Fields: Work by Rachel Hayes and Ron Johnson


The School of Art at Montana State University is pleased to announce the exhibition Fields: Work by Rachel Hayes and Ron Johnson at the Helen E. Copeland located on the second floor of the School of Art in Haynes Hall, Bozeman MT.  The show will be on exhibit Friday, August 11 to Friday, September 15, 2017.

On view will be the abstract acrylic paintings of Ron Johnson, a recent Pollock and Krasner Award winner, and fabric installations by Rachel Hayes, the 2016 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painters and Sculptors. The two artists create work that is a departure from the normal interpretation of landscapes seen in Montana, focusing on light and shape over direct representation.

IMG_5958emailRon Johnson, is a painter based out of Richmond, Virginia and Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. In the Romantic tradition, every summer Johnson drives out west in his truck with his dog for two weeks to seek inspiration.  With the great American love of the open road and the freedom that comes with it, he photographs the mountains, deserts, meandering rivers, etc.  Back in his studio, he translates these images in paintings into organic forms and layers, mimicking not just the colors and shapes, but also references the geologic eons.  Time layering behind time, layered behind time.  Johnson’s paintings are vibrant, engaging and bring a new perspective on interpreting the American landscape. Johnson has shown across the country in NYC, Columbus, OH, Denver, Richmond, and also internationally in Paris France.

IMG_6907Rachel Hayes is a nationally recognized artist based out of Kansas City who creates fabric structures that vibrantly explore painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light, and shadow. Because of the large-scale nature of her installations and her interests in painting and the craft of sewing, Hayes’ work is a balance of power and fragility. While her work obviously questions contemporary social and cultural issues of fashion and gender, her installations in nature take on an ephemeral note.  Trained as a painter, Hayes’ work examine layers of color upon color, creating new hues and translucencies. Her exuberant tones as well as reflection of colors engage the landscape in new ways, bringing attention to the characteristics of the terrain in which the work is placed.  Hayes has exhibited in the Sculpture Center in NYC, The Nerman Museum in Overland Park, KS, and has attended numerous artist residencies including the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in Brooklyn, NY, Roswell Artist-in-Residence in Roswell, NM, and the Art Omi International Artists Residency in Ghent, NY.

The Helen E. Copeland Gallery is located on the second floor of Haynes Hall.  Please note that the parking passes are required for parking during the business day (6AM – 6PM).

Helen E. Copeland Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM / Closed on weekends

For more information on this exhibition, or on the Helen E. Copeland Gallery in general, please visit or follow us on Facebook (

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