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Swiss-Canadian painter Chantelle Dinkel Walks her Talk as Painter & Adventurer on Gettysburg’s Battlefields

Chantelle Dinkel, Fog

I mostly tend to wear historical clothing in my daily life, though not as a reenactment or historically correct for any specific time period, it’s just my sense of style.
— Chantelle Dinkel, NPAF Artist in Residence
GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, September 16, 2016 / -- Coming across her in the dusk at Gettysburg National Military Park, visitors might take her for some sort of ghost. But Chantelle Dinkel is more interested in subverting and playing with clichés associated with femininity and particularly with ‘the lady painter’. Dinkel has a quite unusual background, having been raised in both Switzerland and Canada, she has travelled the world too. “Once I brought medication to Doctors Without Borders, deep in the Rupununi jungles in British Guyana. While I was there I also went fishing and caught a piranha and ate it for dinner,” she recalls. As an artist, Dinkel combines the forlorn and windblown 19th-century ambience of Caspar David Friedrich with the curious adventurer’s spirit of professional madman Werner Herzog, by hiking, often long distances, in period clothing to find subjects for her paintings. She will be doing more of that during her artist residency at Gettysburg National Military Park this month.

As Gettysburg’s September/October Artist-in-Residence Dinkel will be featured during Gettysburg’s “First Friday” on October 7th at the historic Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station, and present workshops about techniques she uses and her adventures as a painter in unusual environments. Throughout 2016, the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), through the generous support of The Gettysburg Foundation, and with the cooperation of Gettysburg National Military Park is bringing innovative artists to the nation’s premier battlefield park to work and interact with visitors.

Though she has a decade’s worth of experience as a re-enactor of the Cultures of the Vikings and Alemanni (the deadly perennial foes of the Roman Empire) Dinkel doesn’t paint as a re-enactor, nor as a performance — though there are naturally performance elements in her work. Her life in costume seems more like a passion, than a job. “I mostly tend to wear historical clothing in my daily life, though not as a reenactment or historically correct for any specific time period, it’s just my sense of style. So wearing a 100-year old dress is normal for me to do on adventures. I regularly dress this way in daily life as well as on adventures (such as hiking, snowshoeing, camping) or formal events. I enjoy dressing up, which makes every day a celebration.” This attitude comes more from her artist’s vocation of independence and self-reliance. Unusual in this time of artistic over-professionalization, Dinkel wants to merge her life into her art and see what comes of it.

Dinkel is after certain types of austere beauty not often found in the modern world, and her artistic persona connects her in a mediumistic way to discovery of these channels of the past. Says the artist: “My current interest in art is to paint plein air, mainly sunrises and sunsets. I love the immediacy and mystery of how the colors will unfold from second-to-second — always changing. In addition, I very much enjoy painting historical elements, location, clothing, classical faces. I also enjoy doing studio pieces with the use of gilding with real gold and silver.”

Chantelle Dinkel’s public schedule in Gettysburg is:
Artist: Chantelle Dinkel
Residency Term Begins: 9/15/16
Residency Term Ends: 10/13/16
“First Friday” Main Public Engagement Presentation 10/7/16 
Location: Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station. Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
When meeting the public, Dinkel will discuss her work as an artist and will talk about her experiences painting Plein Air, and her sometimes arduous trekking in costume to capture the unexpected.

To inspire, engage and connect with a new generation of artists and visitors, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation has greatly expanded an “Artist in Residence” program this year, hosting leading artists on the Gettysburg battlefield for month-long residencies from March through November.  A total of eight artists are hosted at the battlefield in 2016. The program was created in cooperation with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation ( and with the Gettysburg Foundation (

“Artists-in-Residence at Gettysburg are helping the National Park Service tell amazing stories that engage new audiences,”  said Ed W. Clark, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park. “These programs inspire people to learn more and help preserve special places throughout the National Park Service.”

Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history.  Information is available at

The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks of the U.S. by creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. This project is supported entirely by donation and generous partnerships. For more information on how you can support the Gettysburg National Military Park Artist in Residence and other NPAF arts programs Nationwide visit or


Cecilia Wainright
National Parks Arts Foundation
505 715 5492
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