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Black Pinto Horse Fine Arts
Ledger Art, Making my Mark...
Accomplishment by Black Pinto Horse
Native Peoples Magazine, September / October 2011 Issue
Native Peoples September-October 2011 - September-October 2011

Ledger Art: Looking Between the Lines
pg. 30-35
Ledger Art: Looking Between the Lines 
A brief history of this engaging art medium, profiles of five prominent artists and brief notes on another 16 in the field, Black Pinto Horse included.    

"Monte Yellow Bird Sr, also known as Black Pinto Horse- As well as ledger artist, he is a passionate educator, providing workshops, especially for children and young people."             - GUSSIE FAUNTLEROY
"We have been working on our Ledger Art this week. It is so exciting to see the student’s ideas come together in such a meaningful way. I enjoy working with you both and always learn so much. I had the opportunity to speak at the board meeting last week about your visit. They were really thrilled to see the students work and hear about what they are learning."  -Art teacher, 5-8 grades

Age Appropriate
Project Time
Grades 5-12, collegiate, community organizations as well teacher and corporate training
4- 5 hours
What is Ledger Art?
As the herds of buffalo dwindled and the First Nation people were forced onto reservations, ledger paper was one of the few materials accessible for drawing.  Around the mid- 1800's a new style of art evolved that was a more individual account to the person's accomplishments- ledger art.  Also referred to as Warrior Art, the warrior’s felt inspired to record their great feats; traditionally they used colored pencils and crayons to tell their story.
Ledger Art in a nut shell

The Ledger Art project is an evolved version of the winter counts which were historic depictions that held oral translation of the history of the people or tribe.  Around the 1860's a new style of art evolved that was a more individual account to the warriors' accomplishments. 

Given a piece of ledger paper and pencils, students begin making a list of the credible parts of their lives, putting a value on these items using dollars and cents.  Within the second part of the project, students will use colored pencils and thin markers, to draw symbolic images and pictures that represent one great feat on top of their itemized lists, using color representation to strengthen their personal accounts.

click here for more details.

What are your learning objectives for students and/or community members in the residency?  (What do you want them to know and be able to do at the end of the residency?)

* Students will understand the origin of ledger art and its significance to the warrior
* Students will be able to identify examples of historic ledger art
* Students will be able to list the colors and their meanings
Students will be able to create a drawing with colored pencils that is a demonstration of their one great accomplishment using the elements of composition and color theory
* Students will be able to compare and contrast representational and non representational art
* Students will have a clear understanding of petroglyphs and pictographs

How will you assess whether the students/community members learned what you wanted them to know and be able to do?

They will demonstrate their understanding by creating ledger art that lists things that they value along with at least 3-4 images, 5 colors and 2 symbols that demonstrate one great accomplishment. Their ledger art will be well composed, utilizing both negative and positive space.  They will present their ledger art to the class, sharing the interpretation of the colors, symbols and composition that represent their great accomplishment.  When asked, they will be able to identify whether their objects are representational or non-representational during the presentation of their shield.  Students will follow up with a written interpretation of the meaning of their ledger art and attach it to the back.

"Using colored pencils, I translate a First Nation story, complimenting the subject of the ledger and its time period.  When finished, I am able to use them as educational tools, discussing their historical and aesthetic relevance with collectors, museums, schools and communities."  - Black Pinto Horse
To receive a packet of information or schedule your fine art program with Monte and Emily Yellow Bird, please email Emily @










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