UMD's Tweed Museum of Art presents an exhibition, “Honoring Tradition: Finnish and Sami-inspired Textiles,” just in time for the arrival of thousands of Finns to Duluth.
Visitors will experience textile art that springs from a rich tradition, still very much alive today, of handmade textiles by artisans who honor and are inspired by Finnish and Sami techniques and designs. Gathering together 17 textile artists from the upper Midwest and Canada, the exhibition compares and contrasts woven rugs, wall hangings, felted works, lace, and clothing design. Each work was selected for elegance of design as well as adherence to traditional forms and techniques, underscoring the importance of simplicity, clear design, and high levels of craft found in Scandinavian design.
Contemporary artists included in the exhibition are: Mary Erickson (Mt. Iron, MN); Paivi Homola (Eveleth, MN); Delores Johnson, lent by Gerry Kangas; Irene Johnson (Ely, MN); Susan Johnson (Viroqua, WI); Laurie Jacobi (Minneapolis, MN); Susan Saari Karasti (Ely, MN), lent by Aurora Public Library; Edythe Karlstrand (Eveleth, MN); Pirkko Karvonen (Edmonton, Alberta); Karen Kiviluoma (Makinen, MN); Ruth Koski (MN); Karen Lamppa (Britt, MN); Annika Martilla (Frederick, SD); Wynne Mattila (Minneapolis, MN); Joyce Seppala (Thunder Bay, Ontario); Carol Sperling (Eveleth, MN); and Mary Wovcha (Duluth, MN).
Many of the works are variants on traditional functional textiles made centuries ago by Finnish and Sami people. Ryijy rugs, for example, are now viewed as decorative wall hangings, but were once used as protective blankets for fishermen who slept overnight in their boats. Contemporary raanu weavings are wall hung artworks which usually interpret aspects of nature and the seasons, but they had their start as coverings on the traditional tent-like dwellings of the Sami (native Finnish) people.
A loom, on loan from the Carlton County Historical Society, is included in the exhibition. The Finnish rug loom was built in the 1890s by Mike Niemala. Textiles by Finnish artisans are on loan from local collections, including lace from Rauma, Finland’s lace-making district, a rose-design Ryijy rug, and a runner from Finland’s Karelian region, among others. The exhibition is organized by Marlene Wisuri, author and historian, co-curated with Mary Erickson, textile artist and member of the Range Fiber Arts Guild, and Peter Spooner of the Tweed Museum of Art.
Tweed Museum of Art Special Events: A Gallery Hop reception
will be held from 3 - 6 pm on both Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July
25 at the Tweed. The Gallery Hop is a progressive reception at all Duluth
art venues featuring FinnFest exhibitions. A reception and gallery talk
will be presented by Mary Erickson from 2 - 4 pm on Saturday, July 26
at the Tweed. Erickson will also give a loom demonstration. The exhibit
runs from July 15, 2008 – September 1, 2008.
Tweed Museum of Art, 1201 Ordean Court, Duluth
Free admission. Hours: Tue.- Thur 9 - am - 6 pm, Fri 9 am - 5 pm, Sat 1 - 5 pm, Sun 1 - 5 pm.
FinnFest 2008, themed “Sharing the Spirit of Finland,” will run July 23-27, 2008, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) and other locations around town -- including some at UMD. It’s the first FinnFest in Duluth since 1992, when UMD hosted the festival.
Tara Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland
Maestro Osmo Vänskä & the Minnesota
Fashion Show and Luncheon at UMD
Tori (Market Place)
AND MORE: over 300 lectures, dances, concerts, art, tours, exhibitions, Finnish food, reindeer, films, music, bird-watching with a Finn, and more!
General festival information is available at www.finnfest2008.com
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