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Changing Seasons on the Prarie
Kristen Young

Artist’s Bio:

My name is Kristen Marie Young. I was born in St. Paul Minnesota and currently have been living in West Fargo for the past several years with my husband Benjamin Young and children.  I grew up south of town by Hickson North Dakota.   In 2003 I received my Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in painting from MSUM and studied cosmetology at The Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. 


Most of my paintings are a combination of abstraction and realism completed in oil paints. I often enjoy adventuring in nature, photographing my surroundings which I later use as references for my works.  My grandparents Ralph and Lilah Rehder and Harold and Lorraine Lemke had a love of nature and were involved in nature conservation - likely a source for where my own passion derives.    


Currently I am the first artist in residence at the Spirit Room, where I paint  large scale images using oil and beeswax on canvas of photographs that I’ve taken when out  in nature .  Most recently I’ve been photographing the Sheyenne grasslands and various state parks in North Dakota and Minnesota.  Through my paintings I would like to express not only the beauty but the importance of these places. 

Prarie Water.jpg

Seeking Sanctuary

Oil Paint


Prarie Flowers.jpg

Prairie Flowers

Oil Paint



Grassland Cow

Oil Paint


These and many others are available in our gallery.
Please contact
Spirit Room at: or 701-237-0230  for purchase.

Past Exhibitions

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Creative Photo Art by
Gordon Court

Artist’s Statement:

​I enjoy communicating with people, but I’ve found words can get in the way of expressing myself.  I feel that through my art I can communicate more honestly and completely.  I like to experiment with different mediums and materials because it's how I evolve my work.  I also like to be loud in both color and style, because life is too short to be boring.  I love challenging people's concepts of what art should be, their views on different subjects, and their perceptions.  I enjoy injecting a little science into my work occasionally and sometimes my studio is more like a mad scientist’s lab.  I love seeing reactions to my work.  One of my favorite things is to listen in on conversations and comments when people are looking at my work. I don't define myself as a one-medium artist.  Usually for me, working in an abstract style allows me to communicate more clearly.  Maybe it's my way of making sense out of chaos.  

Artist’s Bio:

​I grew up in North Dakota and have always been involved with art in one medium or another.  I left North Dakota in 1989 for the US Navy.  In the Navy I learned that volunteering to do things like painting murals, cartooning for base newspapers, and other art projects got me out of a lot of more tedious duties.  After 10 years of traveling the world, I moved back home to North Dakota.  I received my Bachelor of General Studies degree from Minot State University in Minot, ND in 2016 at 46 years old.  It was during my last semester I decided to pursue art as more than just a hobby.  My art allows me to channel my creativity, process my emotions, and to communicate with others on the most basic level.  I have two incredible children, Grace and Jaimie, who I am very proud of.  I am currently living in Fargo, North Dakota with my amazing wife and muse, Krista. 

Viral Fame Final.jpg

Viral Fame



Tarnished Dreams


These and many others are available in our gallery.
Please contact
Spirit Room at: or 701-237-0230  for purchase.


Shane Balkowitsch
Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective

Artist Statement


Each and every day the world is filled with millions and millions of digital photographs that have no value, character, significance or physical form.  That is not the case with a wet plate.  The wet plate process is magical, and the end result is tangible and precious.   


Digital photography of today relies on technology.  Wet plate photography relies on 160 year old chemistry, a bit of magic, and some luck.  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.  Wet plate photography is one of those processes.  Every time I show someone the wet plate process in person, they are absolutely amazed regarding the ability to get a photograph using some chemicals and pieces of glass that I cut by hand. 


It is my goal to capture as many people as I can in this process.  Friends, family, loved ones or complete strangers, it does not matter.  I want to share with as many people as possible this beloved process that dates back to 1848.  Wet plate photography was such an important medium for expression in the past and I want it to continue to be today.  It has been said that “you do not take a wet plate photograph; it is given to you” and this is so very true. 


Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist

Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio, Bismarck, ND

Wet Plate Photography Explained

Wet plate collodion is one of the earliest forms of photography.  Frederick Scott Archer
has been credited with inventing this historic process back in 1851.  The process
became very popular worldwide, then quickly died off in the 1880's when a more
convenient way of taking photographs was invented.  In recent years there has been a
small revival of the process when a number of contemporary photographers decided to
go back to the roots of photography and embrace the old.  Making a wet plate can be
difficult, timely, costly, unpredictable, and requires a high degree of commitment.   The
images can be captured on glass (ambrotype) or on metal (tin type).  The word
Ambrotype is translated in Ancient Greek as "Immortal Impression".  Digital
photography of today relies on technology, wet plate photography relies on 160 year old chemistry and a bit of magic and some luck. 

A wet plate photographer makes a film base on a piece of glass or metal using
collodion, submerges it in a silver nitrate solution to make it light sensitive, and then
exposes the photograph usually in an old style wood bellows camera box and antique
brass lens from the 1800's.  The process is called wet plate because during the entire process the chemicals on the plates must remain wet and cannot be allowed to dry. 

The end result is a one-of-a-kind, archival object of art that will last many lifetimes. 
There are wet plates of Abraham Lincoln that look just as good today as they did a
century and a half ago.  It is thought that less than 1000 people worldwide carry on the
tradition of wet plate today. Many of those individuals are professional photographers at
the height of their career. 

Revised January 20 th , 2022
By Shane B. Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist, Bismarck, North Dakota

Denver Bryce Spotted Bear 1-28-2023 #4137 (Low Resolution).jpg

Denver Bryce Spotted Bear 1-28-2023


Corey Lee Davis, Jr. 5-20-2022 #4264 (Low Resolution).jpg

Corey Lee Davis, Jr.



Michael Crandall Bissonette 4-22-2022 #4230 (Low Resolution).jpg

Michael Crandall Bissonette 4-22-2022


Prints of these pieces and many more were created by master printer in the Netherlands, Luc Brefeld, and will be available for worldwide shipping during the exhibition. The prints are created using carbon Inkjet process, the finest inkjet process on the planet, and are signed, embossed, stamped and labeled, each selling for $250 each.  The frames are also labeled on the back.
The sale of these prints supports the American Indian College Fund.

Please contact
Spirit Room at: or 701-237-0230  for purchase or 


Shane Balkowitsch at: 

(800)355-2956 USA Toll Free

(701)223-9936 Phone

(701)223-8984 Fax

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