The Throne of Gods

A Wet Plate Collodion Collaboration in Bismarck, North Dakota

July 20th, 2019



"The Throne of Gods", aTabeaux Vivant, a wet plate collaboration, July 20th, 2019. This collaboration was inspired by the work "Olympians" by Nicolas-Andre Monsiau (1754-1837).  This wet plate shoot once again addressed an important issue facing us all.  The struggle for power and those who control it.  There are leaders, leaders for the people and then their are dictators.  We should never give in to dictators and their rule.  The depiction that others want to possess the power of the throne is evident in the work that we did.  Forty-five collaborators came together for no other reason than to create this image together.  I want to thank each and every person that contributed to this fabulous adventure. I am so blessed to be on this creative path with all of you.


"Liberty has never come from Government.  Liberty has always come from the subjects of it.  The History of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it." - Woodrow Wilson


Carl Zeiss Tessar 300mm lens, Alessandro Gibellini studio camera, f11, 2 seconds of exposure, 8x10" black glass ambrotype in the historic wet plate process of pure silver on glass.


Synopsis from Wikipedia:

Olympians: In the line behind and from left to right: first Hades, holding his two-forked sceptre, the mother of the gods Rhea 1, and between her and Hera is Hera's peacock. Zeus sits in the middle with the eagle at his feet, holding the thunderbolt in his hand. To his right sits Cronos holding the ouroboros, and standing are Athena and Apollo. Under the latter Artemis, with a half-moon adorning her head, is seen holding her bow. In the first line and from left to right: Dionysus 2 is seen reclining. Ares in armour sits close to Aphrodite who looks at Eros as he comes towards her. In the far right sits Poseidon holding his trident. villenave01017: Drawing by Nicolas-André Monsiau 1754-1837 (Les Métamorphoses d'Ovide, Paris 1806).

More than 45 Norh ND Artist Recreates History,  KFYR, July 20th, 2019

Colorized Scan from Original Wet Plate Scan of "The Throne of Gods" by ColouriseSG







The Throne of Gods via the digital lens of Chad Nodland










Another Wet Plate from our time Together with The Throne

"Those Who Covet the Throne"

with Amber Sams (Medusa), Ben Pace (Pan), Derek Harper (Zeus) and Steve Schirber (Poseidon) ________________________________________________________________________


A Wet Plate Collaboration

July 20th, 2019

Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio

at the North Dakota State Library, Capitol Grounds

Bismarck, North Dakota 

Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio, Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist



Cast:                        Support Staff:

Derek Harper (Zeus)                      Marek Dojs, Director

Steve Schirber (Poseidon)                Michele Oster Renner, Wardrobe

Greyson Balkowitsch (Mercury)            Tom Wirtz, Assistant w/ Camera

Ben Pace(Pan)                            Ivy Brown Jacobson, Hair

Amber Sams (Medusa)                      Jason Lueder, Master Carpenter

Pat Toepke (Cronos)                      Mike LaLonde, Photography

Bonnie Balkowitsch (Metis)               Moira McNichols, Make-up

Abby Balkowitsch (Calliope)              Chad Nodland, Head Photographer  

Michele Oster Renner                     Paul Noot, Painter & Art Direction                  

Sharon Balkowitsch                       Dustin White, Writer & Poet

Gregory Schmidt                          Laine Pope, Medusa Headdress

Mahliya Balkowitsch (Cherub)             Kimberly Reuer, Assistant

Alyvia Balkowitsch (Cherub)              Rissa Williams, Cloud Design

Alex Nelson (Eileithyia)                 Andrea Fagerstrom, Art Consultant

Tricia Romanyshyn                        Laura Barker, Tent and Assistant

John LaLonde                             Marcus Johnson, Photography

Winona Clarice (Artemis)                 Troy Balzer, Photography

Emily Brandt                             Melanie Kuntz Malsam, Make-up    

                                         Phillip Litton, Videographer

                                         Lance Loken, Set Assistant

                                         Chelsy Ciavarella, Videographer

                                         Greg DeSaye, Videographer

                                         Michael Stevenson, Harp & Costumes

                                         Steve Schirber, Blacksmith

                                         Nancy Willis, Reflector & Support




Bismarck Historical Society, Mike LaLonde

State Historical Society of ND, Emily Ergen & Lindsay Schott Meidinger

Capitol Complex Event Coordinator, Ronda Berg

Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative (BDAC), Paul Noot

Image Printing, Inc., Todd Clausnitzer          


"The Throne of Gods"

April 24th, 2019

Seated upon stone steps
At the feet of twelve
Looking to become like gods
Light that is immortal

Partaking in a different sort of nectar
One that binds and holds all together
Captured in the wealth of pasts
As were the coins of argyros

Guarding the gates of knowledge
Preserving history itself
Causing awe to be struck
Through the magic of legend

Transcending pure myths
Creating new realities
Building a new Olympus
With a sheet of glass

By Dustin White


Contact Information:
Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist
Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio
2703 Big Sky Circle
Bismarck, ND 58503
(701)426-7630 Phone

Copyright Note: All referenced photographs, images and logos provided above are for informational purposes only and they are the property of their respective owners.  Chad Nodland, Tom Wirtz, Mike LaLonde and Troy Balzer were photographers kind enough to bring their cameras to Liberty Trudges Through Injustice and provide images as part of the collaboration.