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Building Icebergs art exhibition opens at MSUB

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From January 13 through February 18, 2021, the Northcutt Steele Gallery at Montana State University Billings is pleased to present Building Icebergs, an exhibition of intermedia works created by Dr. Mara Pierce, assistant professor of Art Education at MSUB, in collaboration with invited Montana artists and art educators.

Icebergs begin as single snowflakes that continually grow due to the addition of more snowflakes. Soon, their accumulated structure forms a mass large enough to move mountains. The form serves as the overarching metaphor for the exhibition.

Each professional artist and art educator may be understood to embody the idea of a single snowflake in their individual origin. These entities then coalesce into communities, resulting in a tremendous collective agency akin to the force of an iceberg as a creative teaching/making community.

Building Icebergs visually manifests the relationships found in art making, learning and teaching.

Dr. Pierce practices the idea of co-construction by producing artworks alongside invited colleague art educators as her collaborators. Participants include Kari Adams of Billings Central High School, Samantha Cole (Finch) of Shepherd High School, Anna Crow of Chief Dull Knife College, Megan Fetters of Lewis and Clark Middle School, Jon Kelly of Billings Senior High School, Casey O’Malley a recent MSUB graduate; Breanna Shermer of Park City K-12, and Lacie Tucker of Blue Creek Elementary School. Dr. Pierce collaborates with husband and artist Michael Largo to revisit and renew some traditional and contemporary Din4 visual practices as opportunities for learning. Additionally, she brings visual exploration to the Indian Education for All policy, a Montana educational document that impacts art learning across the country.

Building Icebergs is sponsored in part by the Montana State University Billings Office of the Provost Arts & Humanities Grant.

About: The Northcutt Steele Gallery is located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building on the university campus of MSUB and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. The gallery will be following social distancing guidelines during the exhibition and directions for visitors visiting campus may be found on the MSUB website.

The gallery is supported in part by grants from the Montana Arts Council, a state agency funded by the State of Montana; coal severance taxes paid based upon coal mined in Montana and deposited in Montana’s Cultural and Aesthetic Projects Trust Fund; and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funds are also provided by the Associated Students of MSUB (ASMSUB), Department of Art, and MSUB Foundation.

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