Event Details

Turtle Soup: Pioneer Paint

March 13, 2020  12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Feed your mind and your belly with Turtle Soup, featuring a history program and a bowl of soup. Turtle Soups in March are themed for Women in History Month. 

This week, Sydney Bitz presents, "Pioneer Paint: The Story of Grace French." 

Grace French (1858-1942) was one of the first female artists to pioneer out West at the onset of various gold rushes throughout the nation. She and her family made their home in what became Rapid City, bringing along her valuable arts and arts education training.

Grace French. Design for Plate, Anemone Patens. Watercolor on Paper.10" x 11."
From Dave and Betty Strain Collection, Minnilusa Historical Association.

Grace French. Pond in the Woods. 34" x 43." Oil on Canvas.
Dahl Arts Center Collection. 

Grace French. Rapid City 1901. Watercolor on Paper. 5" x 7."
From David and Betty Strain Collection, Minnilusa Historical Association.

Grace overcame many obstacles to lead the way in art education and women’s rights in a time of get rich or bust. Living on the Plains and throwing out the standards by which female artists were judged, Grace became so much more than a simple pioneer girl!

Born in Rapid City, Sydney Bitz has had a passion for art ever since she could hold a crayon. Now she’s an award-winning exhibited artist before the age of 21.

This museum holds a special place in Sydney’s heart. She spent many childhood hours here on field trips and on summer days with her father. You may also recognize her from her work over the summer as part of the education team.

Currently studying at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, she will complete her bachelor’s in Art Education with an emphasis in Painting in May of 2021. She is minoring in both Art History and Philosophy. After graduation, she hopes to get her master’s in Painting before teaching a classroom herself.

While at USD, Sydney has been honored to present at the Annual Student History Conference held in Vermillion twice. She has also exhibited work in the Annual Stilwell Student Awards Show, along with smaller exhibitions, most recently being the Bi-Annual Painting Show and “Reflections: Art of New York City.”

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, half-off for members. Call 605-394-6923 to reserve tickets.

For more Turtle Soups, click here.

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The Journey Museum and Learning Center regularly adds new events, exhibits, and features to the expansive museum, covering American history, Black Hills history, and Native American culture.

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The Journey Museum is currently in Winter Hours:

Winter Hours

(October 1st – April 30th)
10 AM – 5 PM Monday through Saturday
1 PM – 5 PM Sundays

Summer Hours

(May 1st – September 30th)
9 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday
11 AM – 5 PM Sundays


All individual admissions are good for two days with receipt.

Museum General Admission:

Adults (ages 18+) $10
Seniors (ages 62+) $8
Students (ages 6 – 17) $7
Children 5 & under FREE with family

Groups (10+ people):

$7 per person

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.

Education Groups (12+ students):

$3 per student (all students 18 and under)
$5 College Students

Chaperones are requested. Special pricing will be extended to adult chaperones.

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.