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Artists And COVID-19: Rachel Butzin
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Art projects and craft work have been helping many people cope during the pandemic. Kids are no exception. An art teacher from St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain is making free coloring pages to keep kids entertained.

The pages feature popular characters from T.V. and video games with a cultural twist. Rachel Butzin thought them up.

“I like to draw silly stuff all the time with the kids. One day I was like really super down and so I wanted to draw something that the kids would’ve suggested for me to draw. And so I started drawing pictures from The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda doing different Native stuff like canoeing or Baby Yoda in a cradle board, and Super Mario and Yoshi all powwow style and I was just having fun.”

She shared the coloring pages virtually and encourages families to print them off for free and share their finished works. Organizers from several tribes include them in COVID-19 care packages.

Butzin is also working on several digital animation projects for bilingual books and even a music video.

“Because of COVID they couldn't film the video so she reached out to me. That was like a different project than anything I’d got to do before.”

She’s noticed an uptick in artist collaboration projects like these since the pandemic. Butzin has taken on this extra artwork while finishing out the school year, taking care of her family and earning her masters in education online.

“Yeah, I just don’t sleep.”

And she recently started getting back into beadwork.

“It’s like a challenge to myself to make something better than whatever I did last time so I lose track of time because I just really get into it.”

Butzin’s coloring pages and other work is available through her online shop, My Little Native.