OCTOBER 2020 – MAY 2021
As a Glacier Centennial Artist and with the Park so close in proximity and near to her heart, Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey has created a series of large colorful silk paintings honoring each of the 18 large mammals and four additional pieces showing groupings of all the small mammals who live or have lived in Glacier Park.
From the artist:
My 42 years in Montana as an artist have given me a voice, a voice that is expressed through my paintings. When I first depicted a large Glacier Park mammal after many visits to the Park, it was big and bold and full of spirit, and it was a song I had to sing.
Little did I know that this was the beginning of Forever Glacier: The Legacy Project, and there was no going back. One great “beastie” painting followed another: bison, moose, big horn sheep, grizzly, black bear, coyote, pronghorn—all eighteen of the large mammals of Glacier Park. Some of the impetus came from creating several paintings commemorating the Going to the Sun Road and the Glacier Centennial in 2008 and 2010. But what really called to me were the wonderfully larger-than-life mammals that thrive in this park and the National Park Service, one of America’s best ideas.
I started thinking about habitat destruction and climate change and how these impacted our world and Glacier Park in particular.
When I read about the warming trends impacting the alpine pika, I was compelled to paint four composite paintings representing most of the small mammals of the Park, each in their own habitat: alpine meadow, old growth forest, prairie and grassland, and river bottom.
The Blackfoot creation stories are woven throughout the exhibit. This widens the perspective and offers us their belief that Glacier Park is the Backbone of Creation with all the four-legged and winged as our brothers, sisters and teachers.
I am lucky to live in a place that gives me room to breathe deeply and create. The artist that I have become has a bold voice, depicting strong form and saturated color. It isn’t just about Glacier Park or preserving wild places: it is about being all that I can be. I hope this body of work challenges all of us to fill the space we are given, and to sing out and preserve those wild places both within and outside of ourselves.
NANCY DUNLOP CAWDREY, 2020