Photo: Edgar Smith, Butte vs. the Grand Canyon, 2008, oil on panel, 13 x 26 inches, MAM Collection, Bequest, David Moomey, 2019.03.11

Pennies From Hell

May 18 2021 - September 2 2021

Selections from the MAM Collection

Included are featured pieces from the MAM Collection which focus on the effects of extraction, including George Gogas’ enigmatic painting M-M Cocktail: Ingredients: 1 Part Missoula Air, 1 Part Milltown Water which refers to the inversion pollution in the Missoula Valley, coupled with the problematic legacy of Milltown, a blue-collar community which lies seven miles to the east of Missoula. The Milltown Dam at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers historically aided timber extraction and the nearby sawmill. The dam, downstream from the open-pit mines of Butte and the smelter in Anaconda, retained mine waste laden with heavy metals from the Clark Fork River and was declared a Superfund site, resulting in years of remediation. Also included in the exhibition are photographer Mark Abramson’s vibrant semi-abstract aerial views in the Montana Legacy Suite, such as tailings, settling ponds, and Superfund sites, Gennie DeWeese’s iconic rendering of Montana clear cuts using cattle markers, Edgar Smith’s stunning landscape painting contrasting the Berkeley Pit to the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, Susan Barnes’ hand-painted photographs of impacted sites and communities, and drawings of the Hanford nuclear site in eastern Washington, whose fallout has moved on downwind through air currents and aquifers to Montana, by Karen Rice, among others.