(Billings, MT) Visual depictions of “critters” will run amok in the galleries of the Yellowstone Art Museum in two related exhibitions: Unleashed: Critters from the Permanent Collection and Ephemerality, recent works by Billings, Montana, artist Louis Habeck. Triceratops heads and reclining horses, baboons and lions, dogs and cats, and a wide range of other animals from the museum’s collection both of the wild and domesticated sort will likely lead to sometimes ironic and often sublime relationships that exist between subject matter and materials.

Between 1820 and 1849 artist Edward Hicks painted over 100 versions of the Peaceable Kingdom, which was inspired by chapter 11 of Isaiah “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together…” In an election year when the lessons from this scripture seems so untenable, the Yellowstone Art Museum offers up amusing and serious examples that reference the Biblical text, while demonstrating the long-lived relationships artists have with animal subjects. Horses will reside near wild cats, and house nemeses dogs and cats will grace the galleries side-by-side to remind us of our love of animals and of the possibility of tolerance and peace that is attainable in the real world as envisioned by Hicks. Both exhibitions take place on the museum’s second floor in the Montana Gallery and adjacent corridor.

The exhibitions open to the public Friday, October 28th. A public reception takes place the following week 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, November 3rd.
These offerings should prove to be lively and popular given the attraction to animals demonstrated in enumerable social media memes and animal exhibitions slated around the country. Many of the selected exhibition objects have rarely if ever been seen publicly and never in this context. Education programming will focus on the manner in which individual works were created and on notions about sharing and caring in the natural and “man-made” worlds. The exhibition will include numerous objects by locally, regionally, and nationally known artists such as Will Barnet, Deborah Butterfield, Gennie DeWeese, and Edith Freeman to name but a few.

Related offerings include an animal illustration workshop led by Maria Isabel Bonilla Uribe on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Sign up for this workshop by going online or by contacting the museum front desk. An artist’s talk by Louis Habeck will take place on November 17, 2016, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Louis is a recent recipient of the Montana Arts Council’s Artist Innovation Award, which is made possible by the Montana Arts Council, an agency of state government, through funding from the National endowment for the Arts. Take part also in a joint animal scavenger hunt between the Yellowstone Art Museum and ZooMontana. During the Unleashed exhibition, pick up the scavenger hunt list at either location to start participating and compete for prizes.

The museum is a barrier-free facility and free parking is available. Members are admitted free, and the general public can visit for a nominal admission fee. For more information, visit the museum’s website

Yellowstone Art Museum
401 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101
The YAM is the region’s largest contemporary art museum, nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It offers changing exhibitions, art education, a café, an art sales gallery, the Visible Vault, and a 7,500-piece permanent collection. The Yellowstone Art Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday & Friday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission: Members and High Five cardholders free, $6 adults, $3 students with valid ID, $3 children–18, under 6 free, $12 family (2 adults and 3 children max.) $4 discount price (please inquire).

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