Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce - Event Information

Event Name:Contemporary Folk Art Exhibition
Event Type(s):Community Event
Art Performances & Education Calendar
Description:What’s happening today in the world of Norwegian-inspired folk art? Find out at “The National Norwegian-American Folk Art Exhibition,” a judged show open at Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, from June 21 through July 27.

This annual exhibition celebrates the past, present, and future of folk art by encouraging and inspiring emerging and established folk artists to develop their craft. It features woodworking, knifemaking, metalwork, rosemaling, and weaving, and includes stories from the artists about their pieces–the craft and inspiration behind the artwork.

The exhibition is sponsored by Decorah Bank & Trust, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

“The mission of Vesterheim’s Folk Art School is to embrace, nurture, and carry forward these strong folk-art traditions, so it is wonderful to see over 160 diverse entries by both returning and first time artists from across the country!” Lea Lovelace, Vesterheim’s Director of Folk Art Education, said.

As part of the exhibition, artists compete for ribbons. Judges award Blue, Red, and White Ribbons representing points that accumulate over successive exhibitions toward a Vesterheim Gold Medal. Judges also present Honorable Mention Awards and Best of Show Awards. Visitors vote for People’s Choice Awards. Ribbons are placed next to winning entries on July 25, opening day of Decorah’s Nordic Fest celebration.

 Artists may choose to offer their pieces for sale by silent auction. Bidding begins on July 25 at 9:00 a.m. and ends on July 27 at 4:00 p.m. Bids must be placed in person. Please visit the exhibition for more information on bidding. There will be free admission all day on July 4 for Free First Thursday, and on July 25, opening day of Nordic Fest.

Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, in scenic Decorah, Iowa, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience. This national treasure includes world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings. It is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in folk art every year. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.
Event Date:6/21/2019 - 7/27/2019
Event Time:9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location:Vesterheim - Westby-Torgerson Education Center
502 W Water Street
Decorah, IA 52101

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Vesterheim Folk Art Exhibit