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Paris Gibson Square ‘Object #’ exhibition open to public

Posted at 3:11 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 11:37:21-05

GREAT FALLS — A collection exhibition about art museums and the practice of collecting art will be open to the public at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Artfor a little while longer.

“This is an exhibit about contemporary Western art collection of this region,” said Nicole Maria Evans, the museum’s curator of exhibitions and collections.

When Evans took over the position in 2019, she focused much of her energy on the order, history, and archiving of the museum’s collection.

“Over the years, the museum has done its due diligence and trying its best and working its best to organize and catalog everything that we have, much in the same way that a librarian does with the books,” said Evans. “But it needed it needs attention. It's something that needs a lot of attention.”

Last October, the museum was awarded the Collection Assessment for Preservation, or CAP.

“In a sense, it's an award, but it's a building and collections assessment,” said Evans. “So professional assessors come to look at the state of the museum.

Her efforts led the way for the museum’s latest exhibit called ‘Object #’, which poses some important questions about collections.

“Why we have a collection, what a museum does with the collection and how we as servants to the public provide opportunities in education through the collection,” said Evans.

Evans says even though the Paris Gibson Square houses just over 1,000 works of art in it’s collection, the task of caring for it is as important as ever.

“It doesn't matter the number you have, you're in the public trust to care for the collection and to provide it when needed to researchers, to students, to community interested in learning for the history of art and for the community,” said Evans.

Throughout the exhibit, viewers will see some of those questions displayed.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a panelon March 10th at 5:30, featuring other renowned Montana museum experts.

“We've all reflected and had good conversations about what is the state of contemporary art collecting in Montana,” said Evans. “What does it mean in relation to the history of collecting contemporary art? How it developed in different institutions and what does it mean in terms of the culture of Montana, the history of Montana? And where do we go from here?

The Object # exhibit runs through March 17th.

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