Limnal Lacrimosa is a free public art installation at 5 6th Avenue West. It is open Mondays from 6-9pm by appointment. Limnal Lacrimosa celebrates the richness of the valley, from the glaciers and lakes to the cultural histories of art and ceramics. Sited in the original home of the Kalispell Malting and Brewing Company, it also celebrates the important legacies of breweries in Kalispell.
To build the exhibition, American artist Mary Mattingly has been collecting snow melt and rainwater, some that has dripped through holes in the building’s roof. Cycling water through tubing just below the ceiling, she can evoke the feeling of rain inside the building to meditate on water-courses. The drips are caught in lachrymatory vessels while the sounds of the droplets hitting the containers echo throughout the space. Eventually the vessels fill, water spills onto the floor and the cycle repeats itself.
The artwork was prompted by Kōbō Abe’s novel The Woman in the Dunes, a story about two people who must forever remove sand from a building. It is also driven by the speed of geologic change in Glacier National Park. Over the course of nine months, the exhibition space inside of 5 6th Avenue West will transform several times.
The installation is open on Monday evenings and now also for listening hours on Sunday evenings.
Mattingly is known for her large-scale installations that address ecology like a mobile free public food forest on a barge in New York City and an education center for estuarial plants on the Thames in London. Her photographs and sculptures are represented by the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. She visited Kalispell for the first time in 2020.