CAVE: An Artscience Installation
August 18 - December 31, 2017
Opening Reception on Friday, August 18th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
The NeuroCave Collaborative will be present on the night of the opening.
At the Holter Museum of Art, we are excited to present CAVE, a profound exhibition from Montana artist Sara Mast and an interdisciplinary team on display from August through December, 2017.
CAVE is a collaborative artscience project that merges the ‘mind’ of 35,000 year old cave art with state-of-the-art brain research.  An interdisciplinary research team composed of faculty and student artists and scientists from Montana State University and the University of Missouri, Kansas City has created a truly interactive installation in which light and sound elements are controlled by participant brainwaves.  Using current neurofeedback technology, participant physiological responses to their surrounding environment will simultaneously inform the environment, projecting fluctuating sound and color fields that blur the perceptual boundaries between sensation and creation. Evoking the deeply spiritual and communal nature of early artistic sites such as Chauvet-Pont-D’Arc cave, the installation will echo cultural memory and bridge the origins of art with the latest advances in neuroscience.
At the Holter Museum of Art, we are excited to share this cutting-edge exhibition with our Montana community.  Through it, we hope to spark meaningful dialogue about the deep, natural interconnectivity found across intellectual disciplines and human creativity.  
The official Cave collaborative website can be viewed here.
The Holter Museum of Art is currently seeking sponsors for this exhibition.  View sponsorship information here.  Please call Jennifer duToit-Barrett at 406-442-6400 x104 or by email at for sponsor details.  

The Holter Museum of Art and the NeuroCave Collaborative would like to follow the following sponsors for making this project possible:
Scholarship and Creativity Award, Montana State University
 Faculty Excellence Grant, Montana State University
 MSU Scholarship & Creativity Grant for the Advancement of the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Royce Smith, Dean of the College of Arts & Architecture
Brett Gunnick, Dean of the College of Engineering
John Paxton, Director of the School of Computing
Andy Vernooy, Director of the School of Architecture
Keith Kothman, Director of the School of Music
Nicole Rae, Dean of Letters & Science
US Department of Education Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program Grant
Speyer Family Foundation, Helena, MT
Oz Architects, Missoula, MT
Bruce Meadows, Helena, MT
Max Milton, Helena, MT
Judy Carrigan, Helena, MT
Zach Begler: Lens to the Streets
January 19 - April 12, 2018
Opening Reception on Friday, January 19th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
A photographic interpretation of individuals inhabiting the streets of Phoenix, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Helena, MT.  Begler uses film to capture these moments, revealing the vision and experience of human connection created before and during exposure.  
Begler's debut exhibition at the Holter includes a collection of images spanning the western United States, with emphasis in the Pacific Northwest.  He wants to evoke empathy and respect, but, above all, remind viewers of the friendships possible between all individuals.
View Zach's website here. Richard Buswell: CLOSE TO HOME
January 19 - April 13, 2018
Opening Reception on Friday, January 19th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
For more than four decades, Richard Buswell has trained his camera on the landscape of Montana, with its abandoned and overgrown homesteads and majestic, never-ending skies. His black-and-white photographs frame cast-off, common things to reveal abstract patterns in the tradition of twentieth-century modernist photography. Buswell describes his work as more interpretive and abstract than documentary. The images explore the junction where decaying artifacts become visual echoes of the past. 
Richard Buswell: Close to Home was organized by the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana. Bonnie Gene Lambert: Hall of Lesser Pleasures
January 19 - April 13, 2018
Opening Reception on Friday, January 19th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Helena artist Bonnie Lambert utilizes photography and collage to construct photographic narratives.  Many of her works prove autobiographical, incorporating fictions of the artist’s making. 
Lambert grew up in Billings, Montana, and received an undergraduate degree in English literature from the Univ. of California, Berkeley.  She received a Master of Fine Arts in photography from the University of Colorado. HoHo Holter Holiday Sale & the Island of Misfit Art Exhibition
November 2nd - December 24th, 2017
Opening Reception on Friday, November 3rd
The Sherman Gallery is in full holiday swing!
Stop into the gallery and shop new works from over 60 Montana artists.
Follow the Holter Facebook page and Instagram for sale updates and holiday events. Kelly Moncur & Kage Harp present RAW: Primal Abstract Expressions
December 2017 & January 2018 in the Nicholson Gallery
Opening Reception on Friday, December 1st from 5-8PM

Exhibition Statement: The androgynous figures featured in

2014 Third Grade Post-Visit Information

Post-Visit Activities & Lesson Plan

Third Grade Field Experience
February 2014
Opus Corvus; Photographs by Larry Blackwood 

Activity Idea (English/language arts) 

In Larry Blackwood’s artist statement he compares his photography to Haiku poetry explaining, “Haiku is poetry of deceptively simple statements that bring out the profound in ordinary scenes or events. Producing an image that creates a visual “haiku moment” is what I strive for in my work.”

Haiku is the art of expressing much and suggesting more in the fewest possible words.

Try writing a Haiku poem about Corvids.

Here are the rules of how Haiku poetry is structured (they don’t have to rhyme and have no definite punctuation):

  • A Haiku Poem has 3 lines
  • The first line is only 5 syllables
  • The second line must be 7 syllables
  • And the third line must be 5 syllables

Here is an example:

In the falling snow

A laughing boy holds out his palms

until they are white.

-Richard Wright  


Activity Idea (English/language arts)

What’s in a Name? 

There are many words in the English language that have a connection to crows, ravens and birds in general. Brain-storm a list of “crow” words with your students. When the students have run out of ideas, add the following words which they might not have included in the list. 

Assign each student a word from the list and have them find the definition and the “crow” connection. Students should report back the findings to the rest of the class. 


  • Birdbrain    
  • Caw    
  • Congress    
  • Crowbar 
  • Crowing    
  • Crow’s-feet   
  • Crow’s-nest    
  • Fowl 
  • Jim Crow    
  • Murder   
  • Raven    
  • Ravenous 
  • Rook     
  • Rookery   
  • Scarecrow    
  • To “eat crow” 
  • To “crow”


Activity Idea (math/science)

Your students can participate in Crows Count! Crows Count is a citizen science program run by the Urban Bird Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. You and your students can help scientists answer the question: “How do crow group sizes change with seasons?” 

Students will learn how to: 


  • find crows, jays or magpies 
  • count and observe the birds and bird behavior 
  • report their meaningful data 


 To find out more about the program, visit: 

 ***The Holter Museum will host an Urban Bird Project Family Day on Saturday April 5th in partnership with the Montana Discovery Foundation from 11am-1pm*** 

A Bigger Project (art and math)

Lesson Plan


This lesson blends math and art with literature and film using Aesop's fable, "The Crow and the Pitcher." The class will discuss the fable and its meaning. Students will compare the fable as a book and as a short film. Each student will design his or her own puppet and act out the fable using pebbles and water in containers. Students will also make predictions and then compare them to actual results. Finally, the class will see fiction become fact when introduced to a biologist’s observations of a bird similar to the crow from the story.

Learning Objectives

Students will:


  • Discuss "The Crow and the Pitcher" fable
  • Compare two mediums to tell the same story (book and film)
  • Create a crow sock puppet
  • Use prediction skills
  • Use measurement skills
  • Use calculation skills
  • Dramatize the fable using puppets
  • View a raven (similar to a crow) solve the same problem in nature


Teaching Approach:  Arts Integration

Teaching Methods: 


  • Discovery Learning
  • Hands-On Learning
  • Modeling


Assessment Type


Teacher Background

  • Obtain a book copy of “The Crow and the Pitcher” (This could be a picture-book version to read aloud to the class, or a version for the class to read by themselves.)
  • View a video version of the fable here: 
  • Read science article and view the accompanying video, a rook fills vase with pebbles here: 
  • BBC video Ravens problem solving (aesops fables reference):
  • Do the stone exercise yourself so you will know approximately how much water and stones you will need for each student (based on the size of your vases and pebbles)

Prior Student Knowledge


  • Concept of fable
  • Familiarity with Aesop
  • Measurement skills


Physical Space: Classroom

  • Grouping: Students will work in large and small groups

Materials Needed 

General Materials  
  • A copy of The Crow and the Pitcher 
  • Digital Projector (for video projection)

Puppet Materials

  • 1 black sock/student (students can bring these from home)  
  • Googley eyes (2/puppet) 

Measurement Materials

  • Prediction table hand-out (1/group or 1/student) 
  • Small vases 
  • Measuring cups 
  • Small stones or pebbles


1. Invite students to tell you about a time when they were thirsty. Begin by asking the class if they remember a time when they have ever been so thirsty that you said, 'I'm dying of thirst!'  Ask them to describe how they felt and how they were able to relieve their thirst and get something to drink. (Chart their responses on the board or chart paper for reference later in the lesson.)

2. Introduce the well-known fable by Aesop The Crow and the Pitcher.


  • Explain that the crow in this fable was also thirsty and felt the same way they had just discussed. He was dying of thirst! 
  • Briefly review that a fable is type of story with a moral or lesson. 
  • Explain that the moral of a fable is what the reader learns from it.


3. Read to the class (or have the students read independently or aloud) The Crow and the Pitcher.

Build Knowledge

1. Discuss what the moral of the story might be. This could be done in a whole class discussion, students could partner and share or students could write their thoughts as a journal entry or creative writing project. As examples, any of the following morals could apply to this story:


  • Necessity is the mother of invention
  • Little by little does the trick
  • Where there is a will there is a way
  • Do not give up even when it seems impossible
  • Try hard; even the most difficult problems can be solved


2. List the students' ideas on the board to determine if there is a common theme to them. Generalize one moral that could be applied to the story.

3. View the film:  

4. Ask students to compare and contrast the book and the film:


  • How are they the same?
  • How are they different?
  • Did they prefer one over the other?
  • Why?


5. Ask students if they have read any other stories that have a moral and briefly discuss those stories.


1. Make the crow sock puppet.  Keep it simple…googly eyes is really all you need, but get as fancy as you want.   After you have modeled this for the students, pass out the supplies and have them create their own puppets. Tell students they will wear their sock puppets later to act out the fable.

2. Review the fable with the students and have them explain how the crow solved his problem. 

Discuss:  Do they think that the crow's strategy would really work. 

3.Ask students how they could test the crow's strategy to find out for themselves. When they guess it, reveal the supplies for the project. If they have trouble guessing, then reveal the supplies to give them a hint.

4. Have students predict the number of stones it will take to raise the water level to a predetermined line on the vase. 

  • how to measure the water and carefully pour it into the container
  • how the crow puppet will place stones into the container (do not demonstrate more than a few pebbles.)
Enter information into the first two columns on the table. (This can be done independently or in groups.)









5. Distribute materials to each group or individual:


  • Small vase
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Pebbles


6. Re-enact the fable. Have the students use their sock puppets to add the pebbles to the water      What kind of voices will they use? What gestures might they use? How would a   thirsty crow act?

7. Record the results of the re-enactment. Have each student or group add information to the third column.

8. Analyze the students’ predictions. Explain that to determine the difference between the predicted number of stones and the actual number of stones needed, students must subtract. Have the students take out paper to figure the differences for one or more re-enactments.

9. Discuss how the crow felt during the re-enactment. Refer to the list with students' comments on how they felt if they were dying of thirst. Ask if any of their dramatizations showed these feelings.


1. Select one or more students or groups to share their re-enactments with the class. The selection can be based on the closest predictions or some other criteria.

2. Revisit the concept of fables and morals. Discuss the moral of the story and ask students to think of times when the moral applied to them or someone they know. Discuss why we have morals in stories and how can they help us.

3. Share biologists’ findings about the raven, a close relative of the crow. Explain that sometimes made-up stories, such as this fable, can resemble real life. Share the video of the rook filling the vase with pebbles to get water! (Depending on the interest levels of the students, choose to show one or more of the video clips.)


1. Using the 'Assessment Rubric' -- download as a PDF


  • Completion of puppet with the required components (2 eyes and a beak).
  • Their ability to predict.
  •  The accuracy of their subtraction.
  • Their ability to dramatize the fable.


Common Core Reading Standards for Literature

Key Ideas and Details 

1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. 

2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures, including those by and about details in the text. 

3. Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.  

Research to Build and Present Knowledge 

7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

Speaking and Listening Standards 

Comprehension and Collaboration 

1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 

a. Come to discussions prepared having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion. 

b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). 

c. Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others. 

d. Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion. 

2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. 

3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail

Common Core Standards for Math

Measurement and Data 3.MD 

1. Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects. 

2. Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.

3. Attend to precision.  

National Standards 


Grade K-4 Theater Standard 2: Acting by assuming roles and interacting in improvisations

Grade K-4 Theater Standard 7: Analyzing and explaining personal preferences and constructing meanings from classroom dramatizations and from theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions

Visual Arts

Grade K-4 Visual Arts Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

Grade K-4 Visual Arts Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

Language Arts

Language Arts Standard 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

Language Arts Standard 8: Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes


Math Standard 1: Uses a variety of strategies in the problem-solving process

Math Standard 2: Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of numbers

Math Standard 3: Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation