A couple of years ago, Northern Plains member and Bridger farmer/rancher Tom Tschida found himself getting deeper and deeper into a new hobby, hand-printed letterpress art. He began to acquire numerous presses, typefaces, and tools to create custom art with rustic charm. Along the way, he became acquainted with an experienced Billings-based letterpress artist, Erika Wilson of Windy Mill Press, who has encouraged Tom as a mentor and friend.
Soon enough, Tom and Erika discovered they also shared a passion for using art to engage and inspire action. As one of Northern Plains’ core leaders in our work to protect democracy, Tom suggested that he and Erika collaborate on some limited edition prints to celebrate the Montana Constitution. The artists created a beautiful design laying out the eloquent preamble to the document utilizing a variety of retro typefaces and fonts that remind us of the durable values enshrined within those words.
After that successful project, Erika and Tom created a second design that honors the shared birth year of Northern Plains and the Montana Constitution, celebrating our commitment to protect our “right to a clean and healthful environment since 1972.” The two even created handmade signs for Northern Plains’ rousing We the People rally in the Helena Capitol rotunda that stated our position in the simplest terms, “The Montana Constitution: Don’t Mess With It.”
Tom and Erika have elevated our work through their artistry, and the they have been extremely generous to donate all of their time and materials, including proceeds raised from selling their prints. As of this writing, we have a few of their artworks remaining for purchase.