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Northern Plains National Heritage Suite traveling art exhibit opens at Lewis & Clark Center

Posted on 3/20/2017

Northern Plains National Heritage Area Suite
Traveling Art Exhibit Opens at Lewis & Clark Center

A collection of eight expressionist paintings by Minot artist Walter Piehl opens at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn Saturday, March 25. The pieces were commissioned by the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, working in collaboration with the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation.

Piehl's paintings reflect the cultural heritage of the region, using paint and montage to depict various themes, from the Native Peoples to Lewis and Clark to Pioneers to Custer and Sitting Bull.

Also included in the exhibit are complementary works by regional artists, including Vern Erickson and Butch Thunderhawk of Bismarck; Linda Whitney and Max Patzner of Minot and Monte Yellow Bird Sr. of Colorado.

The exhibit is funded by a $40,000 grant from the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation, matched by the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation through a gift from Alvera Bergquist, Bismarck.  The display will remain at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center through December before traveling to other venues throughout the region.

"The Northern Plains National Heritage Area art suite reflects local heritage and history that proved formative in the development of the United States. Each piece is connected with the public sites and locations along the free-flowing section of the Missouri River in the five North Dakota counties of Burleigh, McLean, Mercer, Morton and Oliver," says Aaron Barth, Executive Director of the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation.

"My overriding intention was to make interesting stand-alone art works. I was also challenged and intrigued by the opportunity to educate and hopefully enrich the viewer by comparing and contrasting the more conventional styles other artists and photographers of the era used to deal with these major themes and my own expressionistic style," says Piehl.

The Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays beginning April 2. Coffee and cookies will be served Saturday, March 25 during the exhibit opening day. The Interpretive Center is located at the intersection of US Highway 83 and ND 200A at Washburn.

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