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Prelude to Art Walk with Gloria Hermanson exhibit and sale

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Ceramic works by familiar artists David Shaner, Kurt Weiser, Richard Swanson, Sarah Jaeger, Josh DeWeese and Frances Senska are among the art pieces now on display at 1+1=1 Gallery, 434 N. Last Chance Gulch, through Friday afternoon.

It’s the final day of an exhibit of works collected by the late Gloria Hermanson for her private collection.

A small farewell reception is planned 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.

The exhibit is on final display during the day of the Fall Art Walk, Friday, Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but due to a last-minute staffing shortage the gallery will not be open for the art walk.

A full list of businesses that are open for the Art Walk can be found at https://downtownhelena.com/dhi_event/fall-art-walk-2/.

For gallery owner Maureen Shaughnessy, the exhibit is a good reminder of what a private collector can do if they begin to buy items by favorite artists.

1+1=1 Gallery exhibit

Maureen Shaughnessy is the owner of the 1+1=1 Gallery. Friday is the final day of an exhibit of works collected by the late Gloria Hermanson for her private collection.

Hermanson, who died in June, led a multi-faceted life, including work as a teacher, an FBI agent, a Finance Committee employee at the nation’s Capitol, a lobbyist and owner of a communications business.

Her diverse interests are also reflected in the art she collected.

Much of it may be of interest to Helenans who recognize the names of local artists and also names of those who had a major influence on the history of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts.

“I think she really wanted to support young or new artists. Gloria always had a heart for artists – well known or emerging, it didn’t matter,” said Shaughnessy. “Her collection is diverse because she bought what she loved – though she had a special love for Montana ceramics.

“She was very involved in politics, and especially in women’s rights and human rights,” and some of the pieces were likely bought at events supporting those causes.

Her collection isn’t limited to ceramics. It also includes paintings, collages, photos, prints and fiber art.

A few that catch the eye are a striking photo of a back alley in blues, “Brahmin Blue, that was shot by Lisa Kristine, who is now a renowned international humanitarian photographer, said Shaughnessy. She is particularly known for her powerful photo portraits of indigenous people from around the world and her photos of modern slavery.

1+1=1 Gallery exhibit

On the left is a photo of a back alley in blues, “Brahmin Blue, that was shot by Lisa Kristine, who is now a renowned international humanitarian photographer.

There’s also a silkscreen print by Jessie Wilbur, “Dar Es Salaam. A former art professor at Montana State University, Wilbur along with ceramicist Frances Senska and painter Bob DeWeese are credited for bringing the philosophy of modernism in art to MSU in the 1940s and 1950s.

1+1=1 Gallery exhibit

"Slab Plate" by David Shaner is one of the pieces on display at 1+1=1 Gallery.

There are also ceramic works by former directors of The Bray, including two cruets by Josh DeWeese, and a slab plate by David Shaner, plus a pair of partridges by well known ceramicist Senska.

Hermanson used to visit Shaughnessy’s studio years ago and have coffee with her and buy artworks at a time when Shaughnessy was a single mom and really appreciated the support.

Helena artists Richard and Penny Swanson recall that Hermanson was “a very consistent patron over the years,” purchasing a variety of pieces, spanning decades and art styles.

Hermanson regularly came to their twice-annual studio pottery sales.

“It means everything,” to have support from customers like Gloria,” said Richard. She would come to their studio for holiday sales. “We would have apple cider and pumpkin bread. It was all positive vibes.

“Just the enthusiasm people would show for the work, their appreciation of the work is such an important part for an artist.”

“She bought plates, and cups and bowls that helped us make a living,” added Penny. “She was a wonderful person, and she was a good supporter of the arts.”

Shaughnessy said Hermanson’s collection might spur other folks to collect art and see how to build a collection. “Art collectors can be you and me – just ordinary people.”

The exhibit will continue to be posted online through February 2023 at https://1plus1is1.com/2022-gh-collection/.

The Fall Art Walk kicks off a great opportunity for folks to support artists they admire. A myriad of art is on sale at the art walk, but also throughout the holiday season in a number of upcoming holiday sales that will be posted in Your Time.

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