Art talk with Sean Chandler

Internationally known painter and Montana State University alumnus Sean Chandler will give a lecture on his artistic journey and the work featured in his exhibition, "The One Defined To Be No One" at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the American Indian Hall‘s Great Hall on the MSU campus.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, coincides with Chandler’s exhibit on display at the School of Art’s Helen E. Copeland Gallery through March 31.  

Chandler, who is originally from Glendive, used a variety of oil, acrylic, charcoal, paint stick and other media in the art featured in the exhibit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art and a master’s in Native American studies at MSU, then a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Montana. While pursuing his Ed.D, Chandler worked as the director of American Indian Studies at Aaniiih Nakoda College on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Harlem and was later promoted to president of the college.  

“Once in the mode to create, I like to just let the work take me where I’m supposed to go," said Chandler in a statement about the tour of the exhibit. He cited late Blackfeet artist Ernie Pepion, Salish Kootenai artist Corwin Clairmont and Bozeman-based artist Jay Schmidt as mentors. 

Walter Fleming, head of MSU’s Department of Native American Studies, said his department jumped at the chance to partner with the College of Arts and Architecture to bring the exhibit and have Chandler speak. 

“We're proud of Sean as an alumnus of our program, but also, he's representing and leading a stylistic genre of art that people are recognizing as a modern, sophisticated Native art expression,” Fleming said. He noted that bringing artists to MSU helps share Native American culture and histories with the wider community.  

Chandler has received awards from and exhibited at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana, and his work has been collected by the Museum of Natural History in Paris and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum in Minnesota. 

Admission to the Copeland Gallery in Haynes Hall is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibition is supported by the Montana Art Gallery Directors Association, Montana Arts Council, Montana Cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

For more information, contact Caleb Fey, gallery manager, at or 406-994-4502. 


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Thu. Mar. 23, 2023   6pm

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MSU American Indian Hall
6th & Garfield
Bozeman, MT 59715