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Leather art exhibit kicks off a year of art at the Interpretive Center

Posted on 2/3/2016

Carving Leather
Washburn, N.D.-An art exhibit titled "Carving Leather: The Art of Chip Liebel" opens Saturday, February 6 at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn. The exhibit of over thirty pieces runs through July 5.

Liebel's artworks are carved and sculpted from leather, then air-brushed. The results are bas relief wall art that in many cases are barely recognizable as leather at all. Liebel, co-owner of the Interstate Western Works west of Mandan, has been a professional saddle maker and leather artist for over thirty years. She has a degree in commercial art and has studied fine art and saddle making, including with artists from Germany, Australia, Europe, and the United States. She has won "best of class," "best of division," and "best of show" awards at numerous fine art shows, including the International Leather Guild show.

Each work in the Carving Leather exhibit is available for sale, with purchasers taking delivery after July 5.

On April 2 at 3 p.m., the Center will also host a Quick Draw event and reception in which Chip will demonstrate her leather carving and airbrushing skills. The resulting artworks will be offered on silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Center.

"By applying the skills of a saddle maker to fine art, Chip offers a unique take on the West and the Upper Great Plains," according to Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center interpretive coordinator Robert Hanna. The exhibit is part of an ongoing series at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center illustrating the unique art of the Upper Great Plains. Other exhibits this year will feature the 1844 lithographs after George Catlin, the wet plate photographs of Shane Balkowitsch, and the oil paintings of Vern Erickson. All are co-sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation.

Admission is included in the normal entry fee to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center: $7.50 for adults, $5 for adults with a North Dakota Parks and Recreation vehicle pass, and free for members of the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation. All students receive free admission as well thanks to a grant from the MDU Resources Foundation.

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