Montana Western's inspired faculty are committed to their crafts and to fostering the skills, visions and passions of art students.
The fine arts department features multiple art medium opportunities including sculpture, drawing, ceramics, photography, painting, glass, music and drama. Our professional art facilities include an art gallery, sculpture lab, crafts lab, printmaking lab, computer art lab and a ceramic lab. For musical and dramatic study we provide private and group practice rooms, a computer music lab, and two proscenium stages.
This degree is designed to give the graduate the knowledge needed to continue onto graduate school or obtain a career in an art-related field. Students in this major concentrate in business, illustration, pre-art therapy, or studio art. Majors include:
These degrees will prepare the graduate to teach art at the K-12 level.
These degrees will prepare the graduate to teach music at the K-12 level.
Here are just two great examples of fine arts courses at Montana Western. For a full course selection, please see the current catalog.
This course engages the student’s creativity through the skillful manipulation of materials and techniques related to the production of artistic works while exploring critical issues, conceptually enriched practices and the processes of painting.
This course challenges students to apply both critical and creative thinking skills while producing content charged photographs, videos, graphics and works of fine art using a variety of digital resources.
Are you ready to Rock? If so, this course will lead you on a journey through time, from early 20th century American blues, to Metal, Rap, and beyond. Through active learning projects, research, video, guest Rockers, and more, expect to emerge as a “new, improved” Rock and Roll aficionado!
Exciting activities and exercises in awareness, concentration, relaxation, imagination, character interrelationships, and meditation. Includes improvisation, scene work, & trust building games.
The concept of directing is opened up utilizing Montana Western’s experiential approach by not only studying the principles of play production and directing, but putting them into practice through hands-on experience. The course culminates with a 10-minute play festival during the Fall where students direct, design, and produce a fully realized production. The professor provides guidance and insights throughout the process.
A degree in fine arts from Montana Western will prepare you for a career as:
Anthony Johnson currently teaches and runs all technical aspects and is the director of choirs for the University of Montana Western Fine Arts Department.
Johnson’s credits include dance and opera to live concerts such as Peter Cetera, in his America Salutes Concert, and the British Invasion Band out of New Jersey. His theatre accolades include Blood Wedding (Molloy College) and The Real Inspector Hound (Molloy College) in New York City, Macbeth (Kennedy Center) Washington DC. Other credits in technical direction and design including; Guys and Dolls, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Music Theatre West-Logan, Utah), Suessical the Musical, High School Musical, and All Shook Up (Idaho State Rep. Theatre-Pocatello, Idaho), Little Shop of Horrors, Blithe Spirit, and The Elephant Man (Old Lyric Repertoire Company-Logan, Utah) The Magic Flute (Utah State Opera-Logan, Utah) Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Godspell, and Eurydice (University of West Alabama-Livingston, Alabama), Firebird Ballet (Cache Valley Ballet Company-Logan, Utah) He has also been a resident for the Old Lyric Repertoire Company in Logan, Utah for the past two seasons and looks forwarding to returning for years to come, as well as the Idaho State Summer Repertoire Company in Pocatello, Idaho. Johnson was awarded KCACTF National Award winning Finalist for his Lighting Design for Issun Boshi in 2010.
Besides designing, Johnson has traveled extensively as an avid performer to Italy and New York to showcase his singing.
A versatile music educator, Brent Poe McCabe, D.M.A., has taught in a variety of educational venues, from K-12 and community college to University instruction. Throughout his academic journey, McCabe has served as choir and band director, supervised student teachers and has taught most courses within a collegiate music education program. He has also served as presenter and clinician at state and regional NAfME conferences and has authored "A Performer’s Guide and New Critical Edition of Frank Martin’s Quatre Pièces Brèves (Lambert)." Brent holds degrees from The Juilliard School (MM) and the University of Arizona (DMA).
As a critically acclaimed classical guitarist, McCabe has performed throughout the United States and abroad and has been a prizewinner in numerous national and international music competitions. He has also recorded three guitar albums. The latest, entitled "Evocación" (2012), features popular music from South America, Cuba and Spain.
Eva Mastandrea is the chair of the fine arts department. She has taken her love of creating and teaching art around the world twice during two Semesters at Sea in 2000 and 2006. She previously developed her expertise on Asian art through her Fulbright fellowship in China and Japan. Experience One scheduling has helped her students understand and explore the creative process that is essential for artistic expression. Mastandrea has exhibited her own art in non-profit venues throughout the state of Montana.
During the past 30 years Glenn Bodish has worked as a graphic designer, a commercial illustrator and photographer as well as maintaining a commitment to the development of his work as a fine artist.
Bodish has worked in art museums since 1992 and held the position as Executive Director for the Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation from 1997 through 2011. He has taught art in community programs, schools and universities since 1985. Currently he is an Art Instructor and Director of the Montana Western Art Gallery & Museum at the University of Montana Western.
Bodish was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley area of eastern Pennsylvania. He was awarded his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Montana in 1995 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Oregon University in 1992.
I've been performing in and directing plays since I was ten, and teaching theatre for over 35 years. In my classes I take students on field trips from Butte to as far away as London. Experience One is perfect for the arts and the classroom. The three-hour time period allows me to teach students theatre as it's supposed to be done—in large blocks of time to rehearse, build sets, and run the shows.
Because I feel it important that our students be exposed to a variety of the arts I've organized a guest artist series. The series offers students a chance to work side-by-side with professional performers and backstage technicians. I also launched a local arts council, which brings even more actors, musicians, and dance companies to the Dillon community.
I currently serve on The Montana Arts Council, appointed by our Governor, which is one of 50 state arts councils. These groups of artists, educators, students, business people and more volunteer time to strengthen the arts in our schools and communities.
My specialties are acting, directing, dramatic literature, and history, with a interest in making the best of all the arts available and relevant to everyone. I have taught spent a 12-month teaching fellowship in Japan and earned my Master and Doctorial degrees from Michigan State University in Integrated Arts Education and Theatre.
Larry Brazill teaches drama at Montana Western and is actively involved in the arts both on campus and in the community. He directed "It's a Wonderful Life" in the fall of 2008 and "Little Shop of Horrors" in the fall of 2009. Brazill was named the Montana Theater Educator of the year for the 2002-2003 academic year; the Myrna Loye Center’s Arts Educator of the Year in 1997; and received an honorable mention for Teen Ink Magazine’s Educator of the Year in 2001-2002. Currently, he is working on a dissertation study regarding the creative process of playwrights.
Initiating his studies in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kansas), Michael Hengler eventually set out to work in the master's glass studios of Italy in Murano, Milan, Florence, Pavia, and in the Czech Republic and Malta. Hengler ultimately moved back to the U.S. and worked at various studios, from Boston to Oregon. He settled in the town of Eugene, Oregon for five years where he was Director at the Eugene Glass School, taught High School students torch-working, and received a one year Artist in Residence that resulted in a solo exhibition at the George Kjaer Gallery. He then moved to Oahu to begin his Graduate degree at the University of Hawaii-Manoa where he received a full scholarship, a M.F.A., and numerous grants and awards. He was awarded another Artist in Residence in Auckland, New Zealand which culminated in a solo exhibition at Masterworks Gallery, as well as a fellowship at Wheaton Arts in Millville, N.J. He has worked for Princeton University, performed at The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, taught numerous workshops, and has artwork in collections around the world.
Nolan Salix is a painter and printmaker holding an Master’s of Fine Art from Montana State University and a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. His contemporary industrial landscapes are created through the use of materials from site such as metals, patinas, tar, and motor oil. His works have been shown across Montana as well as in Park City, Utah; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Hill City, S.D.; and Skagway, Alaska. Salix’s work was featured in the Wim Wender’s film “Don’t Come Knocking” and is part of the Holter Museum’s and Skagway Museum’s permanent collections. Salix has been represented in several local magazines and newspapers, including the Big Sky Journal.
Tiffany Johnson is a new addition to the University of Montana Western Drama Program. She is currently our costume designer and theatre workshop instructor. She has a Bachelor in Elementary Education with a minor in Theatre-Costume Design from Idaho State University and her Master’s in Library Media Sciences from University of West Alabama. She has designed for Idaho State University, Westside Players (Pocatello, Idaho), and American Falls Little Theatre (American Falls, Idaho). She has worked for Walt Disney World. Besides her love for theatre, she has taught first graders and was a reading specialist for Pocatello/Chubbuck School District (Pocatello, Idaho). In her downtime she enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 year old son.
For more information about fine arts at Montana Western, contact department chair Brent Poe McCabe:
Main Hall Room 401C
Rebecca Petersen is a living testament to the proud tradition of teaching educators at the University of Montana Western.
University of Montana Western English professor Alan Weltzien is a champion of Montana literature.
Diana Taylor is pursuing an early childhood education degree to enrich her life and bolster her skills for her job at a Head Start in Butte, Mont.
The Carnegie Foundation's 2009 U.S. Professor of the Year is taking Montana Western's experiential learning to the national stage.