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Fourth-graders record impressions as lithographs

Posted on 4/6/2015

By Lauren Donovan, The Bismarck Tribune

North Dakota is a different place to a Native American child with a long, rich history than it is to one who showed up last week so his or her dad could work in the Bakken oil field.

Those two singular impressions are among 250 in an exhibit that will open at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn daily through June 21.

All are the work of fourth-graders from 14 schools scattered primarily through the Bakken region and the result is a "really fascinating collection" of images, says Rob Hanna, interpretive coordinator.

The project, "imPRESSions: North Dakota through the Eyes of Its Children," had the students transferring their drawings to lithographic plates to create inked images, a very old-school style of reproduction. The images were collected between January and March.

Hanna says the idea of having children use lithography is linked to the center's collection of lithographs of the work of artist and explorer George Catlin.

Catlin's paintings of Plains Indians in the Missouri River earthlodge villages were made into lithographs in 1844 and became the first images ever seen of what is now North Dakota, Hanna said.

The interpretive center's collection of 25 Catlin lithographs was also put on display as an addition to the children's work, Hanna said.

The "imPRESSions" lithographs will remain in the center's archives as a permanent record of what kids thought about North Dakota in 2015, he said.

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