Featured: Billings Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Art Installation at downtown adjacent park

Featured Article

City of Billings

June 20, 2024

What: Ribbon Cutting for Eternal Presence Art Installation created by Mariah Gladstone
When: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 1:00pm
Where: 7th Ave. N and N. 22nd St. next to North Park
Who: All are welcome

A ribbon cutting for an art installation by artist Mariah Gladstone, Amskapi Piikani (Blackfeet) will take place on Saturday, June 22nd at 1 pm at North Park by the intersection of 7th Ave. N and N. 22nd St. The ribbon cutting is part of the larger North Park grand re-opening taking place throughout the afternoon of the 22nd.

The artwork, titled Eternal Presence, is intended to celebrate Indigenous Identity in Billings. This installation is the result of a call for artists issued by the City of Billings in summer 2023. Consisting of two statues representing traditional Blackfoot symbols for men and women, the artworks feature scenes from the Billings natural and built environment. The man features the rimrocks and the Yellowstone River, while the woman depicts the Billings skyline with a tipi behind it. According to Gladstone: “The juxtaposition of the modern skyline with the lodge celebrates the longevity of Indigenous presence on the land. Because those elements are depicted within the sculptural people, it also indicates the existence of traditional and modern urban Indigeneity inside of Billings’
current Native population.” The faces are painted with a combination of traditional beadwork styles.

Eternal Presence is one in a series of public art installed along Billings’ first neighborhood bikeway in summer 2024 as part of the Mobilize the MAGIC City initiative. The project seeks to celebrate Billings, highlight the role of public art in neighborhood revitalization, and to reduce traffic speeds by activating key points along the bikeway. Funding for this effort comes from the National Endowment of the Arts and various local donations.

Partners include the City of Billings, Billings Arts Association, Healthy By Design Coalition, and Triia. Additional artwork was created by Artist in Residence Terri Porta.

To learn more, visit www.billingsmt.gov/3093/Mobilize-the-MAGIC-City-Project.