By Michael Somerby EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – As part of their ongoing mission to “enrich our
community through artistic experiences,” the Arts Council of Big Sky has yet
again proven its effectiveness in bringing a wide breadth of styles and mediums
to Big Sky.

In this specific instance, only a week apart, ACBS installed
and unveiled two statues in Big Sky Town Center—one in the Big Sky Town Center
Plaza near the newly-minted Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge and the other just north
of Montana Supply at the entrance to Town Center.

The latter, aptly titled “Ram,” is a Jim Dolan piece made
from steel. The sculpture, considered by ACBS Education and Outreach Director
Megan Buecking to be the “grandfather of Big Sky public arts,” was housed at
the River Rock Lodge for nearly three decades, receding from view in a stand of
aspens that literally began to grow around its horns.

“We wanted to give him a new, more prominent location so he
could be better enjoyed by Big Sky residents and visitors,” Buecking told EBS.

Dolan is among Montana’s most notable and prolific sculptures, and “Ram” is just one of three of his pieces in the ACBS’s public art offerings.

‘Ram’ by Jim Dolan, now sits on the north side of Montana Supply. PHOTO BY MICHAEL SOMERBY

The Big Sky Town Center Plaza statue, titled “Continuity,” by
Robert Winslow, is made from a slab of dark grey granite, smoothed to a shine
in some areas and coarse in others.

As a permanent installation in Big Sky, Buecking says the
piece adds to the diversity of the town’s Public Art Collection, deviating from
the norm of representations of regional wildlife forged from metal.

“Continuity” boasts an abstract design, one that is
non-representational, the first of its kind in the growing mountain hamlet.
This was a big selling factor for ACBS, according to Buecking. 

The sculpture will also serve as a central feature for a
long-term goal of ACBS: forming a Public Art Trail in Big Sky, with pieces
scattered between Town Center and Meadow Village and the trails in between.

“There’s just so much development going on it’s really
important we make a plan for public art,” said ACBS Public Art Committee Chair
Patty Rhea.

Head down to Town Center and indulge.

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