i refuse to be invisible

07.15.2021 – 07.24.2022

Mildred Sandall Scott Galleries

The exhibition will explore invisibility through the lens of contemporary African American and Native art. A mixed media work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby inspired the exhibition theme and title. Two other works by African American artists Kerry James Marshall and Glenn Ligon will be presented alongside work from Indigenous artists from the collections of the Missoula Art Museum and the Yellowstone Art Museum including Bently Spang, Jason Elliot Clark, Molly Murphy-Adams, Ken Blackbird, Kevin Red Star, Joe Feddersen, Melanie Yazzie, Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith, Neal Ambrose Smith, Ernie Pepion, and Earl Biss. I Refuse to be Invisible seeks to encourage dialogue about the relationship between African American and Indigenous people through juxtaposition of the work, voices of artists and the community, and programming tailored to intergenerational families, especially those within regional African American and Native communities.

Guest curators Michael Largo and Dr. Mara K. Pierce state, “There are no ‘exactnesses’ between cultural groups. For example, histories are different, as are verbal and visual languages…identities. As a result of misleading schooling, much of mainstream society still assumes that individuals of color are all the same, causing an invisibility of the unique human identities in each culture. Generalizations lead to stereotyping, which is persistent, even now today. Through I Refuse to Be Invisible, we hope the voices that speak through these works suggest otherwise and the artists who created the works, all People of Color from across American soil, hold an equal voice in contemporary conversation.”

This exhibition was funded and supported by Art Bridges.


exhibition sponsors

Art Bridges
Humanities Montana


related event

Summer Art Studio: Set the Scene, June 23, (Session 1: 10 AM – Noon & Session 2: 1 – 3 PM): In this Thursday session, be the star of your own collage. Create artwork inspired by the I Refuse to be Invisible exhibition. Ages 5-12.

Summer Art Studio: Letter by Letter, July 14, (Session 1: 10 AM – Noon & Session 2: 1 – 3 PM): In this Thursday session, explore typography and create a work of art using words inspired by Glenn Ligon’s I Am Somebody. Ages 5-12.