Artist’s Julia Henderson and Kelly Hartman display new works at the Bozeman Public Library

Wednesday Feb. 27th, 2019

Self-portraits by artist Kelly Hartman and macramé pieces by fiber artist Julia Henderson will be exhibited in the Atrium Gallery at the Bozeman Public Library March 1 through April 30, 2019. The Bozeman Public Library Foundation, sponsors of the exhibit, will host a macramé demo on April 18, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., free and open to the public.

In order to best explain her works of self-portraiture, Bozeman artist Kelly Hartman quotes artist Frida Khalo “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Hartman adds “Time alone, particularly for me in the studio, allows the mind to wander, to go places the conscious body usually keeps barred. To this end, I find painting to be a lonely but cathartic endeavor.”

Hartman’s work also uses backgrounds she considers still life interpretations of patterned fabrics. Inspired by vintage-like floral fabric because of her day-job as a museum curator, she states “The innate femininity of it and the overall repetition of the patterns fit my identity as a woman and as a human. Our minds are repetitive; they beat circles around the things we hold most dear which makes us who we are.”

Julia Henderson likes to point out that while macramé is perhaps best known as a 70s handicraft, today it is having a massive resurgence among “modern bohemians.”  Macramé is seen as both as a functional aspect of home décor - plant hangers, floating tables and shelves, hammocks, clothes, chairs, curtains - and as an art form.

Henderson discovered macramé as part of the process of recovery from a violent assault.  She remarks “Macramé has become an increasingly large part of my life and is essential to my healing process. The act itself is meditative—simple yet consuming enough to achieve that ideal intersection psychologists call a “flow” state. I lose hours at a time tying knots, watching patterns emerge under my fingers as I bring beauty into the world. It gives me a sense of control, bringing order to a chaotic tangle of rope.”

Often blending macramé with weaving or crochet, Henderson works with found objects such as pinecones, feathers, and driftwood to add an organic dimension. She also works with antlers and old rusty drill bits or chains for a more industrial look, constantly surprising herself with the beauty found in old cast-off objects.

The exhibition will be on display during Library hours.  A percentage of sales will go to the Bozeman Public Library Foundation to ensure continuation of cultural programs at the Library for public benefit.  For more information about the exhibit, please call Sarah DeOpsomer at 582-2425 or email