‘Homelands’ Bitterroot Salish Art on Missoula Traffic Signal Box
We have really enjoyed watching the progress of each artist who paints the traffic signal boxes around Missoula. My family paid particular attention to the one at 5th and Orange as we used to hit that light at the same time every day. The meticulous detail that went into displaying that artist's vision was unreal. It's really neat to see new art popping up around Missoula all the time.
I hadn't seen the new traffic signal box at Madison Avenue and Broadway, next to the Noon's store, until I saw an article about it in the Missoulian, and I wanted to share in case you had also missed their article. A Flathead Indian artist named Monica Gilles-Brings Yellow painted the piece depicting the forcible removal of our Salish ancestors from the Bitterroot valley. It's a very respectable and honorable piece that pays homage to Native Americans who were settled along what is now Reserve Street and through the Bitterroot before being forcibly removed by the government. I also found out that Monica is into rollerderby and I don't know how we're not already best friends. For real though, she did beautiful and meaningful work with her project, it's awesome.
The art you see on local traffic signal boxes are made possible by grants from the Missoula Public Art Committee and the Montana Department of Transportation, and feature everything from dogs to kids to popcorn around Missoula.