Montana State of Mind
Art performs the obvious function of making the world a more beautiful and interesting place. In addition, it has always served as an important form of communication. Plains Indian men carved images into rocks or painted them onto hide as a way to document their war deeds. Native women beaded designs that held meaning to their families and other members of their tribes. Nineteenth-century newcomers to the territory relied on their own artistic traditions to create works that conveyed their impressions of their new home. Throughout the twentieth century artists continued to create paintings, sculptures, poems, and songs to express their understanding of life in the Treasure State. Together, these creative traditions provide us with a set of shared symbols that help us understand our present and our past.