Fifth Graders Experience the Power of Art

The 31st Annual Fifth Grade Art Experience began last October with the opening of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s major exhibition, In the Footsteps of My Ancestors. Each morning, students begin by gathering in the Carnegie Gallery, where they are invited to view and discuss Smith’s larger-than-life painting, Tribal Map 2001.  They recognize at once Quick-to-See Smith’s intent of raising the viewer’s awareness of native cultures in the United States. Students tour all floors of the museum with Art Guides, discussing all of Quick-to-See Smith’s work, the four indigenous women artists of Our Side, and the student photography exhibit of Two Eagle River School. Then they express themselves and what they learned with a printmaking project in the classroom. Thanks to the support of generous donors, MAM is able to continue this program into January and February, and extend the invitation to all schools on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

The museum is always seeking new volunteers to participate in Art Guide trainings.  If you are interested in training as an Art Guide, please attend the New Art Guide Training on Thursday, January 11. If you enjoy working closely with students and are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, consider signing up to help with the FGAE art project in the classroom any day from 10:15 to noon.

Contact Renee Taaffe, Education Curator,, to lead summer camp tours and get involved in art education at MAM.

Art Guides

MAM's Art Guide Program trains dedicated individuals to lead tours of our exhibitions for all ages. Employing the Visual Thinking Strategies approach - developed by MoMA's Philip Yenawine - Art Guides reach our audiences by helping them learn to look at, appreciate, and respond to contemporary art. If you're passionate about art and enjoy sharing the museum experience, the Art Guide Program is perfect for you! Please click here to download an application. If you would like to find out more, please contact Renee Taaffe, Curator of Education, at 406.728.0447 ex. 228 or via email.

Upcoming Art Guide Trainings:

Thursday, January 4, 3:30–5 P.M.
Celebrate the New Year with refreshments and a sneak preview of the 46th Annual Benefit Art Auction exhibit.

Thursday, January 11, 3:30–5 P.M.
New Art Guide Training. Please call to register, 406.728.0447.

Thursday, February 15, 3:30–5 P.M.
View and discuss Joseph Baráz: Totems and Stelae and MAM’s collection of Miriam Schapiro prints, Anonymous was a Woman.  Learn about Schapiro, a leader in the feminist art movement.

Thursday, March 15, 3:30–5 P.M.
View the exhibition The Shape of ThingsNew Approaches to Indigenous Abstraction, and learn about the print processes used in the production of this work with MAM Senior Curator Brandon Reintjes.

Thursday, April 19, 3:30–5 P.M.
Tour Corwin Clairmont’s exhibition Tar Sands, then enjoy a John Baldessari exhibit discussion with MAM Events and Public Programs Coordinator Lily Scott. 

If you are interested in participating in the program, free-of-charge, please email: This program is generously sponsored by the Art Associates of Missoula.

Read about Jennifer Ogden's experience when she visited from Victor with her Fifth Grade Class.

TOURS: MAM is an exciting and enriching place to bring your class. With seven galleries, there is always a choice of exhibitions to offer a rich selection of visual food for thought and pleasure for viewers of all ages. To reserve a tour with a trained docent or staff person please give three weeks notice. MAM will send information about the current exhibitions with suggested pre-visit activities geared to your class's grade level upon request. Click here to e-mail for a tour request.

Montana Treasures : Jaune Quick -to -See Smith and Rudy Autio

MAM now has a broad assortment of online cross-curriculum lesson plans and activities associated with two premiere artists from the MAM Permanent Collection: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Rudy Autio. Please feel free to use any of these materials, which will enrich and guide your students in a greater understanding of Montana culture and its artistic legacy.

Learning Through Art:Corwin (Corky) Clairmont and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

MAM Art Guides use the Visual Thinking Strategies in facilitating discussion around museum art works. See how the Visual Thinking Strategies can help develop the Common Core Standards in your classroom . Watch the Visual Thinking Strategies Video:

Visit Stephen Glueckert in his studio to hear his advice to students about making art:

Join MAM's Email List