The Pen Gallery - Deer Lodge, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 46° 23.571 W 112° 44.126
12T E 366576 N 5139160
Opened on July 2, 1871, the Montana State Prison at Deer Lodge housed its fair share of criminal types in the century plus that it was operational. Retired as a prison in the late 1970s, the complex has been opened to the public as a museum.
Waymark Code: WMV7ZA
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 03/11/2017
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 0

The prison was built in stages over many years, mostly by the convicts themselves, a good example of "hard labor". The present cell block was built in 1896, the prison wall was extended north in 1911 and a 400-man cell block built within in 1912, a theatre was built in 1918-1919, the administration building in 1930-1931, and dormitories, a storage building and a visitor centre were built between 1910 and 1930. A maximum security building, also used as a women's ward was built circa 1918.

This, the prison office, was built in 1918 across the street from the prison proper, ostensibly out of harm's way. The stone block building housed the prison's administrative offices until the closing of the prison in 1979. Today the building houses the Pen Gallery, AKA The Gallery at The Pen, a gallery operated by and displaying the artwork of members of the Deer Lodge Art Club. Standing in front of the gallery is a beautiful totem pole, placed here in 2007. Through the year the gallery hosts exhibitions by various artists, sometimes multiple artists, sometimes single artists. Also in the gallery is a gift shop in which one may purchase souvenirs or artwork. Open daily from 10 am until 4 pm, entry to the gallery is free.

The Deer Lodge Art Club was organized in May, 1969, inspired by Bert King and about 10 others interested in bringing art to the community. Rented spaces were used for meeting places and with a need for a permanent space, the club incorporated June 30, 1972 and purchased a small boarded-up gas station at the south end of Main Street. The building was renovated by the members and volunteers from the community. Through fundraisers and in-kind donations from the business community, and lots of member volunteer hours, the project was completed in about three months. It was named “Paintin’ Place” and was our home for 37 years. In 2009 the Powell County Museum & Arts Foundation made us a partnership proposal. Our building was sold and we are now housed in the Pen building, part of the museum complex.

We have endeavored to fulfill our mission of making art a part of the community. This includes partnering with the Woman’s Club and School District 1 in an annual community art show, an Annual Art Auction/Dinner, an annual Bazaar, offering art lessons to the public, and aiding community beautification with an art mural on Main Street and cattle drive silhouettes on the fairground grandstand. We have also been able to give scholarships to the PCHS Art club for students pursuing an art education.

Our membership has maintained between 20 and 30 artists since our inception and after research, we believe the Deer Lodge Art Club is the oldest, continuous art club in Montana. In 2015 we are celebrating 46 years and have two charter members still active in our club.
From The Gallery at The Pen
Type of art sold: painting, sculptures, wood carvings

Type of gallery: Non-Profit

Artists: Multiple artists

1106 Main Street
Deer Lodge, MT United States

Phone number: (406) 846-3111

website: [Web Link]

Price range: Probably not exhorbitant

Visit Instructions:
Give a narrative of your experience. What did you think of the work? Did you buy anything? Photos are always welcome too. Please no virtual visits.
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