Jerry Rankin: Golden Sunlight

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JERRY RANKIN: GOLDEN SUNLIGHT, sponsored by the Missoula Art Museum, is an exhibition of new work by Whitehall artist Jerry Rankin. Rankin is one of Montana’s most significant living artists, and the Missoula Art Museum is honored to present this intimate exhibition of works. He was mentored by two of the titans in Montana’s early Modernists art movement, Rudy Autio in high school and Robert DeWeese at Montana State University. Rankin went on to earn his MFA from the University of Montana. During the course of his decades-long career as an artist, Rankin has developed a distinct visual language, and his endless curiosity and investigation of the natural world through his studio practice continues today. Rankin’s images are meditations on the land. He states “In 2015 I began a series of drawings, which I developed into prints exploring the expansion of the Golden Sunlight mine near Whitehall, Montana.

After attending the Lucy Lippard lecture Undermining on the effects of mining on landscape and the environment at MAM last summer I recognized that there was an audience in Montana for this information. Within each block or panel of the exhibit, I’ve illustrated the progressive vandalized and irreparable landscape, the increasingly toxic waste pond lake, and the chewing and tearing at the seams of the earth caused by rock removal; the devastation occurring without consequence, without imagination. Centered in an earthquake zone, a four-point quake could easily slide the entire poisonous mass down the mountain and into the Jefferson River, a stream feeding first into the blue ribbon fishing waters of the Madison and Gallatin Rivers and joining the Missouri within a few miles. Points of stress are indicated by magenta symbols. The waste pond lake is shown in acidic layers of virulent greens and reds. The increasing network of lines throughout might represent an EKG map of the circulation system of the mountain. The work is another response to the dangers that Montana’s industrial climate poses to the entire range of ecological systems.” MAM will exhibit this work as a lead up to the 2021 statewide project EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss organized by Peter Koch.


February 1 – March 15, 2020: Carbon County Arts Guild, Red Lodge

July 1 – September 1, 2020: MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney

October 1 – November 1, 2020: Carle Gallery of the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library, Butte

February 25 – March 30, 2021: Northcutt Steele Gallery, Montana State University, Billings

Return to Current Traveling Exhibitions

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