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Art in Trees

I was at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls the other day and spent some time soaking up the good vibes in the Lee Steen room.

Paris Gibson Square is on the edge of downtown Great Falls, located between Central Avenue and First Avenue North. It was once a school building and it’s life now is dedicated to contemporary art, changing exhibits and some permanent exhibits.

My favorite room at “The Square” is the Lee Steen room. Steen, who passed away in 1975, lived in Roundup, MT with his twin brother. Most folks today would consider him an outsider artist, not trained in art, a recluse and a bit eccentric.

Steen found cottonwood branches along the Musselshell River and turned them in to “people trees” with what most people would call junk. Probably one of our best recycling efforts in the 1970’s!

After Steen passed away in 1975, the collection was at risk of being lost until Paris Gibson Square acquired it and dedicated an entire room to it. I love the way it is displayed with Steen’s people trees surrounding the room. There is a bench in the middle of the room and you can spend a ton of time gazing at this unique artwork.

Admission to Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is free, thanks to a substantial donation by a local business. There is much more art displayed at The Square but this room is my favorite!

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