Dana Boussard, Artist
Until the last 100 years, women were not generally recognized in art
history references. Before this, women were recognized for art forms such
as china painting, quilting, and needlepoint. However, in this century
women artists have taken their place of honor among their male counterparts.
In 1981, the Montana Arts Council, the state agency responsible for fostering
the arts in Montana, began a Governor's Arts Awards Program to recognize
both outstanding artists and outstanding service to the arts. Dana Boussard
won the Governor's Arts Award for Visual Arts in 1987. Dana Boussard has
made art a major part of her life. She resides in Arlee, Montana where
she is actively pursuing the artist's life.
The Montana Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is pleased
to sponsor this Suitcase Lesson. Part of the purpose of this organization
is "to encourage the development and recognition of Montana women in the
arts." This Suitcase Lesson was created by students in the Art Methods
class at University of Montana -- Western of the University of Montana. We hope
that you enjoy using the lesson as an arts resource for your classroom.
This art teaching resource is for the classroom teacher to have a visual
art resource unit. The purpose for creating the unit is threefold:
1 . To give students familiarity with a Montana artist
2. To inspire students to make art and become artists
3. To teach art methods
This package contains the following materials:
A biography sheet about Boussard
Booklet: Dana Boussard: Transitions - Donated by Yellowstone Art Center
Color transparency of Boussard's painting, "Big Sky Melody"
Poetic description of Boussard's painting, "Big Sky Melody," written
by Gordon O'Connell, Curator, Yellowstone Art Center, Billings, Montana
Artist statement - Boussard Six articles about Boussard
Art Lesson by Jim. R. Clark and Debbie Pratt - Art Methods students,
Art Lesson by Steve Muhs - Art Methods students, Fall 1996
USE OF THIS SUITCASE LESSON
It is suggested that you may wish to view the video first, as an introduction
to the artist. Next, take a look at the reproductions of Boussard's art
and read articles about her and the booklet about her art. These will give
you a background on the art which Dana has done and is doing, and will
help to introduce her as an artist and person to your students.
The lesson titled "Form Lesson" by Steve Muhs offers some methods for
introducing composition, space, shape, etc. Follow the instructions for
that lesson, or adapt as you wish, as Steve says in the lesson introduction.
After all, lessons are intended as "maps" or "patterns" which may be followed
or deviated from. This is where your own creativity can come in.
Montana Artist's Fabric Murals Grace
Walls of Public and Private Institutions
By Jan Hersey THE CRAFTS REPORT/October 1991
Montana visual artist Dana Boussard creates expansive narrative murals
of painted and stitched fabric. Horses. fire. drought, environmental. historical.
and political references. and Native American cultural symbols are pieced
together like chapters in some book of grand meanings. They play across
the quilt like surface, beckoning the viewer into a world that is both
very much in touch with the earth and at the same time beyond it.
No miniature landscapes. these: the largest of Boussard's painterly
visions stretches 60 feet across the Boise, Idaho city council chambers.
A work in the Anchorage-Alaska. International Airport consists of 14 panels
each ten by six feet. Boussard is one of a growing number of craft
and visual artists who find exciting permanent exhibit opportunities in
public and corporate places namely the walls of government buildings, hospitals,
banks, hotels, law firms and numerous private businesses. "At least
half my work is corporate and public commissions" says Boussard who finds
the space such jobs provide more appropriate for the large format work
she enjoys. The rest of her work finds outlets through high-end galleries.
Corporate opportunities, Boussard finds, are growing as much or more
than gallery sales, but so is the competition for them. When she won her
first commission in 1972, a sculptural hanging for a stairway at the University
of Oregon, "there was nobody doing anything large" she recalls. Now, many
more artists. especially those with the design and business skills to accommodate
the more demanding commissioned art system, share Boussard's appreciation
for the advantages of public work, exciting spaces, the challenge of collaboration
abroad, new audiences and the security of the financial arrangement provided
by custom work rather than by speculative work.
"What I like about working for corporate settings is that they have
wonderful spaces,"she notes it is important" she says "to see and understand
the space before beginning the design." Boussard also talks with
a projects corporate relevance.
Montana fiber artist Dana Boussard and assistant Karen Westwood check
a fiber piece called "The Climb to the Big Sky" (6'4"x4'8'), destined for
a home in corporate America. Architects and designers about their
expectations before pursuing her own vision for the work. With almost
two decade of commission experience behind her, Boussard has confidence
in her own ideas, "They wouldn't ask me to do the design for them if my
work didn't have a feeling that they like already," she says. Maintaining
conviction and control of your work in the face of other creative forces
is one of the challenges of corporate work.
Boussard makes sure. however that her design is appropriate for the
setting taking into consideration room size and materials, other design
elements and the feeling of the space. Such constraints she believes can
add to the artistic challenge or suggest a direction she may not have thought
of. Working in collaboration and being part of a project from the
ground up can be stimulating, Boussard says, comparing it to the
solo and after-the-fact nature of speculative gallery work.
The design samples Boussard develops in a project's initial stages draw
on her painting background (including training at the Art Institute of
Chicago and an MFA from the University of Montana). "I show potential clients
very beautiful drawings, colorful and to scale." she says. That way they
know what they 're going to get; there are no surprises." Sometimes
the design phase results in disappointment. A long process often involving
slides, samples, support materials and presentations, some projects end
up being cut, rescheduled or given to another artist. Boussard
is philosophical about such turns of events conceding "it will happen occasionally,
it's disappointing, but its part of doing business."
Upon completion of the design that Boussard wants, she draws up a contract
to receive a design fee which is subtracted from the cost of the final
work if the protect is approved, and compensates her efforts to design
it if it is not. Production and payment schedules are part, also
set up at this time with staff continued, on page 24.
Criss-crossing border elements suggest either the ribbon borders on
Indian garments or roads.
Velvet appliqué presents a tactile experience for the eyes, shapes
hemmed and sewn on stand out unambiguously, almost like relief elements
or parts of a collage.
BIG SKY MELODY is enveloping picture that you could almost crawl
into, wrap it around yourself like a garment.
Another form in the lower foreground, swallow like shapes aimed along
a snaking path, a striped stick, a snake. The border travels a circuit,
is a circuit, arrows point around it running counter-clockwise
flame/autumn leaf-each fills up with red-a directional spurt they are
little flames, like depiction's of the pentecost, flames above the apostles'
heads, a female form too, this earth, sexual-a body, a mantle, a form clothed
SONG QUALITIES? See Chatwin's THE SONG LINES
Cross-cultural aspects are very important quilt/pictograph/beadwork/toy
image's refraining from descriptive specificity her abstractions free floating
a web of associations: arrowhead/bird leaf/flame bird/seed.
Dana Boussard 1987 Governor's Award for Visual Arts
Dana grew up in Choteau, Montana, where her father was a dentist for
50 years. Her mother, an artist, encouraged Dana's artistic pursuits. Dana
studied art at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and later transferred
to the Art Institute of Chicago before completing her formal training at
the University of Montana in Missoula, where she received a Masters of
Fine Arts degree. Just after graduation, she applied for a sculpture
competition at the University of Oregon in Eugene, later she would look
back and see that as the first of more than 50 successful public art projects.
Among her many public commissions are a 60-foot-long work in the City Council
Chambers in Boise, Idaho; a 50-foot-long piece in an Alaska school, and
a series of fourteen 6 by12-foot pieces in the International Airport in
Anchorage not to mention a work in the Montana State Justice Building.
In 1974 while working as Artist-in-Residence with the Great Falls public
schools, Dana bought a small piece of land just outside Arlee for a summer
studio. After brief stints in New York and San Francisco, she returned
to that land, where she and her husband Stan Reifel put in hours and hours
of hard work to build a home that is an "art place" for them and their
daughter, Ariana. It reflects their personalities, with lots of hand built
The cover of James Welch's book Fools Crow was designed by Dana Boussard,
as are a series of stained glass windows at a church in Choteau. It was
said of Dana in 1967, when she was honored at the Governor's Awards ceremony,
"[Her] work has provided thousands of us with a way to see another side
of ourselves, and her work will continue to delight, instruct and enlighten
us well into the twenty-first century."
The lesson by Jim Clark and Debbie Pratt again works with shape, and
gives guidelines for arranging shapes found by students into a composition.
Again, this lesson could be modified to your needs.
Variation: : For example, a walk in the natural environment could offer
shapes and images which could then be incorporated into Boussard-like arrangements
with the addition of patterns and motifs. You might wish to ask your students
to choose a theme or an idea which they could then illustrate with simple
shapes and linear elements. A written assignment might evolve with the
Clark/Pratt lesson, in which students could write about an environmental
issue connected with nature, then collect images which reflect their issue,
and create shapes to then incorporate into a composition.
We hope that you enjoy using the resources provided in this suitcase
lesson. Good luck and have fun!
Art Methods students:
Sally Colburn EdD, Assistant Professor of Art/Education
BIG SKY MELODY
Yellow-wing blackbirds (?) males darting up from a coulee, a gap in
the land, after females. Their wings the shapes of kernels of wheat or
other grain, seed bearing, softly tinted, tie-dyed sky, amorphous/amorous
clouds. The rhymes of a song suggested by the rhyming of forms. Identifiable
elements reduced to a folk art minimum, schematic outlines of things that
can be one thing and yet another, like the wings that can read as seeds,
there are also stalks of wheat or grass peeking over the horizon that can
be read as sun rays, or scattered leaf forms that also suggest flames,
heat that ignites life. This rhyming of shapes is the lyric structure for
Boussard's art, a directed pattern of associations akin to the experience
she has looking at the land from her studio window, her awareness made
up of experiences with nature, knowledge of geologic and evolutionary history,
awareness of the changes different peoples have rendered on the land, whether
living with it like the Indians or carving it up into tracts of private
property, working it over, gardening it, domesticating it. Cattle succeed
buffalo, summer fallow strip farms the open range. Her emblems define an
inner narrative both relating to collective and personal history.
The land itself is a quilt like patchwork of crops and summer fallow,
fringed with a zig-zagging border suggestive of both the pointed forms
of a star quilt or the fringe of a shawl or other garment. Solid forms
and sinuous lines work through the composition, making it move, animating
it. Bold graphics set off the more tentative, soft focus formations of
field and cloud. Repetitions of form, ribbons and lines carry the eye across
space, choreographing the movement of our eyes. Musical, dance, song like
allusions capture the imagination in a welcoming-synethesia.
Suit Case Lesson Dana Boussard
Methods and Materials of Art
University of Montana -- Western
Jim R. Clark and Debbie Pratt
These are "Suit Case" lesson plans for teachers who are teaching lessons
which are influenced by Dana Boussard. Dana likes to layer and use
shapes and nature. Those interested in Boussard's art as ideas for
their art. These are some lessons that can be used for a lesson about Dana
1. Drawing basic shapes of animals, trees, mountains, and nature.
1. Students can go on a walk into the forest and look for examples that
they can draw in the field or in the classroom. The students create simplified
outlines of the shapes of the things that they gathered, not worrying about
2. After drawings are complete, trace the images onto black construction
paper with a pencil.
3. Cut out the basic shapes, then glue the shapes onto a large piece
of white paper. Allow the students to place their drawing were they want
to on the piece of paper.
This lesson allows students to see the environment and nature as Ms.
Boussard might have. The lesson also encourages students to see shapes
in nature and understand how to draw them and make their own examples of
2. Making a large shape out of small shapes.
This project can teach students how to use little shapes and individual
pieces of work to make a larger group work. The students can overlap and
layer shapes as Ms. Boussard would in her type of work.
1. Use the school setting as an art source. Cut out a 3ft. by 3ft. shape
of the school that the students identify as their school, make sure to
use a dark color of paper.
2. Have the students depict items in the school such as people, computers,
books, desks, pencils, or anything that has to do with the school. Have
the students draw the items and color them if necessary. (see diagram)
3. After the students have finished their drawing of the items in the
school, cut the shapes out and paste them within the outline of the school.
Do not let any of the drawings hag over the edge of the outline of the
The drawings the students made will, then, fit together to create the
shape of their school. This project may help the students to see the school
as more of a whole. The students would then understand what is important
to them in their school environment.
THE NEW YORK TIMES, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1983
Unspoiled Nature In Textile Designs
By RUTH KATZ
What I depict are fractured moments of history and I try to express
the conflicts as well as the blending between man and nature," says the
Montana artist Dana Boussard, whose appliqued cotton velvet "tapestries"
are currently on view at Modern Master Tapestries, 11 East 57th Street,
through December 10. "I am anxious to say something about where I live
and what I see there. I want to show the communication and the passage
Miss Boussard a former recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts
Fellowship, is known for her Western and American Indian motifs, Teepees,
buffaloes, canoes and geometric arrangements of her pieces. Employing these
familiar images, worked in a contemporary vein, she creates textile quedctographs
at the same time visually soothing and exciting.
Miss Boussard works in cotton velvet, layer upon layer of the fabric
applied to a base of canvas. She was trained as a painter and her palette
abounds in earth tones: terra cotta, umber, sienna, hunter green. The cloth
surfaces are accented with paint. Using airbrush, atomizer and flecking
paint by hand she creates subtle color variations on the lush velvet.
One of her themes is the conflict between a vanished, idyllic state
of nature and today's rational, technological
cal society. At the center of most pieta is a vision of calm, unspoiled
nature, surrounded by geometric, an
gular and irregular borders. The borders represent a modern consciousness
that distances the viewer from the "dreams and wishes" (as Miss Boussard
calls them) depicted in the center. Pieces such as "Seeing Comes Before
Words,.. ..Long Sunday" and "Walking With Wishes ... Still as the Grass."
exemplify these preoccupation's.
"Birds Near an Unentered House," has fewer borders and more abstract
shapes than most of Miss Boussard's works, yet the message is clear here,
too. Despite a tension in the rouges, man, nature and technology
are united "Ide the Clouds" tempts the cloud forms enonto one of the closed
in one t of the many borders. In pieces such as "No Bonnie Lass in This
Camp" and "These 'Elephants Spoil the Teepee Party," Miss Boussard displays
her sense of humor. The latter work is quite playful and features cavorting
elephants dancing across the top of the canvas, apparently in harmony with
Although Miss Boussard has under. taken many large-scale commission
piece (one over 60 feet Wag), her most ambitious piece here is a nine.
panel series of minilegends entitled "The Centuries Throw Back Their Past."
It depicts man's movement through the centuries, each panel's lavish velvet
textures and tones de. picting a moment in time that cap. tuna the feeling
of an era.
The gallery is open daily Tuesday through Saturday. 9:30 A.M. to 5:30
P.M. Prices for Miss Boussard's works range from $3.400 to $15.000. For
further information, call 838-0412.
Your Money Saturday in business Day The Now York Times
My husband, Stan Retfel, our small daughter, Ariana, and I live on 60
acres in western Montana in a 1915 homesteader's cabin and barn that we
reconstructed six years ago. In this space of changing seasons, acres of
daisies, harvested hay and snow on the pines, I get my inspiration and
put it into form and fabric. My images and symbols reflect this land and
the Montana where I grew up. In so many ways I feel that the land feels
now the way it has for centuries: still virgin. I turn often in my fabric
wall hangings and murals to the relationship of the past, to the present
and to our expectations of the future.
I have always been interested in producing large-scale work. Even when
I did painting sat the University of Montana, Missoula, where I received
my MFA in 1968-they were always a few inches taller than the studio door
or wider than the station wagon tailgate. After I graduated, I continued
to paint and make large color drawings. Since I wanted these drawings to
be sculptural, not flat, I started making relief's. This transferred easily
into the fabric medium, in which I have been working ever since.
My first major commission, the result of a competition 10 years sip,
was a 25-foot three-dimensional fabric hanging for Erb Memorial Union,
University of Oregon, Eugene. Creating art for architecture poses challenges
both in design and installation. The drawing, the design, is the most creative
part, where all the major decisions are made. Translating from the drawing
to the actual piece comes easily to me, I keep many bolts of fabric on
hand mostly cotton velvets purchased directly from the mills. After drawing,
I fill out a host of fabric in the color I have chosen as the ground, then
"push" some colors around to get the basic combination I want. Because
of the large scale, I work in sections which are later assembled to form
the whole. Once colors are chosen, I cut out the images. Then I lay them
on the background in the positions already determined by my scale drawing.
When all the images have been laid out in a given section, I take them
off and that air
brush paint or hand dye them.
I do the design, cutting, layout, painting and dyeing myself; one or
two assistants do the sewing and construction. When the appliqué
is done, a canvas backing is attached to a mahogany stretcher bar and the
work is stretched over that. The entire piece is framed. Stan, a consultant
exhibition designer, works with me in framing and installation.
My most recently installed commission for the new wing of the Anchorage
International Airport Terminal contains symbolic depiction of Alaskan wildlife.
The curvilinear frame construction of the panels was demanding to execute
but aesthetically necessary because of the shape of the walls.
I have been pleased with the willingness of state agencies and corporations
to effect a marriage between art and atcbitectu re. I believe that art
should be accessible, and I am gratified to think that my pieces momentarily
touch the lives of a variety of people who might otherwise not see art.
Such works forge a link between our everyday existence and the art wood.
They tell us that our land, our buildings, our surroundings are our artworks.
On the Land of Giving
1982. applique mural, velvet, painted, dyed, commissioned through
the Washington Art in State Buildings project for the Spokane School District.
2 Heart Creek
Arlee, MT 59821
Dana Boussard has professionally collaborated, fabricated and installed
over 35 commissioned works for corporate and state buildings including:
fourteen 10' by 6' pieces for the Anchorage International Airport; The
Denver National Bank; Beneficial Corporation, Delaware; Wells Fargo Bank,
Los Angeles; SAFECO Insurance, Seattle, and the largest, a 10' x 60' wall,
Boise, Idaho City Hall. Professional drawings included, completion of the
painted fibber constructions takes from 3 months to a year with time proven
She has exhibited extensively, with works in private and museum collections.
Please contact the artist for information about commissions and slides
of available work. Prices: $3000, up.
"We Met With Oh Such Separate Dreams", 53" X 116
X Marks The Spot", 78" X 58"
"Between Places", 63" X 47"
The following exercises are meant to excite students about organizing
a composition and introduce organizational concepts to them. These exercises
cover only a handful of the possibilities that could be explored in this
area. The idea is simply to create a pattern out of card stock or similar
material and then create and explore the concepts of organizing a composition.
The idea is fairly straightforward and should be simple enough to understand
without much elaboration.
The reason for using simple shapes and a pattern stem from the artwork
of Dana Boussard. You will notice in her work the use of shapes repeated
over and over. She employs in much of her work a decorative approach to
design. The following exercises are meant to create a similar approach.
The instructor of the following exercises is strongly encouraged to
explore new avenues of thought and be as creative as possible, and shouldn't
be afraid to deviate from the lessons. Use the lessons as a springboard
for other ideas. Add ideas to the lessons.
Other concepts that could be explored in the following manner but not
harmony variety dominance proportion motif economy space overlapping
and background treatment
The positive shape becomes the pattern for all of the following activities.
Any shape can be used as long as it is proportional in size to the paper
being used. Also take into account that the shape shouldn't be too complex,
or too simple. The shape should be exciting enough to use over and over
again on the different projects. After you have completed your drawing
of the composition, color, texture and other decorative elements
can be added to make things a little more exciting. Have fun.
Symmetrical (Formal) Balance
Imagine a line down the middle of the page. Imagine one side reflecting
the other side in a mirror like fashion. That's symmetrical balance. Have
students use their pattern to create a composition balanced symmetrically.
Added color, texture and values should be balanced symmetrically also.
Asymmetrical balance is felt "intuitively", like matching a shirt with
a pair of pants. Have students create a composition with "felt" balance.
Have them keep in mind that color, value and texture can affect their composition.
This type of exercise will develop as it goes along. Balance will be created
as the students add color, value and texture to their composition.
Everything radiates from a central point. Have students create a radically
balanced composition and then experiment with color and the other elements.
Repetition and Rhythm
Have students create a composition emphasizing repetition and rhythm.
Use shapes to create repetition, then color, value and texture to create
a sense of rhythm. Repetition is created by using the same element over
and over, while rhythm does likewise in a measured manner similar to music.
Have students create a sense of movement in their comosition.
Add decorative elements.
Boussard's huge fabrics draw on Montana roots,
by J.M. Swanson
For the Tribune
Choteau native Dana Boussard, creator of huge plush pictographs in fabric,
will receive the Governor's Award for the Arts, along with five other artists,
in Helena this week from Gov. Ted Schwinden.
Ironically, Boussard achieved international recognition as an artist
outside Montana (although that is changing, drastically), yet her universal
vision stems, in part, from the Montana landscapeitself.
And in a way, Boussard belongs with as all western mythic tradition-the
lone individualist. The Puritan ethic of hard work.
"Keep being prolific and keep turning it out.. Some of it will rise
to the top,'says Bouaard, 42, of her approach to her work. "If you
wait until it's perfect, you're grounding tit to die."
"In one way I'm a perfectionist, really pushing, pushing each one to
be right," she said. "On the other hand. I'm not getting ulcers over it."
Boussard credits her father, former Choteau dentist Charles Boussard,
now deceased, and her mother, Dorothy, for her early interest in art.
"My parents were both very artistic. My father was real musical. My
mother is an artist and writer. They were culturally oriented people. I
think that made a huge difference."
Boussard, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, the University
of Chicago and St. Mary's College of Notre Dame, Ind., received bachelor
and master of fine arts degree from the University of Montana. Her MFA
degree in drawing, painting and print-making was earned in 1968.
"Fabric was the thing that appealed to me. I've always wanted to do
large works for large spaces. I've always liked working in a large format."
From 1973-75, Boussard worked as an Artist in Residence in Great Falls,
which she said was a nice bridge in her career. After completing Artists
in the Schools, Boussard moved to New York, got a loft and worked as an
artist. She did a six-month stint as an Artist in the Schools in New York
and had gallery shows in Seattle and San Francisco.
In New York, she met future husband Stan Reifel, director of a Madison
Avenue gallery where Boussard had shown work.
"He was a gallery director, a fine craftsman and designer. He helped
push me over the humps. We lived in Now York for a while and then we got
married." When her husband became a designer on a two-year project
for a fine arts museum in San Francisco, the couple moved there. Boussard
said her art suffered a dry spell in San Francisco.
"That's when I started remembering back to the land. Sometimes you
have to go away and be gone to appreciate what you have at home. You can
take your life too much for granted."
The couple finally decided to move to Montana to 60 acres Boussard
owned in the Jocko Valley, six miles south of Arlee. They built a home
onto a 1915 one room log cabin, and a studio, the interior of which had
to be rebuilt after it was gutted by fire last fall. Reifel, a California
native who had lived in New York seven years, likes Montana. But Boussard
sometimes misses the cultural opportunities of cities.
"Stan doesn't feel that way so much. I haven't lived long enough
in big cities to be tired of them."
We need to travel, and we find it necessary. You don't expect the world
to come knocking at the door."
Yet Boussard admits that looking out her window at a bunch of cows
is important to her. "That relationship to the environment is important.
By living on it, you see what the (Flathead) Reservation used to be once."'
Boussard may be concerned with landscape, but she is also no consider herself
a Western artist.
"It's hard to sort of label anything. I would call myself a regional
artist, an artist with universal ideas."
In the early 1970's, Boussard was a pioneer in fabric construction.
She has since covered all the bases with gallery, corporate and public
"Long Climb to the Big Sky" depicts the '85 drought.
Her first big work, in 1972-3, was a 25 foot fabric hanging for the
University of Oregon in Eugene. "I had never really done anything like
She became involved with "percentage for art" commissions for public
buildings, including the commission for the Justice Building In Helena
The Justice Building work, "Save A Piece of Sky," is a long horizontal
piece divided by a section of sky in the middle.
"It's an environmental piece, about how we treat our environment. The
center section exemplfies 'Keeping Montana,' " Boussard said.
"I hink it turned out very successfully. It's to Montana's credit
that they have percentage for art."
"I've done an awful lot of them. I did a huge piece, fourteen 6 foot
by 10 foot panels for the Anchorage International Airport." The $46,
000 commission was hung in 1982.
"Few people work on a such a large scale," she said. "Recently In the
past four or five years, I've done some projects here I feel very good
about. Corporate projects include the Sheraton and First Bank West in Missoula,
St. Vincent Hospital in Billings and others.
In "Skyline," (see cover) The 9-foot by 7-low-9-inch piece commissioned
by St. Vincent Hospital, cotton velvet was was stretched on canvas, then
textile paint applied. In some of her works, an appliquéing process
"Long Climb to the Big Sky," another 1986 piece (6- foot by 4-foot
8 inch), depicts hard times of drought in dun, rust and pale gold colors
with a grayed sky.
"'Long Climb to the Big Sky' is based on the drought that happened
last year. You see the land becoming dry, the magpies eating grain. The
ladder image is an image to try to see what's there and look positively."
In Chateau last year, Boussard departed from fabric and applied unusual
techniques to stained glass, creating a work hailed an "historic milepost"
in stained glass. The 14 windows for St. Joseph Catholic Church, depicting
the creation story, are a memorial for her father. Parishioners paid for
their design and execution, in memory of their families. Boussard
also illustrated the new novel by Missoula author James Welch, "Fools Crow."
At home and tut work on new projects, Boussard is in her studio from
9 to 5 daily, daughter Ariana, 5 and her husband nearby. Refifel helps
with framing, packing, crating and installation of Boussard's work.
Future projects include an exhibition at the Yellowstone Art Center
in Billings next February and a commission
mission for Carroll and Nancy O'Connor of California. Meanwhile, Boussard
has pieces to do for other shows.
"You have to pace yourself. Some weeks you're really enthusiastic.
Other weeks, it's just not coming too well. Those weeks, t do a lot of
paperwork." "First and foremost, art is something I love and want
to do. Second, it's a business."
Karrie Westwood has sewn for Boussard the past six years. She's wonderful,
she's a weaver and artist in her own right. I can sit down and design the
piece, and I can go on to another."
The whole artistic process extends to lifestyle, Boussard explains.
"You have to live your aesthetics and have a positive outlook to helping
the world. You can make some point and get people to think about their
Boussard said she did not know she was nominated for the Governor's
Award. "I got the letter informing me of the award. I was tickled. I was
so thrilled. It's the highest honor the state can give."
Asked if she can now rest on her laurels. Boussard reflects:
"I think I can say I'm pleased with the way things have gone. But I'm never
satisfied. There's lots and lots more to do and say. I need to delve
further into myself, to make my work more productive."
It's never all the way. If it's OK, you might as well give up."