Missoula, MT – To celebrate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 47th anniversary, local advocacy group Environment Montana has partnered with a number of local artists to host an educational art show during Missoula’s monthly First Friday art walk. The event combines photography and paintings that depict Montana’s aquatic scenery, contrasted with archival photographs of dams, mines, and various pollutants that have inflicted damage on our watersheds.
“Our clean, beautiful waterways have inspired generations of Montanans, including many of our local artists,” said Environment Montana director Skye Borden. “It makes sense for us to partner with Missoula’s artistic community to thank the agency that made these inspiring landscapes possible.”
Born on December 2, 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has protected and restored many of Montana’s most beloved waterways. Today, many of our pristine ecosystems healthy fish and wildlife, and unbeatable water recreation opportunities are a product of this agency’s good work.
“EPA helped the citizens of Montana bring the Clark Fork River back to life,” said University of Montana professor Vicki Watson. “Now we need to help EPA’s workers as they struggle to continue healing our environment while under attack from hostile interests.”
Between potential slashes to funding and opposition from the Trump administration, the EPA has experienced a challenging year. Environment Montana hopes that the event will both celebrate the agency and inspire others to advocate on its behalf.
“Missoula sits as one end of the largest Superfund complex in the country, so this is an issue that literally hits close to home,” said Environment Montana organizer Holly Seymour, who organized the event. “The health of our people and the quality of life that we are able to lead in Montana is dependent on the health of our watersheds, and the EPA has done a great deal for their protection and preservation. Montanans want to protect and preserve our beautiful watersheds, and the EPA has more work to do. That can’t happen without full funding.”
More than ten different local artists contributed work for the show. The artists use Montana’s water as a source of inspiration, as a subject, and as a medium for their work.
“My connection with water started with the large number of rivers and streams cutting their way through my hometown,” said Claire Meyer, contributing artist and curator of the Dana Gallery. “I use dyes and water in my artwork because I enjoy the touch of the material, the effects water has on pigments, and the uncontrollable attitude of water.”
Meyer’s work, along with the others, will be on display Friday from 5-8 pm at the old Strongwater surf shop space at 614 S. Higgins Ave. in Missoula.