The Interconnections, Impact, and Beauty of Montana’s Rivers
This project will consist of five original artworks created between June 1st-November 2nd, 2022. There are twenty-eight rivers in Montana, and I will begin this project with four paintings focused on the Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, and Missouri Rivers. The fifth painting will display the interconnected nature of all of these rivers. All rivers lead to the sea; “from space, rivers and streams look like veins on the Earth's surface” (PBS). Rivers and streams are interconnected within a system called a watershed. Each watershed is deeply interconnected, as water moves downstream and joins together, carving paths through the land that continually change. My paintings will express the life within these rivers running through Montana’s landscape.
Each vivid landscape painting will draw viewers in to feel and celebrate the beauty of our rivers. I will pair these paintings with additional information about each river, accessible through a QR code available in person or on my website. Through research and interviews with landowners, experts in water quality, fisheries professionals, conservation organizations, and watershed groups, I am certain this project will provide comprehensive and insightful information about the issues these rivers face. I intend to educate new audiences and draw attention to the importance, challenges, and changes of these wild and scenic waterways.
Art portrays a community, helps us understand other points of view, shares community values, and facilitates learning and beautification. This series, which I plan to continue with additional rivers after this particular grant cycle, will celebrate our great state and educate the public about watersheds at the same time. The visual arts draw the viewer in with beauty, which is exactly what I plan to do with the project. As the viewer enjoys the magnificence of Montana, they will also learn about the importance of our rivers.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through it and Other Stories
Upon completion, these pieces will be available for viewing online as well as in Downtown Bozeman. As a local Teaching Artist, I will create a lesson plan/informative coloring book around this series to share with students.
THANK YOU THANK YOU; this project is funded in part by the Montana Arts Council.