Here We Are Now: Work by Anne Appleby

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The School of Art at Montana State University is pleased to present Here We Are Now:  Works by Anne Appleby at Helen E. Copeland Gallery located on the second floor of Haynes Hall, Bozeman, MT.  Here We Are will be on display from Monday, August 19th to Friday, October 18th, 2019.  On Thursday, October 17th, there will be a gallery talk with the artist at 5 pm, followed by a reception in the gallery until 8 pm.  The gallery talk and reception are free and open to the public. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Here We Are Now showcases prints and paintings of indigenous Montana flora and trees by Anne Appleby.  However, this is no traditional botanical exhibition.  In the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Appleby held a 15-year apprenticeship with a Chippewa elder, learning to deeply observe nature.  It is clear in Appleby’s work that during this apprenticeship, she not only grasped nature, but in some ways, became that nature, and transposed the quintessence and marrow of it to the canvas for her attentive viewers.

Mountain Honeysuckle, 2015
Oil and wax on panel
45 x 45 inches

Appleby, regarded as a minimalist painter, creates color field compositions that consist of at least 30 layers of wax and oil paint washes.  Thus, Appleby creates luminous surfaces that capture not just the various hues of landscape or object, but the overall sentiment of a specific time and place.  In works like Mountain Honeysuckle, the viewer is reminded of a honeysuckle plant they have personally seen, but also the moment, place, and atmosphere in which that honeysuckle existed for that person.  When looking at Winter Aspen, the untouched snow, the stringent nip of the cold, the clean aroma of the winter landscape, once again take breath.  Appleby’s works retain a freshness that allows the viewer to see nature anew.  As stated by artist and art writer, Diane Armitage, “Walking into the gallery during the artist’s show and taking a quick look around gave local viewers the impression that they had stepped into an ecosystem that they knew very well yet were also seeing for the first time.”

Winter Aspen, 2000
color aquatint with burnishing
Image size: 13 ¾ x 21”; paper size: 25 ½ x 32”
Edition of 35, Artist Proof

In her translations of cottonwoods, Oregon grapes, aspens, mints, and honeysuckles, Appleby employs hue and light in an Impressionistic manner to evoke the temperament of a location– or a lasting subtlety of a specific occasion– that the viewer may not be aware they absorbed like hypotonic osmosis.  According to Appleby, “My paintings are not about the other world.  They’re about our place in this world. What nourishes the soul is the experience of being in the body.”

Mother E, 2009
Oil and wax on panel
72 x 70 inches

If every wonderful interaction with nature in Montana seems to be fleeting; if you ever questioned whether you enjoyed that experience enough, were mindful enough, or were present enough, the work in Here We Are Now will reassure you that you did take that wilderness with you—and Appleby’s paintings will provide the proof.


Anne Appleby was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1954.  She received her BFA in Painting from the University of Montana in 1977 and her MFA in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 1989.  She has shown nationally and internationally including Danese in New York City; the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, WA; PDX Contemporary Art in Portland, OR; the Mayor Gallery in London, England; the Museum Ritter in Waldenbuch, Germany; and the Villa e Collezione Panza in Varese, Italy.  Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Daimier Art Collection in Berlin, the Boise Art Museum, as well as in the collections of the General Mills Corporation, the Hewlett-Packard Corporation, and the Microsoft Corporation.

Winter Honeysuckle, 2012
Oil and wax on panel
49 x 32 inches

She currently resides and works in Jefferson City and will have a solo exhibition, A Hymn for the Mother at the Missoula Art Museum in 2020.

For more information on Anne Appleby and her work, please visit

The Helen E. Copeland Gallery is located on the second floor of Haynes Hall, across from the Aashiem Gate off 11th Avenue on MSU Bozeman Campus.  The gallery is open Monday – Friday from 9 am – 5 pm whenever classes are in session. Please note that parking passes are required for parking during the business day (6 am – 6 pm).  For more information of the gallery and upcoming programming, please visit us on Facebook or call (406) 994-4501.


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