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Great Falls

Mar 16, 2012 8:07 PM by Jen Hollenbach (Great Falls)

Gallery highlights Native American ledger art

The Native Art Gallery & Montana Museum in Great Falls is showcasing a variety of art this week, including a focus on their Ledger Art Exhibit.

Rabbit Knows Gun has been working with the ledger style since a young age, and now is one of seven artists showcasing ledger artwork at the gallery.

Knows Gun explained, "Ledger art is a pictorial history of our people showing how the people lived and their exploits."

The culture-rich expressions vary from colored pencil, charcoal, and water color to create art, and while each piece takes on a life of its own, if you take a closer look, you can see the life that the paper once had: ledgers, or record documents.

Geoff Gorton, the sales manager at the gallery, noted, "This paper was most readily available to Native Americans when they were placed on reservations or in prisons."

As times have changed since the 1800s, other forms of art have been developed and utilized, but ledger art still exists today because it became part of the culture.

Gorton says last year, the gallery housed a small ledger art exhibit with just a few pieces, but knew they wanted to expand this year, explaining, "We really wanted to make people aware of the cultural heritage involved with ledger art."

Twenty pieces are featured in the exhibit, and Gorton says it will continue to be on display even after their show ends.

Gorton says the gallery already has plans to again expand the ledger art exhibit for next year.

The gallery is located on the 1300 block of 4th Avenue North.

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