9/22/19 | Helena, MT | Article in Independence Record by Tyler Manning
A traveling art project called Her Flag visited Montana on Saturday, Sept. 21, to collect its 13th stripe in celebration of women's suffrage.
The project is the brainchild of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, artist Marilyn Artus. She said when she first heard the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment was coming up in 2020, she wanted to do something to celebrate women's suffrage.
"I wanted to do something positive for America," Artus said. "And raise awareness of women's history, voting rights and more."
Artus decided to create a flag celebrating the 36 states, which ratified the 19th amendment. She would set out on a journey that would see her visit each of the 36 states in order of ratification. Additionally, one female artist from each state would contribute a stripe to the massive 18' by 26' flag. Artus received more than 340 applications to be a part of the project, but was only able to choose 36.
Montana, which voted to ratify the 19th Amendment on July 30, 1919, was the 13th state on Artus' trip. Jane Waggoner Deschner, a mixed-media artist from Billings, was chosen to represent Montana.
Deschner has lived and worked in Billings since 1977. Though born in Kansas, she has lived the majority of her life in Montana. Deschner earned a bachelor's degree in art from Montana State University-Billings.