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BSC alumnus gifts historical portrait to library

Published: Apr 04 2022
Artist and Bismarck State College alumnus Shane Balkowitsch has gifted the college a wet plate portrait titled “Standing for Us All” of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. Balkowitsch will present the portrait for hanging in BSC LEA Hall on Wednesday, April 6 at 12 p.m.

Balkowitsch, a nationally known, self-taught artist, specializes in a form of glass plate photography that dates back more than 150 years. His art is displayed in places ranging from the Smithsonian Institution to the Library of Congress ot the Swedish History Museum.

“The wet plate process is magical, and the end result is tangible and precious,” Balkowitsch said. “I think it is very important that as technology moves forward, we embrace and continue to celebrate and not forget important processes from the past.”

Balkowitsch made two original plates of the Thunberg portrait. One is archived at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the other at the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. He has also gifted BSC two other wet plate portraits to the college – one of current BSC President Doug Jensen in 2021, and one of former BSC President Larry Skogen in 2020.

Balkowitsch, a 1998 BSC graduate and 2016 BSC Rising Star Award recipient, will attend the unveiling at the BSC Library during National Library Week, April 3-9. This year's theme is "Connect with Your Library."