Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Montana

Kurt Norris
Last Updated: February 27th, 2023

Located in Great Falls, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art aims to connect the community through culture and contemporary art. With exhibitions, collections, educational programming, and events, The Square brings the power of art to a diverse audience.

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art encourages concepts of creativity, equity, and inclusion to people of all ages and backgrounds.

What is the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art?

The Paris Gibson Square was constructed in 1896 and is one of the most historical landmarks in the Great Falls community. The building served as Central High School for 34 years and as Paris Gibson Junior High for an additional 45 years.

Decommissioned as a school in 1975, the building reopened in 1977 as the now celebrated Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.

Having served as a center of learning in the Great fall area for over 120 years, the Paris Gibson Square now educates the community on contemporary art’s cultural and creative benefits through exhibitions, lectures, and informational programming.

What Is There To See and Do at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art?

see and do at the paris gibson square museum of art
Image: the-square

The Paris Gibson Square Museum offers plenty of free exhibits and educational programs for visitors to begin their journey into the wonderous themes of Montana’s Contemporary art.

Permanent Exhibits

Three permanent exhibits are currently on display at the Paris Gibson Square Museum.

In the Lee Steen: A Montana Original exhibition, visitors will explore the magical works of the famous Outsider Artist, Lee Steen.

Once gracing the roadsides of Montana’s counties, Steen’s stick figure sculptures were removed from their original habitat and placed in their new home in one of The Square’s permanent galleries.

Created by Great Falls artist Jean L. Price, the Three Thousand and Counting exhibit commemorates the sacrifices of U.S troops in Iraq.

The memorial features a sculpture crafted out of dog tags that include the name, ranks, and age of each life lost by an American soldier in the war. Fallen Montanan soldiers are distinguished in the memorial by bronze dog tags, and new dog tags are added to the sculpture as more casualties occur.

Exploring the possibilities of working with post-consumer waste, the museum’s Ruins I-IV exhibit is majestic in size and impact.

Each of the six display columns is created thoroughly out of cardboard packaging, and each tile is cut from cardboard waste. Through the exhibit, artist Terry Karson exemplifies the beautiful creations that can come out of reusing disposed products and reducing our waste.

Rotating Exhibitions

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art features four extensive galleries that present a series of rotating exhibits throughout the year.

Displays typically last for about four months and are rotated two at a time at differing intervals. By engaging their skewed rotation schedule, The Square guarantees guests will have new pieces and themes to explore upon return visits.

Check out the museum’s list of current exhibits displayed on the gallery floors.

Sculpture Gardens

Visitors to the Paris Gibson Square are invited to tour the museum’s beautiful Sculpture Gardens.

This exhibit will bring guests on a tour of the museum grounds, where they will spot such iconic Montana-made sculptures as the Toro by Manel Alvarez, Prairie Tops by Richard Swanson, and the Gibson Gateway by Robert Harrison,

What Educational Resources does the Paris Gibson Square Museum Of Art Offer?

educational resources
Image: the-square

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art offers a wide variety of free educational programs to help facilitate the development of artistic expression within the Great Falls community.

Studio Arts Education

The Square offers quarterly programming for both children and adults. These programs include classes, summer camps, and professional workshops that incorporate themes of drawing, painting, jewelry, textiles, sculptures, ceramic, and much more.

Check out the museum’s educational calendar for any upcoming classes and for more information concerning how to register.

Veteran’s Art Program

Every other Wednesday, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art offers free art programming to veterans. This Bi-weekly event explores artistic expression through diverse mediums and techniques.

Check out the Veteran’s Art Program’s monthly calendar to register for upcoming events.

Curative Art Collective

The Curative Art Collective invites teenagers between 15 and 18 to meet and collaborate as they explore their authentic creative voices. While exploring the themes that make them unique, teens will have the opportunity to work with professional artists and develop their craft to the fullest potential.

The Curative Art Collective meets every Tuesday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The Square provides food and Art Supplies.

Joining the Curative Art Collective is free. Visit the official Curative Art Collective webpage to register.

How to Visit the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is open from Tuesday through Saturday and operates according to the following hours.

  • Tues: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Wed, Thurs, Fri: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sat: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

The museum offers free admission and street parking.

Call (406) 727-8255 for more information, or drop by the museum at 1400 1st Ave N Great Falls, MT 59401.


Occupying one of the most historic landmarks in Great Falls, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art has served as an educational and artistic center in the community for over 120 years.

Featuring three permanent exhibits, several rotating galleries, and a beautiful sculpture garden, the Paris Gibson Square is a fantastic facility for exploring the wonderous themes of contemporary art in Montana.

Be sure to correspond your visit with one of the museum’s upcoming programs featured on their event schedule for a heightened experience delving into the local art scene.

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About The Author

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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