Monte Dolack Fine Art

Altered State

Monte Dolack, Fossil Fueled, 2013

Altered State Artist Statement

 Musings on the contemporary Montana Landscape

Paintings and constructions by Monte Dolack

Holter Museum of Art, exhibition  January 17 –April 15 2014

Monte Dolack Gallery , exhibition May 1 - May 31 2014


Montana, the Treasure State, has a historic legacy of industry including mining, timbering, water and fossil fuel use, including coal, oil and gas extraction, ranching, real estate development, road building, species loss and invasive species introduction. The tension between the diverse natural Montana landscape versus civilization, industry and development are delicately balanced and include the elements of Fire, Water, Wind and Land. 

The subjects and themes I am addressing in my paintings include Butte’s Berkeley Pit, The Clark Fork Superfund River, Silver Bow Creek, Miltown Dam removal, Great Falls Oil refinery on the Missouri, The Anaconda Copper Refinery Smelter, Wind generators. Mike Horse Creek on the Blackfoot River. Other subjects include barbed wire, oil rigs, Coal trains, fossils, culverts, timber clear-cuts, and climate change.

Personal history and identity: My Grandfather Steve Dolack was an immigrant coal miner in Belt, my father; Mike Dolack worked at the Great Falls Anaconda copper refinery. After graduating from High School I worked at the copper refinery in Great Falls while going to college.

Materials: I chose, copper, acrylic and oil paint, coal, wood and found materials for this body of work. I painted on copper panels allowing some of the iridescent quality of the copper to show thru the thin paint glazes. I am also working on sculptures that are assemblies of various found materials that relate to our industrial and natural resources.

Framing and presentation: The paintings on copper panels are “floated” against a black painted wood background with framing forming a space all around the copper panel. The closed corner frames are wide, flat black wood frames. They are hand crafted by frame maker Julie Tippets with a surface treatment of rubbed-in charcoal and iron oxide.

For more Altered State exhibition details visit the Holter Museum website.

Also, read Todd Wilkinson's article about this work in the
December 2013-January 2014 issue of Western Art and Architecture.

The Helena Independent Record also wrote a piece on
Monte's Altered State exhibition, read about it on their website.
On Saturday, January 18th, 2014, Monte gave an Artist Talk at the Holter Museum of Art.


Monte Dolack Fine Art — features the art work of Montana artists Monte Dolack and Mary Beth Percival.