The Square is pleased to announce the recent addition of twenty-five remarkable works by late Great Falls artist Val Knight to the museum’s permanent collection. The pieces cover a variety of media from encaustic paintings, to ceramic figures, to graphite drawings, and they date between the 1960s and 1990s.
Val Knight was born in Great Falls in 1905. She studied art at the College of Great Falls, and also under many renowned regional artists including Peter Voulkos and Rudy Autio. Ms. Knight was an important Montana artist who worked and taught in Great Falls for most of her life. She contributed much to Montana’s artistic community including co-founding Gallery 16, one of the first contemporary art galleries in the state. Val Knight’s work was instrumental in the growth of Montana’s thriving modern and contemporary art movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. She worked alongside a variety of celebrated artists and she has influenced many artists since. One of the many honors of her career was having her work chosen to be included in the Montana Arts & Crafts Exhibit on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. along with other notable regional artists.
This wonderful collection of Val Knight works was generously donated by John C. and Mait B. Board. The Boards reside in Helena and have been passionate about regional modern and contemporary art for decades. They became great friends with the artist while living previously in Great Falls and John acquired most of the work directly from Ms. Knight. The Boards feel that the collection belongs at Paris Gibson Square in Val Knight’s hometown.
Surprisingly, the Square has never held a solo exhibition of Val Knight’s work. The museum’s Curator of Art is currently planning a future display of this beautiful donation. However, more Val Knight pieces are needed to create a complete exhibition. If you have an interest in loaning a Val Knight piece for the exhibition, or possibly even gifting a work to the collection, please contact Kristi Scott at (406)-727-8255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.