James A. Baken
Professor of Art
B.A. Montana State University
M.F.A. University of New Orleans
Phone: (406) 657-1135
Office: Technology Hall 28
A lifelong resident of Montana, James Baken spent the earliest years in the shadows of the Beartooth Mountains developing an aesthetic sympathetic with wilderness and wildlife. Later, while residing in Red Lodge next door to The See ‘Em Alive Zoo, Baken befriended animals and exhibited an extensive "dead animal collection."
Baken excelled in sports at Absarokee High School and joined the Navy during the Vietnam War, becoming a hospital corpsman. University studies in the fine arts, English, education and employment in a mine, wood beam manufacturing plant and psychiatric center helped form a James Baken who builds and paints eclectic works of art. He uses raw objects from the mountains with sometimes antique replicas of European Masters, a direct result of living a primal existence on the land and maintaining a passion for art history.
He produces art with his wife, Christie, and three children (Rebecca, Joseph and Jamison) in the Bitterroot Mountains in western Montana each summer as they spot and report forest fires.
Baken's work has been featured in more than 30 individual exhibitions, as well as dozens of group exhibitions. The winner of several awards and grants, he has served as a curator and juror for other art shows.
He frequently guides students on art study trips in Europe. He has been teaching at Rocky since Fall of 1990.
Art Specialist, Absarokee Public Schools (grades 1-12), 1983-87, Absarokee, Mt. Professor, Rocky Mountain College, 1990-Present, Billings, Mt
Also, numerous commissions, murals and commercial art and teaching projects throughout the states from Alaska to Brazil.
Baken has mounted many exhibitions throughout the states and in Brazil revealing his sympathies for the downtrodden, his visions of hope and showing symbols of charitable giving. Highlight exhibitions include many group shows at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings and one person shows at the Carbon County Arts Guild in Red Lodge, the X-Art Gallery in New Orleans, The H. Earl Clack Museum in Havre and the Rapid Gallery in Bara Mansa, Brazil.