MISSOULA – A new exhibition at the Missoula Art Museum features artist Neal Ambrose-Smith, descendant of the Confederate Salish and Kootenai tribes.
With a double title in Salish and English, č̓ č̓en̓ u kʷes xʷúyi (Where are you going?), invites people to think about a visual adventure.
The MAM has a gallery dedicated to contemporary Native American art.
“So with this dedicated focus in our collection, and also with the dedicated focus in our gallery, it’s really an honor to be able to celebrate really exciting artists like Neil,” MAM’s senior curator told MTN News, Brandon Reintjes.
The exhibition is the result of four years of artistic work through mediums and three years of planning at the museum.
“Most are environmentally sensitive,” Ambrose-Smith said, explaining that the current political and cultural atmosphere in the United States has motivated his artistic inspiration for the exhibition.
The ideas are transposed through visual archetypes, symbols and colors.
“I have this bunny that is basically screaming, you know, just how I felt about situations because every time I listened to the news or read something, it was mind blowing to me,” Ambrose-Smith said. .
Art is meant to be seen in many ways. Black lights on and off show different images. 3D glasses also help create an alternative experience. And a large neon room from which the exhibition takes its name, transforms before the eyes
But there is no waiting to understand certain concepts in art.
“It’s a mirror, so all they see here is what’s inside. And then they’re going to form opinions and questions and that’s the dialogue I want to have because it’s an opening to maybe enter a place for change or for understanding or for merging, you know as where we can come together and break bread, ”Ambrose Smith said.
Ambrose-Smith’s work will be on display at the Missoula Art Museum until February. Entrance is free during opening hours from Tuesday to Saturday.