Water will be the focus of a series of large-scale art events this summer by Mountain Time Arts, the Gallatin County based public arts organization which will use a recently awarded national arts grant to fund a summer long celebration and discussion on water.
Artist and architect Jim Madden said skyrocketing growth in Gallatin County, which at present is about 3%, brings attention to the challenges of population growth and increased water usage. He commented that with a present population of about 100,000, the county would add another 30,000 in 10 years.
“I think we as current residents need to figure out how we are going to accommodate all that growth,” said Madden. “We are just hoping to bring water from this background that we have plenty of it, bring the awareness of water and our dependence on it more to the forefront of people’s minds."
Madden is one of the founders of Mountain Time Arts, the organizer of this summer’s events.
Another co-founder, Dede Taylor, former history and art history professor at Montana State University, said the art is to inspire us to be good stewards.
“We believe art can move people and open people’s minds in a way that maybe those facts and figures can’t always do,” Taylor said. “Our goal is to encourage people to conserve water and preserve the quality as well as the quantity of water so that we can be good stewards and send it off to other users."
The art will begin in June with an event on runoff and conclude in September at the Headwaters State Park. Taylor added, "What we are doing is following the watershed, the Gallatin watershed, from spring snow and runoff through wetlands area, through ranch irrigation to the headwaters of the Missouri.”
These free art events will include aerial dance, live performances, videos, as well as an original piece by an M-S-U composer.
The funding for this summer’s art comes from a $350,000 grant from the ArtPlace America Creative Placemaking Fund.
Last summer Mountain Time Arts did their first water art project, called Flow which featured a video by Mary Ellen Strom, internationally renowned video artist, and another founder of the group