Yellowstone Art Museum: Artists & inspiration

Catherine Courtenaye and Jill Brody discuss their work

Art Beat

It’s a rare opportunity to hear artists speak in depth about what inspires them. Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings offers two such opportunities on Sept. 8 and 22.

An informal conversation between exhibiting artist Catherine Courtenaye of Bozeman and the Yellowstone Art Museum’s senior curator, Bob Durden, is slated for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. Courtenaye’s work is included in the museum’s exhibition Echo: Unspoken Dialects, which remains on view through Oct. 2.

“Curators have the privilege of accessing profound moments when speaking to artists in their studios, witnessing firsthand the surroundings that reflect their ‘creative wells,’ and hearing the backstories to what inspires their artistry,” says Durden. “This is the second conversation we’ve hosted to echo these honest dialogs and provide museum visitors with deeper insights into the creative process and artistic intentions of works included in our current exhibition.”

During the evening, visitors will have an opportunity to ask their own questions and converse directly with the artist. Durden describes the artist’s work this way: “Catherine Courtenaye uses script – real and invented – to modulate the surface of beautiful color-field paintings. Her calligraphic characters dance and travel through time and space – often balanced with bird imagery to reinforce the themes of flight in her paintings.”

Jill Brody: “Hidden in Plain Sight”

Museum visitors will further their knowledge of art and learn about a community that is hidden amongst us when photographer Jill Brody speaks on the topic of her exhibition, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22. The subject of her exhibition and talk are images from the daily life of Hutterite colonies in Liberty County. The exhibition is appropriate for all ages and remains on view Sept. 1-Dec. 30. A public reception takes place at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 1.

If anything is commonly known about Hutterite colonies, it is the reputation for being self-contained and private. So much more is the privilege, then, to be able to view this selection of photographs by Brody, a photographer who earned the trust and support of the Hutterite colonies in Liberty County, 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.

Neil Jussila in the Visible Vault

Area art lovers will not want to miss an opportunity to meet with and honor the museum’s outgoing Artist-in-Residence, Neil Jussila who has spent nearly a year in the Artist-in-Residence Studio at the museum’s Visible Vault, located at 505 North 26th Street. The reception takes place at the Visible Vault, 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Light refreshments will be served.

Jussila is a beloved local artist and long-serving former faculty of Montana State University, Billings. He is best known for his widely expressive abstract paintings that are inspired by places and memories.

For more information, visit the museum’s website