Editorial: Outdoor art exhibits a welcome getaway | Editorials

The Bozeman-area has long had a lively arts community that provides patrons with inspiration, entertainment and diversion. And local artists have been coming through again during the ongoing pandemic, with outdoor art displays that provide a welcome chance to get away from it all.

A local children’s theater company, Random Acts of Silliness, has organized local artists to create exhibits in city parks that entertain viewers of all ages. They couldn’t come at a better time.

For nearly a year now, responsible individuals have been minimizing their socializing, staying away from crowded indoor spaces, forgoing holiday gatherings and maintaining safe social distancing when encountering others, indoors or outdoors. This repression of our natural social instincts can give way to depression and substance abuse and take a toll on our relationships.

The Random Acts of Silliness exhibits have provided an excuse to get out and socialize safely.

In late summer, the group organized “Flutterby Thicket Fairy Village” along the Gallagator Trail The exhibit regaled visitors with a collection of imaginary structures, including a cobblery, a playground and other whimsical things for fairies to inhabit. The exhibit captivated children and provided a needed outdoor social activity.

More recently, the group organized a “Menagerie of the Imaginary” at Story Mill Park, a collection of 14 life-sized sculptures created by local artists.

The Gallatin Valley Land Trust has been helping the group with the necessary permitting for the exhibits. The city parks were chosen for the exhibits because they provide ample room for visitors to socially distance. And the group required visitors to wear masks when distancing wasn’t possible.

And during more clement weather, Random Acts of Silliness put on free outdoor improv shows around town to give kids and their families a fun outlet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those interested in partaking in the group’s activities can visit its website at https://www.randomactsofsilliness.com for more information.

Vaccines are on the way and the end of restrictions on our social behavior is in sight. But we still have a ways to go. And members of the local arts community are applauded for providing us with safe outlets in the meantime.

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