During the 2016-2017 school year, MAM Art Guides led over 1,700 students from across western Montana on tours of the museum. Education is at the core of MAM’s mission to provide a rich selection of opportunities for people to engage in creative activities and explore contemporary art.

There are opportunities year-round for Art Guides to lead tours at MAM, including school tours, summer camp tours, adult tours, and community tours. If you are interested in becoming involved as a MAM Art Guide, plan to attend the upcoming scheduled trainings to familiarize yourself with successful touring techniques.

Looking ahead, the annual Fifth Grade Art Experience (FGAE) in 2017-2018. MAM will feature the work of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, an internationally known artist who hails from the Flathead Reservation, as well as the group exhibition, Our Side, curated by Wendy Red Star, featuring artworks by the newest generation of American Indian women artists. Daily tours happen October through January and Art Guide training for FGAE will begin September 7 at 10 AM.

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

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

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.


Those who are interested can also just show up at one of training sessions listed below.


September 7, 9-11 AM: Learn or review the Visual Thinking Strategies, discuss characteristics of the fifth grade age group, and share stories of success and problem solving. This training is required for all new Art Guides who wish to help with this year’s FGAE program.

September 14, 9-11 AM: Learn about the exhibition Our Side, curated by Wendy Red Star and featuring four contemporary Indigenous American and Canadian women artists.

September 21, 9-11 AM:Meet artist Linda Stoudt as she discusses, Shed/AfterNow, her paintings about illness, loss, grief, and love.

September 28, 9-11 AM: Walk through and discuss the exhibition Dear Viewer with Senior Curator Brandon Reintjes.

October 5, 9-11 AM: View the exhibition, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: In the Footsteps of My Ancestors, and practice methods for guiding fifth graders using games, inquiry, and a scavenger hunt.

November 9, 4–5 PM: Come for a review and discussion of the Fifth Grade Art Experience thus far. Refreshments will be served.

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

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:

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