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New West: Art and the Environment Certificate  

In an age of environmental and cultural change, what is our relationship to place? Art provides a critical lens to explore issues of the contemporary American West.  Students learn in the field, studio and classroom; including on-site research. Learn by drawing, building, sculpting, filming and writing.  Our location in Montana is at the intersection of expansive land, iconic myth and dynamic human development. 

About Certificates:

Certificates are a collection of complimentary courses focused on a theme, skill or technology.  These programs provide specific expertise which expand a student’s education.

Relevant for:

Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply from diverse academic disciplines, including art, science and the humanities. 

  • Resource managers
  • Environmental advocates
  • Artists
  • Writers, filmmakers, and any student with an interest in place-based issues.

Course of Study

This Certificate requires four courses from the list below:

  • ARTZ 410 Advanced Research – 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.  
  • ARTZ 420 Advanced Research – Painting: 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.
  • ARTH 444 Open Range: Land Art and the American Consciousness.  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.
  • ARTZ 451 Advanced Research – Sculpture This course focuses on investigation, construction, and presentation of both proposals and actual artworks, in both the studio and site-based contexts.
  • CRWR 324 Creative Writing: Nonfiction. 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 481 Advanced Studies in Film. Exploration of various and sometimes competing cinematic interpretations of “the west,” culminating in producing video interpretations of actual local western landscapes.

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