Jodi Rave: Blackfeet artist turns junk into art
"Once he gets started, Jay Laber can twist, turn, carve, cut and weld abandoned cars into spectacular images with so much detail it’s possible to see the nose hair on a buffalo.

Now any visitor to the Missoula Art Museum can look closely at Laber’s work outside on the north side of the building - and see the texture of the buffalo’s tongue.

He wasn’t always that committed to detail.

Laber, a Blackfeet artist who lives on the Flathead Reservation, used to look at a junked, rusted car and imagine the infinite possibilities - wild hair swirling above the head of a dancing warrior, a horse running on an open plain, an eagle soaring above the antlers of a bugling elk.

He has succeeded in capturing time and sealing the moment in steel.

The MAM is displaying Laber’s work as part of its “Elk Dogs” exhibit, which continues through Feb. 21. It’s being displayed in the Lynda M. Frost Contemporary American Indian Gallery.

A gallery talk and artist reception is scheduled on Dec. 5.

The “Elk Dogs” installation features four invited artists, including Laber, Damian Charette, David Dragonfly and Jeneese Hilton. Additional “elk dog” art was chosen from the museum’s contemporary Indian art collection."

Get the Story:
Blackfeet sculptor’s work on display at MAM (The Missoulian 11/2)

More Jodi Rave:
Jodi Rave: Tribal enrollment a touchy issue (10/31)
Jodi Rave: NCAI leads voter protection effort (10/31)
Jodi Rave: Racial overtones in Montana campaign (10/29)
Jodi Rave: Chippewa Cree election in tribal court (10/27)
Jodi Rave: Victor Charlo publishes new poetry (10/22)
Jodi Rave: Native people should be the first to vote (10/20)
Jodi Rave: Commemorating the 1908 Swan Massacre (10/20)
Jodi Rave: Montana Democrats target Indian vote (10/3)
Jodi Rave: Interior's unfair probate deadline (10/3)
Jodi Rave: Job Corps trains reservation youth (9/30)
Jodi Rave: A Native for the Nobel Peace Prize (9/29)
Jodi Rave: Sherman Alexie in the Classroom (9/24)
Jodi Rave: American Indian Institute tackles issues (9/23)
Jodi Rave: Corruption 'nothing new' at Interior (9/22)
Jodi Rave: Biden touts Indian Country priorities (9/9)
Jodi Rave: Native people assert control of resources (9/8)
Jodi Rave: Cobell set for appeal of $455.6M decision (9/8)
Jodi Rave: BIA finally fully connected to Internet (9/1)
Jodi Rave: UTTC president to address convention (8/26)
Jodi Rave: Lakota soldier not the same after Iraq (8/25)
Jodi Rave: Blackfoot Project promotes education (8/4)
Jodi Rave: Man finds calling in buffalo robes (7/28)
Jodi Rave: NARF seeks class action for tribal trust (7/24)
Jodi Rave: Tulalip Tribes raise funds for NARF (7/21)
Jodi Rave: Tribes testify on Adam Walsh Act (7/18)
Jodi Rave: High gas prices hurt powwow circuit (7/17)
Jodi Rave: Iroquois Nationals take bronze in lacrosse (7/14)
Jodi Rave: Tribes grab $10M in transportation grants (7/14)
Jodi Rave: Iroquois Nationals team makes semifinals (7/11)
Jodi Rave: Grandmothers seek help from Pope Benedict (7/9)
Jodi Rave: Good luck to Iroquois Nationals team! (7/4)
Jodi Rave: Get started on Indian estate planning (7/4)