The Brautigan Poetry Project: Paintings by Courtney Blazon
Courtney Blazon is an artist and illustrator living and working in
Missoula, MT. She is a graduate from Parsons School of Design,
where she received her BFA in Illustration. She's shown in Montana
at the Missoula Art Museum, Holter Museum of Art and Paris Gibson
Square Museum of Art, and outside of Montana, she has shown in
Seattle, Portland, New York, Philadelphia, Baton Rouge, San
Francisco and Jackson, Wyoming at the Center for the Arts Gallery.
Her work has been featured in New American Paintings (Western
Edition), Studio Visit Magazine, and juxtapoz.com. She received a
Montana Arts Council Artists Innovation Award in 2011. She is
represented by Radius Gallery in Missoula, MT.
Courtney Blazon Art Statement
Courtney Blazon draws intricate narratives that are layered with
symbolism and meaning, in particular, issues surrounding women
and the complexities of women’s lives throughout history. Blazon
draws influence from mythology, fairytales, societal expectations and
coming-of-age issues and leans into humor, irony and symbolism to
create involved stories that are woven together and are not always
what they appear to be upon first glance.
Richard Brautigan was an American writer born in Tacoma,
Washington in the 1935, who rose to international fame in the 1967
with his novel "Trout Fishing in America", written in his adopted home
of San Francisco. He was considered a symbol of the
counterculture's youth movement. He was a lifelong depressive and
alcoholic, and beyond his countercultural gravitas, he was widely
dismissed by critics and his contemporaries for his naivety and lack of
literary cultivation. He wrote and wrote and wrote, however, with
pathos, humor, lack of concern for tradition, and wild imagination until
his death by suicide in 1984.
Richard Brautigan Project Statement
His novels and poems have been in my life for as long as I can
remember. My parents, hippies living in New Hampshire who
dreamed of being in the scene in San Francisco, devoured
Brautigan's novels and poetry, and there wasn't a single book of his
missing from that special bookshelf. I read "In Watermelon Sugar"
when I was twelve, in awe of the world he'd created and the
mysteries that I felt I could never access. I started to carry around a
copy of his poetry book "Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork" as a
teenager, both because he was so unknowable to me and he WAS
me when I would enter the book; his vague yet stylized, first person
poems were anti-feminist and yet, I felt I was the author of them.
Even when he was saying something absolutely offensive, I could
feel the parts of me that were dirty, naughty and trashy light up in a
neon lit way that has never left me.
I moved to Montana in 2005, and dreamed of his home in Pine Creek,
where he pared down his poetry to such an extent that sometimes the
title was longer than the poem itself. You could feel his love for the
beauty and stillness in this big sky, and as my love grew for the land
and the sky, I became even more connected to him.
This past year, after turning forty, I started to see how I had grown
and morphed from the young girl struggling to understand the words
he laid out, to the teen girl who felt the words blush me from the
inside out, to the twenty something who started to recognize the
yearning and disappointment of the struggle for love and success, to
finally, the established creative who felt deeply and completely the
words: "Finding is losing something else. I think about, perhaps even
mourn, what I lost to find this.".
It was then that I recognized that the only way I could express
my complete devotion to the words of Brautigan and to the
meaning they had had in my life for nearly thirty years was to
make a body of work about my own personal, feminine
experience, through the lens of the wild, sometimes
misogynistic, idiosyncratic, and truthful words of his poetry.
****In addition to the artist reception and exhibit, the
evening will include Brautigan’s Willard and His
Bowling Trophies, read in its entirety.
Don De Vore (Collapsing Scenery, Ink and Dagger)
will do a live score to the reading.
The evening will end in the premiere of Kansas
Bowling’s short film Curiously Young Like a
Freshly Dug Grave.
Kansas Bowling is a writer, director, and editor of music videos and feature
films. Bowling’s first film “B.C. Butcher”, the world’s first prehistoric
slasher film, stars Kato Kaelin and was released by Troma Entertainment.
She is currently editing her second feature film. Bowling has directed over
two dozen music videos for artists of various genres. Kansas Bowling shoots
and directs exclusively on film.
Donald Devore is an American artist and curator who has been a member of
the bands Ink & Dagger, Frail, Rain on the Parade, The Icarus
Line, Lilys, Amazing Baby, Historics, Vague Angels, and Souls She Said,
among others. He is currently performing as a solo artist and as a member of
the band Collapsing Scenery.
Artist Reception: 5:00 pm - 9 pm on the night of the art walk,
November 22nd. The exhibit will remain up through the holidays.