September 2018


This is a series of 26 screenprints, one for each letter of the alphabet, including every illustration from the dictionary, with images organized by letter. They do not portray the 3,100 dictionary illustrations as separate images as they in the dictionary volume, but instead overlap them in successive layers printed one on top of another so they co-exist as one merged graphic icon, a hybrid of all visual knowledge. Each heavily layered print becomes a gestural, somewhat haunted composite which is both legible and chaotic, a dense logo of information. On average, each print has more than 100 layers, with some letters having more illustrations. This colossal act of manual labor helps to form the conceptual basis of the project and is integral to the meaning of the completed material artwork. Exclusively using illustrations appropriated from a canonical cultural framework shared between the artist and viewer (the dictionary) quickly suggests the artwork is engaging in a conversation about meaning. The action of making is almost a performance that remains embodied in the work as a ritual dedicated to the beauty of trying to figure things out.

Carle Gallery

For more information, please call Shari Curtis at 723-3361 x6302.


The Carle Gallery is located in the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library in historic uptown Butte, Montana. The gallery was established by the library as a tribute to artist John Carle, whose murals and paintings depict Butte, its historic buildings, and inhabitants. The gallery seeks to continue to honor and support local artists by providing an opportunity for them to present their work professionally and to begin a dialogue with the community about their art, as well as hosting exhibits by artists from outside of Butte.

John Carle

John M. Carle was born and raised in Butte. He started drawing at three years old. As a freshman in high school, he found himself in advanced painting. In 2000, he graduated from Butte High. Carle spent time working in the mine and fighting wildfires before picking up the brush again in 2007. He started painting portraits, wildlife, scenery, and character art. His best known paintings were from the “bar” series, which included Metals Bank, Club 13, and the M&M. In 2012, Carle painted a mural of the original Butte Free Public Library on the balcony of the present library. He passed away on September 18, 2012. He was 31 years old. The staff at Butte-Silver Bow Public Library dedicate this art gallery in memory of John Carle.

To apply to exhibit your work at the Carle Gallery, please review these exhibition guidelines and complete this application and return it to Butte-Silver Bow Public Library.

Below is the video of the painting of the library’s mural:

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Exhibition Proposal Application

If you are an artist and would like to exhibit at the Carle Gallery, please fill out this form and send images of your artwork to