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Local artists make art out of bison dung

Local artists make art out of bison dung

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - Blackfoot natives Daniel Hidalgo and Victor Bruha have a passion for illustrating local wildlife.

"The artwork that we do reflects our area very well. It's our local wildlife, it's the local scenery," said Hidalgo.

But it's the duo's canvas of choice that's raising eyebrows: paper made from bison dung.

"The pieces of dung are boiled and then ground down into a very fine pulp in a soup," said Bruha.

After mixing the mixture with recycled paper to lighten the color, they can then dip a screen in to get the final paper product.

"Once you run that screen through that soup and you let all that water drain through, we can take that material off of the screen, and press it and let it dry," said Bruha.

Bruha said the dung has been completely sanitized.

"The boiling process kills all the bug, bacteria, any funguses, molds that might be in there," Bruha said.

Opening night at their Blackfoot exhibit Saturday drew a lot of attention.

"We're not aficionados of going to all these art shows and things like that, but this seemed to be really unique when they were talking about how they make the paper," said Bob Carpenter, of Pocatello.

"I think there's kind of a sick and twisted fascination with the feces, the fact that we're doing something out of buffalo dung," said Hidalgo.

The exhibit is on display until May 1 at the AKI Gallery in Blackfoot.

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