Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal artists on exhibit at Missoula Art Museum

The Missoula Art Museum presents For the Good of All Things, a new exhibition featuring works in varied mediums by Native artists living on Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal (CSKT) lands. Artists include Dwight Billedeaux, Eva Boyd, Corwin Clairmont, Aspen Decker, Cameron Decker, Frank Finley, Jeneese Hilton, Stephen Hunt, Tailyr Irvine, Linda King, Josh Kraude, Buck Hitswithastick (Morigeau), Salisha Old Bull, Mars Sandoval, Persephone Sandoval, and Sarah Sandoval. The public is invited to meet the artists at a storytelling and craft demonstration on Saturday, March 9, 2024 and at a First Friday celebration on April 5.

Across artists, themes in For the Good of All Things diverge and overlap, from historical scenes in the ledger art of Aspen Decker to Dwight Billedeaux’s painted skull made in tribute to a friend. Tailyr Irvine’s dazzling color photographs depict moments at powwows and appeared in a New York Times interactive feature she authored: “Powwow Season in Full Bloom.” Community and familial relationships connect artists throughout the exhibition. Stephen Hunt portrays elder Eva Boyd in one of three large-format black and white photographs and Eva Boyd’s baskets are exhibited on adjacent pedestals. Four members of the Sandoval family contributed.

For non-Indigenous viewers, the exhibition hints at the centrality of relationships within Native CSKT communities.

The exhibition was inspired by the words of Ql̓ispé (Kalispel) Elder and Culture Bearer, Pete Beaverhead: “Kʷmiʔn̓e tʔe pistem̓kʷx̣ssmill̓šesyaʔɫu a scnq̓eʔels —ɫu kʷnq̓aq̓ʔels ɫu x̣ʷl̓č̓x̣est.” (I really hope that someday things will turn out right for you in all the work you are given and taking on—you who are working hard at what you are good at for the good of all things.)

Exhibiting artist Frank Finley says, “Pete Beaverhead was my grandfather, in that he was my father’s stepdad, so he was who I called Sile’. (Paternal grandfather).”

In For the Good of All Things, MAM celebrates the wealth of artists from a variety of Tribal backgrounds and mixed Tribal affiliations who are living in communities across CSKT lands. Elder participating artists Corwin Clairmont and Linda King (both CSKT), along with Marie Torosian, program director at the Three Chiefs Culture Center, helped MAM reach artists who have not previously exhibited at the museum.

The exhibition is installed in the Lynda Frost Gallery, which has been dedicated for the last 17 years to contemporary Native artists, artwork, and voices.

For the Good of All Things opened January 24, 2024 and is on view at Missoula Art Museum through April 6, 2024. Admission to the museum is free.

About Missoula Art Museum

Founded in 1975 and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1987, Missoula Art Museum is emerging as the leading contemporary art museum in the Intermountain West.

MAM is situated on the traditional, ancestral territories of the Séliš (Salish or “Flathead”) and Ql̓ispé (upper Kalispel or Pend d’Oreille) peoples in Missoula, Montana, USA. MAM is committed to respecting the indigenous stewards of the land it occupies. Their rich cultures are fundamental to artistic life in Montana and to the work of MAM.

MAM is a fully accessible, free public museum boasting eight exhibition spaces, a library, and an education center in the heart of Missoula’s historic downtown.

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