Jessie Wilber Gallery
By Gordon McConnell
The Jessie Wilber Gallery will feature the works of Gordon McConnell from July 8- September 2, 2016. A native of Colorado, he first visited Montana and Wyoming in the 1960s, on family and Boy Scout excursions. These trips imprinted on him the historically haunted and wildly romantic places of Montana, from Little Bighorn and Crow Agency to Yellowstone. He studied studio art and art history in college earning a B.A. from Baylor and M.A. from the University of Colorado. A friend encouraged him to apply for a curatorial and administrative position at Yellowstone Art Center in Billings. He joined their staff in 1982 and remained through 1988. He currently is a painter, free-lance curator and writer.
Like early twentieth century illustrators McConnell derives much of his imagery from photographic sources. He is particularly drawn to classic black and white western movies like My Darling Clementine and Red River. A number of distinct series are included in this exhibition of works dating from 2014 to the present. The Olympia Series features competitive divers from the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Eight paintings are derived from Rocky Mountain, a film that was released in the year of McConnell’s birth. The beginnings of a new series, set in the modern West, are represented by two paintings of a cowboy and horse crossing a busy highway in Lonely Are the Brave, circa 1962.
Free and open to the public.
July 8, 2016, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
August 12, 2016, 5:00 – 8:00 PM