UMArts Home

Bobby Tilton, Professor

3D Foundations

phone: (406) 243-5893
office: Art Annex 129


I was born in Great Falls Montana and raised on a farm in the Little Belt Mountains. Farm life provided a wealth of experiences that have continually informed my art making. Observation, vulnerability, problem solving, independence and grace were all present in my childhood. My interest in Art began with my ability to draw as a second grader and was honed over the years by many gifted and caring teachers. I began my teaching career as a full-time kindergarten teacher and taught Art K-12 for 9 years in the Missoula public schools. I have a Masters degree in Administration and an MFA in Sculpture.

Artist Statement

My current work involves creating garments/skins that are metaphors for experiences, memories or societal roles. These “skins” or hides can be conceptually shed or worn. I am ultimately interested in how identity is constructed and try to make sense of power and vulnerability through the construction of psychological outfits. This work helps me question cultural roles on a personal and universal level.
I make the “skin” from dress pattern paper fused to plastic sheeting with acrylic polymer.I use actual patterns when it fits the content or make yards of the skin on unprinted paper I acquired from Simplicity Pattern Company and invent my own patterns. The process of sewing is comforting and easy for me. My mother taught me how to sew and I use her machine and many of the objects that she used when she made clothing and quilts for her family.

Teaching Philosophy

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)

I believe that teachers are arbiters of change through their capacity to guide students toward new perceptual awareness, criticality and the ability to envision, and make the world a better place.
Bobby Tilton


M.F.A., Sculpture, Vermont College of Norwich University, Montpelier, Vermont (1996)
M.Ed., Supervision and Administration with an emphasis in Fine Arts (1988) The University of Montana–Missoula
B.A. (with honors), Education with an emphasis in Visual Arts (1979) The University of Montana–Missoula
Teaching Certificates: Elementary Education, Art Education K-12 Administration