Cooperative of Photography

Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective


Photo: Balkowitsch

Shane Balkowitsch is an ambrotypist photographer from Bismarck, North Dakota. He is self-taught, and considers himself more of an “image-maker.” In 2016, with the assistance of the Historical Society of North Dakota, Shane started his series titled, “Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective.”

Initially, Shane contacted Ernie LaPointe, the great-grandson of Sitting Bull. He started by making 50, 8x10 black glass ambrotypes of the local Native American community, in North Dakota. The first exhibition for the series (145 plates) was in November 2017, at the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association (BAGA). Shane says that the series will take him 20 years to complete, with a total of 1000 plates.

In 2018, Calvin Grinnell “Running Elk,” historian for the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, held a ceremony naming Shane, “Shadow Catcher.”

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Follow Shane on his Facebook or check out his website. Click here for more information about the project.

To purchase the book, click here.


Aiyana Rayne Burnstick 11-8-2019

Albert Richard Little Owl III 12-13-2019

Herbert Dale Fineday, Jr. 1-3-2020

Jagger Mamaajii Ripley-Jaakola 11-22-2019

Jayce Wallace Archambault 1-10-2020

Larry Allen Yazzie 12-20-2019

Larry Allen Yazzie 12-20-2019

Red Feather Raven Heart 12-6-2019

Samuel Louis Seaboy 11-8-2019

Veronica Lynn Skinaway 1-3-2020

Written by Rowynn Dumont

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