In an age of environmental and cultural change, what is our relationship to place?


Due to COVID-19, New West Certificate launch is delayed.  Check back soon for more information!

Art provides a critical lens to explore issues of the contemporary American West.  Over a five-month period, students learn in the field, studio and classroom; including on-site research.  Our location in Montana is at the intersection of expansive land, iconic myth and dynamic human development. 

 This Certificate can be completed in an intensive five months. A series of four courses are offered Spring and Summer term.  

Below is a sample of some of the courses offered:  

  • ARTZ 310 Navigating the West. 3 Credits. First-hand investigation of earth works, place and significant landmarks in the western United States.

  • ARTZ 321 Painting II: Contemporary Landscape and the American West. Studio course  examining the relationship between contemporary landscape and culture. Central questions explore how we organize, frame and perceive the world to describe our collective desires and hopes.

  • ARTZ 351 SCULPTURE II: Neo Geo, Site-Specific Art. This course focuses on investigation, construction, and presentation of both proposals and actual artworks, in both the studio and site-based contexts.

  • ARTZ 394A - Seminar- Environmental Drawing. Seminar designed to integrate methods of drawing with on-site research in a field-based format.  Central focus is a critical inquiry into issues of place.  

  • ARTH 444 Open Range.  This Art History course investigates the sense of place in American visual arts of the 19th to 21st centuries, and the development of place in the American landscape, particularly in the west.

  • CRWR 324 From This Point: Nonfiction in the New West. A nonfiction writing course conducted in the field, and through primary, and secondary research, to formulate topical and provocative questions relating to the West.

  • FILM 491 Film and the West. Exploration of various and sometimes competing filmic interpretations of “the west,” culminating in producing video interpretations of actual local western landscapes. 

Certificate Application for Spring 2020. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply from diverse academic disciplines, including art, science and the humanities.