Hockaday Museum launches “Beyond Craft”

New Kalispell exhibit celebrates ceramic art by 25 Montana artists, Feb. 15-April 7

Art Beat
At the Hockaday: "A Pick for the Gather" by Sarah Justice
“A Pick for the Gather” by Sarah Justice is part of “Beyond Craft” at the Hockaday Museum.

The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell launches a new clay-centered exhibit, “Beyond Craft: The Art of Ceramics,” with a reception 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.

The new exhibition, which continues through April 7, showcases the works of 25 Montana-based artists who explore clay’s artistic side.

The 25 participating artists from across Montana present both wall and pedestal pieces. Among them is Montana’s Potter Laureate Beth Lo of Missoula; the internationally known artist, who teaches ceramics at the University of Montana, has garnered numerous honors including the $50,000 United States Artists Hoi Fellowship, a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and an American Craft Museum Design Award.

Other well-known artists include David Regan, a Flathead Valley local who teaches of art at Flathead Valley Community College; Sarah Justice of Great Falls, who creates figurative ceramic sculptures; Robert Harrison of Helena, best known for his large-scale architectural works; and David Hiltner, co-founder and executive director of the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge.

The roster of artists in “Beyond Craft” takes clay beyond its utilitarian functions and use it as a means of expression. From whimsical and playful to thoughtful social commentary, these works represent Montana’s deep connection to contemporary ceramics.

Many of the artists featured are also members of Montana Clay, an organization that meets annually to share regional information and news, and also shares information through its website, montanaclay.org.

Several participants in the exhibit have worked with the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, an internationally known clay center that hosts visiting artists from around the world each year, as well as offering workshops and community ceramics classes.

In conjunction with the exhibit, David Regan will offer a clay demonstration during the Winter Art Maker Series, 5:30-7 p.m. March 14 ($15 for non-members).

The Hockaday Museum of Art is located in the cultural district of downtown Kalispell at 302 Second Ave East. It is housed in a 1904 Carnegie Library building that appears on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, please visit www.HockadayMuseum.org or call 406-755-5268.