Please join us at the Spirit Room in Gallery I for the opening reception of Shane Balkowitsch’s “Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective,” presents a selection from Balkowitsch’s photographic project which aims to capture 1000 wet plate portraits of Native Americans over four volumes. Following in the footsteps of Edward S. Curtis and Orlando Scott Goff, Balkowitsch pays homage to his home state and its Native American heritage and culture. His photographs highlight the dignity of his subjects, depicting them not as archetypes, but individuals of contemporary identities with historical legacies.
Self proclaimed image maker, Shane Balkowitsch was inspired by wet plate photography in 2012. Enamored by the image, with no professional training, Shane ventured into research, eventually constructing a makeshift studio and wood box camera. His first subject was his brother Chad, and he has since made it his mission to photograph as many people as he can, immortalizing them in silver on glass. As of January 2021, he has made over 3800 wet plates and has original black glass ambrotypes in 35 museums and archives around the world.
Shane began his series “Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective,” in 2016 with the assistance of the Historical Society of North Dakota.
The series is projected to take him 20 years to finalize at the present rate.
“Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective” is made possible through funding in part by North Dakota Council on the Arts and the Arts Partnership.
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