Skip to main content

Understanding women’s history through art

Angie Christiansen working on artistic drawings for the Her Vote. Her Voice. women’s history initiative.

Women everywhere have left their mark on each of our personal histories. They’ve inspired, encouraged, paved the way forward, and it’s time we know their names and their stories. As part of Women’s History Month celebrations, artists Angie Christiansen and Grace Clark will share stories of the 20 suffragists brought to life by their artwork for the Her Vote. Her Voice. women’s history project. The free event, “History, Art, and Hidden Stories” will be held March 2, at 6:30 p.m. CST at the Madison Public Library.

To commemorate the centennial of women achieving the right to vote, Christiansen volunteered more than 750 hours over a period of seven months, as well as her significant artistic talent, to create 14 images celebrating the early South Dakota suffragist. Additionally, she mentored high school art student, Grace Clark, who created another six pieces. The 20 drawings feature leaders (19 women and one man) who helped women receive the right to vote. Fourteen are South Dakotans and six are national figures.

Now, through a generous grant from Arts Midwest, Christiansen will be working to add another 10 drawings to the collection, which will be distributed to fourth grade classrooms in South Dakota, to help history come alive for students. The artwork, created with colored pencils, will be printed similar to flashcards. Like the students who will be using the cards, Christiansen also had to do her homework. She spent two months researching the leaders she would be drawing.

Two historians – Kelly Kirk from Black Hills State University and Liz Almlie from the South Dakota State Historical Society – compiled the historical facts for the back of the cards and worked with Christiansen to ensure the buildings, clothes, and other details in the drawings were historically accurate. The front of the card features Christiansen’s artwork. Katherine Althoff from Hey K Designs pulled together the artwork and historical facts to create the interactive educational cards for users to learn more about how women made an impact on our history.

While mentoring Grace, Christiansen was reminded of the adage, “When you do something great, bring someone along with you.” That philosophy ties beautifully into the women’s suffrage movement, and Christiansen’s work certainly follows in those footsteps, teaching a whole generation of South Dakota students about some incredible figures from our past.

Christiansen is a community relations specialist with NorthWestern Energy. Join us for a fun, educational evening of history, art, and hidden stories of the chosen 20. The women’s history initiative is supported by the education and advocacy partners of Her Vote. Her Voice: Arts Midwest, First Premier Bank | Premier Bankcard, Lawrence & Schiller, BankWest, and NorthWestern Energy.

Who:               Artist, Angie Christiansen

                        Artist, Grace Clark

What:              History, Art, and Hidden Stories

Celebrating Women’s History Month

When:             Thursday, March 2, 2023 @ 6:30 pm

Where:           Madison Public Library, 209 Center St E, Madison, SD

Admission:    Free event. Light refreshments provided.

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from The South Dakota Arts Council.

About Her Vote. Her Voice.
Her Vote. Her Voice. is a grassroots movement of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation and the office of Governor Kristi Noem. Governor Noem appointed a group of 16 delegates to celebrate, commemorate, and educate the public about the work of early suffragists and women’s contributions to the history of South Dakota. It is a project of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation. For more information go to or call 605-773-6003.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. For questions or memberships, call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and serves as the fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The foundation assists in securing funds to collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and interpret history for the lifelong education and enrichment of present and future generations. For more information go to or call 605-773-6003.