University Relations and Communications

Artist captures transition of old Central Montana school in 'The Great Alone' photo exhibit

October 4, 2011



Cecelia Gavinsky, student director, Northcutt Steele Gallery, 657-2324
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Reception for Joy Wulke set for Friday, Oct. 14 at Northcutt Steele Gallery at MSU Billings


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Artist Joy Wulke brings her collection of “The Great Alone” photographs to the Northcutt Steele Gallery at Montana State University Billings for an exhibit that opens Friday, Oct. 14.


Wulke Art Ruin

Wulke is a nationally recognized sculptor and photographer whose work bridges the boundary between visual art and architecture. The photos in “The Great Alone” exhibit were taken when she visited the Bear Creek School House in Two Dot, Mont., over the course of 22 years. She spent that time documenting the small building as it moved toward the balance between the built environment and nature. 


Wulke says the photography is a study of light.  The shadow and light patterns reveal increasingly complex patterns projected through the slowly changing infrastructure. As she captured the passage of time in her photos, the images absorbed the spirits of those who built and occupied it.  She perceives the building as a living/animistic character sharing its strength and vulnerabilities through its graceful return to the existing landscape nearly 100 years after it was built. 


A nationally recognized sculptor whose work bridges the boundary between visual art and architecture, Wulke received her Masters of Environmental Design degree from Yale in 1974 and has had numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in U.S., Europe and Japan.  She has received numerous awards and commissions, including work for the Lincoln Center Film Forum in New York and The Louisiana World’s Fair. 


Wulke is a consultant with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in the Art in Public Spaces program.  She is founder of Projects for a New Millennium, which has initiated collaborative projects in Connecticut, New York, Montana, Florida and California.  


A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, Oct. 14 from 5-7 p.m. just outside the Northcutt Steele Gallery. The gallery is located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts building on the four-year campus of MSU Billings. It is open during school hours and admission is free.


For more information on the gallery exhibit, contact Cecelia Gavinsky, student director of the gallery at 657-2324.


PHOTO ABOVE: One of Joy Wulke’s photographs that depicts the two-decade transition of an old school house in central Montana.