month; June through September and again for our “Winter” Art Walk in December from 6 to 8PM in Downtown Bozeman. The businesses and galleries generally feature artists’ openings and receptions during the event and often provide complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.  The remaining 2016 Art Walks are: August 12, September 9 & December 9.

Maps for the 2016 Art Walks are available now and throughout the year at all the participating galleries below or CLICK HERE for a printable version!  And, read below for the featured artists and openings at the August 12 Art Walk!

We’re fortunate here in the Gallatin Valley to live in a beautiful place with an abundance of recreational opportunities. In addition, we have many cultural amenities that enhance our way of life and give us a sense of balance and enjoyment while also contributing much to the local economy.

Here in Big Sky, the Arts Council itself injected nearly $500,000 last year into the arts economy, through everything from salaries, artist fees, events, school outreach and more. More than 30,000 people attended our events last year alone. The major driver of arts initiatives across the country is the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts. I want to make sure that Sens. Tester and Daines know that, in Montana, in 2016 alone, the NEA awarded a total of $1,061,600 in grant money to 18 nonprofit and governmental arts organizations.

These grants worked to enhance access to the arts for all, especially in underserved rural areas. Of this NEA funding, over $750,000 went to Montana Arts Council. The state then matched these federal funds and awarded grants to 161 arts organizations in 45 communities across Montana, including Big Sky. President Trump’s proposed budget for FY 2018 calls for an elimination of the NEA, among other cultural agencies like the National Endowment for the Humanities. According to the latest news from U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the arts contribute 4.23 percent of the nation’s GDP–$729 billion per year–and support 4.8 million American jobs. Can we afford to lose the profound impact of the NEA in our state, community, and schools?

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Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, one of the oldest Shakespeare companies in the United States, will launch its 45th season in June with performances of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and George Bernard Shaw’s “You Never Can Tell.”

The company will travel 7,700 miles during the season, running from June 14 through Sept. 5 performing in 61 communities in five states — Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. All performances are offered free to the audience in local parks and public spaces, making them accessible to all.

Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director, will direct “Macbeth” while associate artistic director William Brown will return to Montana to direct “You Never Can Tell.” The 10 professional actors that will tour with the company were chosen out of a highly competitive pool of about 500 applicants auditioning in Bozeman, Chicago and Minneapolis.

Asselin said “Macbeth” will be set in a post-apocalyptic world where resources are limited and power is vital for survival. Contrasted to that will be “You Never Can Tell,” one of Shaw’s funniest plays.

“It all adds up to a great season of theater under the Big Sky,” Asselin said.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of Montana State University’s College of Arts and Architecture. Grants, corporate sponsorships and hundreds of individual donors support the free performance.

This year major sponsors include: The National Endowment for the Arts, The Gilhousen Family Foundation, The Gianforte Family Foundation, Pheasant Farms, Spectec: Thunderbird International Corporation, Montana Arts Council, Barnard Construction, NorthWestern Energy, D.A. Davidson and Company, KBZK, ERA Landmark, Yellowstone Public Radio, Stillwater Mining and the Spanish Peaks Foundation.

For more information on the plays and an up to date tour schedule, visit MSIP’s website at The full tour schedule is listed below.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Boldly Beautifying Bozeman

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I have established Rena and The Great American Muse. Now, there is a parade of beautiful women altering the American landscape – forever!

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