First Friday night and the sunlight's low, looking out for a place to go? Instead of wandering aimlessly in search of art, friends and “refreshments,” here's a couple mile-markers to help you along the way. C'mon, let's cross the river. First stop is around the corner.
Jennifer Reifsneider, a former Missoula resident and Missoula Art Museum badass brings her tactile exhibit Landfall to the Brink Gallery, a quaint space off the corner of Higgins and W. Front. With her sculpted installations she's channeling her rural Pennsylvania upbringing, aiming to connect with that country kid in all of us using familiar patterns and materials. Like this mending-cloth-on-sewing-pattern-paper number, “Fathom, Rotation.”
Cross the street and head down a few blocks to the Dana Gallery at 246 N. Higgins, there's a nifty juried show called National Icons of the West. The second annual national exhibition features 100 paintings, drawings and photos of cowboys, American Indians, landscapes and cows, cows, cows. But don't think you've seen it all before. This show includes intriguing artists such as Jackson Goodell, whose mysterious photographs we wrote about last year. And there's Kelsey R. McDonnell's acrylic paintings of strange tree-limbed figures in dresses hanging out in stark western landscapes. There's a $5,000 best of show award along with other prizes. Here's a strikingly different take on the theme you'll encounter, a painting by Andy Cline called “Park and Ride.”
Still sober? Did you forget to check out Triennial Refuses? Well head over there, I'll wait for you at House Design Studio at 133 N. Higgins. There's some colorful combinations of poetry and paint in Kim Anderson's Haiku series. It's simple because/we weren't meant to dive so deep/in pools of meaning. Anderson's haiku are certainly better, like this piece's hot and cold theme.
On your way home make sure to stop by the Swift Building’s Centennial Celebration. The restored railroad relic, now home to Missoula nonprofits like the Ecology Project International, will host a photography show featuring Haley Hanson's silkscreen prints with music and refreshments. Find it nestled near the nature trail at 315 S. Fourth Street E. Like the rest of the art walk, the party goes from 5-7 p.m.