1986, Serigraph
(Screen Print), 25×20”,
Museum purchase
with Montana Cultural
Trust Fund (1989.4)
More Info

YAM Online Art Suitcase


Jessie Wilber was one of Montana’s most notable artists during the better part of the 20th century. She was a beloved educator as well as an exceptional painter, collage artist, and printmaker. Jessie was born in 1912 in Wisconsin. She received her master’s degree from Colorado State College of Education in 1938 and began teaching at Montana State University Bozeman in 1941. Jessie taught in the Art Department until her retirement in 1973. Jessie Wilber was very active in the Montana art scene and was a founding member of the Montana Institute of the Arts. Her art was featured in many exhibitions. She also received awards from across the country for her painting and printmaking (lithography, woodblock, and silkscreen). Jessie Wilber died in October 1989. Magpies in the Snowstorm was the last print that she completed.

YAM Online Art Suitcase


Questions for Viewing:

First, always take a few moments to really look at the artwork.

VTS Questions

  • What do you think is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What else do you see in this picture?

Additional Questions

Art Vocabulary:

  • Landscape: All the visible features of an area of countryside or land.
  • Negative Space: Negative space is the space around and between the main subject. Using negative space in a composition can help enhance and identify the focal point.
  • Positive Space: Positive space in an artwork is the main subject or main area of interest. If there is too much positive space the focal point may get lost.
  • Collagraph Print: Collagraph is a basic a method of printmaking using a board with materials glued onto it to form a relief surface.

Science Vocabulary:

  • Magpie: The Black-billed Magpie is medium-sized and boldly patterned. They are mostly black, with contrasting white scapulars, white belly, iridescent metallic blue-green wings and tail, and large white markings on primaries, which form white patch on wing when wing is extended.


Lesson Overview: Students will create a print inspired by animals. They will discuss the use of positive and negative space in printmaking and will use cardboard to create the printing plate.


National Standards:

  • VA:Cr.2.1.4a: Explore and invent art-making techniques and approaches.
  • VA:Cr.2.2.4a: When making works of art, utilize and care for materials, tools, and equipment in a manner that prevents danger to oneself and others.
  • VA:Re.7.1.4a: Compare responses to a work of art before and after working in similar media.
  • VA:Cr.1.2.4a: Collaboratively set goals and create artwork that is meaningful and has purpose to the makers.

Montana Standards:

  • Anchor Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Apply research to art-making for the purpose of communicating about constructed environments.
  • Anchor Standard #7: Perceive and analyze artistic work. compare components of visual imagery.


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