Anne Appleby's art represents nature's color and form

Cory Walsh

Anne Appleby thinks color “enhances our experience” of the world. Her paintings often include panels of seemingly single colors with titles that allude to plants or trees.

“If they realize it’s a lilac or a ponderosa pine, or whatever, they talk about leaving the gallery and walking outside and seeing the world totally different, because they’ve slowed down enough to see it a different way,” she said.

Her exhibition at the Missoula Art Museum, “A Hymn to the Mother,” includes many different facets of her work, from the minimalist paintings to newer gray-scale landscapes and video that allude to our relationship with nature and, in turn, the climate crisis.

Working in solitude

Appleby is based out of Jefferson City, just 20 miles south of Helena, where she’s lived for nearly 40 years. A University of Montana graduate who studied under Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos, she spent eight years in San Francisco including graduate school and lived in the New York City area for two years before returning to the Treasure State.

She exhibits her art regularly at galleries in N.Y. and California, but her house here, designed around a large studio, is home.

Appleby calls her work “reductive,” rather than

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