February 8, 2017

 Neil Chaput De Saintonge and Keith Graham, Pass Creek School, 2014, Digital inkjet print, 22" x 28"


Neil Chaput De Saintonge and Keith Graham, Pass Creek School, 2014, Digital inkjet print, 22" x 28".

Exploration of Montana’s one-room schools focus of Chasing Time exhibition at MSUB’s Northcutt Steele Gallery

Exhibition opens Feb. 16, with catered reception slated for 5p.m., March 23. Public invited to these free and open events.



Leanne Gilbertson, Northcutt Steele Gallery, 657-2903

University Relations, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — In the early 1990s there were nearly 200,000 one-room schoolhouses scattered across the rural United States.


Today, fewer than 200 remain. Montana boasts more of these intimate education centers than any other state, with approximately 60.


Those schools are the subject of the upcoming exhibition “Chasing Time” at Montana State University Billings Northcutt Steele Gallery. The exhibition opens February 16 and remains on view through March 30.


In 2013 and 2014, Missoula photographer Chaput de Saintonge and Associate Professor of Photojournalism at University of Montana Keith Graham teamed up to visit and document all of Montana’s remaining one-room schools.


“The result of their labors is a moving, revealing photo-essay,” said Leanne Gilbertson, gallery director.


“Chasing Time,” is comprised of roughly 30 photographs selected from more than 200 images the duo took during their travels. Each of the thoughtfully composed photographs captures candid, poignant details of Montana’s historic schools.


“Alone each is a testament to the uniqueness of each individual teaching and learning in these schools,” said Gilbertson. “Together the photographs suggest common, human themes that might unite the dispersed experiences had in the one-room schools serving remote populations across our state and our nation.”


Chaput de Saintonge founded Missoula’s Rocky Mountain School of Photography with his wife Jeanne in 1989.  He has been teaching photography for over 40 years.


Neil Chaput De Saintonge and Keith Graham, Abigail, Fishtail School, Stillwater County, 2014, Digital inkjet print, 22" x 28"
This exhibition is sponsored by the Montana Art Gallery Directors Association and supported in part by the Montana Arts Council, the Coal Tax Trust Fund for Cultural and Aesthetic Projects, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


While the show opens February 16, the public is invited to attend free, special exhibition events in late March.


At 5p.m., March 23 there will be a catered reception for the exhibition, followed by a presentation at 6:30pm that evening by Chaput de Saintonge. The hour-long overview of the photo-essay project takes place in LI148, the lecture hall next to the gallery.


At 10:30a.m., March 24, Chaput de Saintonge will also offer a free presentation on recent trends in digital photographic equipment. It takes place in the lecture hall next to the gallery. The presentation is open to the public and no reservations are necessary.


The Northcutt Steele Gallery is located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building on the University campus and is open Monday–Friday from 8am to 4pm, and by appointment.


The gallery is supported in part by student fees governed by the Associated Students of MSUB.


For more information about this exhibition and related activities, visit the gallery on Facebook.


See also: Northcutt Steele Gallery