Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild

Bat Beacons


As an artist I am interested in the place where space and object meet; my work is about space and the creation of visual interactions. These interactions are intuitive responses to my physical surroundings; a visual exploration of how I perceive landscape while considering the built environment and architecture as a lens. By embracing modernist concepts of the grid, formalism, and design, these works manifest as post-minimal sculptures.graph here.

In Montana, where forces of nature dictate the everyday more than urban social constructs, place becomes a pronounced element in its residents’ lives. Montana’s vast landscapes and natural habitats with relatively few human inhabitants present both challenges and opportunities for conservation efforts. These landscapes are susceptible to change from development, global warming, and encroachment of exotic species, among others; resulting in impacts on flora and fauna. As a species bats have vital ecological roles and simple efforts can be made to protect their habitats in Montana’s changing landscape.
Bats are pollinators and a main predator of nocturnal insects, especially agricultural and forest pests such as moths, beetles and plant bugs . Major threats 1 to bats in Montana include, disturbance of roosting sites, environmental contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and petroleum, and habitat degeneration due to timber harvest, fire destruction, and mine closure. Lack of information and intolerance by people also threaten species populations, which presents opportunity for education and community involvement.
My proposed project for Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild is to develop a piece of art that will encourage the preservation of bat habitats in Montana. The installation, measuring a total of 20’ x 40’ x 40’, can reside in many regions of the park that has an open area. Sixteen 20’ poles will be positioned in a 4 x 4 grid with 10’ between each one. Installed on top of each pole will sit a bat box constructed from rough cut lumber. This piece of art will function as a roosting site for bats and as an education tool, questioning ways that we view art and ecology.

Tyler Nansen

BPSW/ University of Montana Graduate Emerging Artist

September 2016