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Work – Renee Taaffe, Liz Dye, & Patricia Thornton

Opening First Friday, May 3, 5-8 PM & exhibiting through May
in the Main Gallery

First Friday, May 3, 2024, 5-8 PM
Exhibiting in the Main Gallery through May

View works still available for purchase online (some have sold and are only available to view in person) –

The ZACC is delighted to present works by Renee Taaffe, Liz Dye, and Patricia Thornton in the Main Gallery throughout May. Works are available for purchase, and the artists will be present at the opening reception.

Artist, Environmentalist and Art Educator Patricia Thornton is the ZACC LGB Print Shop Manager, who directed the ZACC galleries for many years.

For the last twenty-five years I have been working on a printmaking series I call, “Misfits, Monsters and Pretty Things.” I created this cast of anthropomorphic characters to communicate with viewers and artists who inspire me, and to playfully explore societal dysfunctions, myths, and natural beauty. These still vignettes are like comic strips. My characters go on adventures, interact with nature, and explore the unknown.

“Last year I retired from my position as the ZACC Galleries Director to solely run the ZACC's LGB Printshop and Residency. By my side through the years as a gallerist were my two dear friends, local artists Liz Dye and Renee Taaffe. Together we hung over 300 exhibitions. I will be forever thankful for their help. I am thrilled to be showing with them,” Patricia shared.

I have been involved in the arts for most of my adult life receiving my BFA at the University of Montana in 1991 and an MFA with an emphasis in painting from Washington State University in 1994. After returning to Missoula, I taught art in the public schools for several years and in 2000, switched gears to become the Curator of Education at the Missoula Art Museum. This position thoroughly immersed me in the art world of Montana and the surrounding areas. In 2018, I semi- retired and in recent years have been spending time with my granddaughter and many school aged children. Their spontaneity and exuberance with art-making inspires me each time I step into the studio.

I work in an open-ended fashion, coming to the canvas or paper with a loose idea and letting the work develop as ideas and forms emerge through the process. My work revolves around my life experience, especially my knowledge and perception of the natural environment, from close up drawings of insects and birds, to the changing views of clouds and mountain landscapes, and to seedlings and trees.

I have not developed a consistent practice of getting into the studio so when starting a body of work, I feel as if I am starting fresh, remembering the dynamics of painting and line. This of course has its benefits and drawbacks and as a result, there are many pieces in my closet or in the closest landfill.

The pieces here are primarily from the past as I wanted a somewhat cohesive body of work. The women in the red (or blue) dresses interacting with the landscape are meant to convey a relationship with nature but also a struggle with a stubborn mind.

The human figure has since dropped from my work but trees continue to be a source of inspiration for me. Their strength, seen in age and bulk and their intertwining extensive branch systems, reaching like dendritic neurons into the sky, continue to amaze me.

My current work explores my dreams and memories.


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