February 28 - March 28, 2019

Reception: Thursday, February 28th, 5pm-8pm (Catered, Free, Open to Public)

Artist Performance & Talk: Wednesday, March 13th, 6:30pm In LA 128 (Next to the Northcutt Steele Gallery) JPEG/MPEG Time Window Progression (Life as an Artist) by Jon Lodge.

Surface Tension 79
On the evening of Thursday February 28th, an opening reception for Jon Lodge’s exhibition MATRIXXMODULATION will be held at the Northcutt Steele Gallery on the campus of MSU- Billings beginning at 5pm.

The masterful work of Jon Lodge, a Montana native, is more than a piece of art on the wall, it is a conceptual exercise of pattern recognition and a journey into universal principals. He exhibits the extensive and studied byproduct of processes extracted from the world of planned randomness and science. This is the randomness we experience on a daily basis and yet have no idea of the gravitational coordination controlling it. The

diverse, interactive and yet minimalistic approach to the work creates a subtext of awareness for the elements and puzzling realities harbored beneath fabrication, surface tension and random sequences. From work with light, to sound, to 3-D installations this collection will inspire you to relish the very air around you and encourage you to engage with the work in a fun and immersive way.

Lodge’s exhibition emphasizes the interplay of process and material—utilizing as a starting point, planned systems of randomness (stochastic process) and including interactive, evolving elements to engage visitors as creative partners. Methodologies of music composition and print media/image reproduction merge to generate artworks that exhibit components of and connections among these disparate sources.


Born in Red Lodge, Montana in 1945, Jon Lodge left the Rocky Mountain West twenty years later to study jazz improvisation and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there, he became involved in the visual arts as Berklee’s art director and photographer. He returned to Montana in the mid-1970s where he worked in the commercial printing industry while continuing jazz performing. In 1987, he co-founded the performance jazz/fusion band QUARTEX. By the early 1990s, he was increasingly integrating visual aspects into his musical performances. Desiring freedom from the collaborative aspects of music and more flexibility in his artistic practice, he decided to make visual art. Having worked for many years in a large commercial printing plant, he recognized that the byproducts of those processes could  become his art materials. A knowledge of music composition inspired him to develop systems within which to manipulate these non-traditional materials into artworks. Lodge states, “My work is related to one central concept, that of stochastic process—an organized system that produces random results. I want to emulate the underlying operating systems of nature, rather than just the look of it.” Since his first show in a small downtown cafe, he has exhibited widely across the Northwest including the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Eyre/Moore Gallery in Seattle, Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming, University of Wyoming Art Museum in Laramie, Wyoming, Holter Museum in Helena, Montana, Turman Larison Contemporary in Helena, Montana, Botanica Fine Art in Bozeman, Montana, Paris Gibson Square in Great Falls, Montana, Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. His work is in the permanent collections of the Yellowstone, Missoula and Nicolaysen Art Museums, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the GSA Rocky Mountain Region. Independent curator and artist Gordon McConnell has written about Jon Lodge, “The appreciation of chance effects, experimentation with unconventional materials and processes. . . are among the elements of Lodge’s work that correlate the worlds of experimental visual art with the musical avant-garde.”

The Northcutt Steele Gallery is located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts building on the Montana State University Billings campus. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. For more information visit Funded in part by ASMSUB.

For media inquiries and more images contact Sherri Cornett, Director of the Northcutt Steele Gallery, at; (406) 698-5006.

Image above: Surface Tension 79: Pulse Interval Analysis/ Tone Cluster Flux (Piano roll Hybrid) gesso, carbon particle substrate, graphite on Fuji helium-neon laser sensitive emulsion aluminum printing plate. 40.5x31 inches 2019