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WHAT: Honoring Tradition: Finnish and Sami-inspired Textiles
(in conjunction with FinnFest 2008)

WHERE: Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth

WHEN: July 15 – October 5, 2008

This exhibition springs from a rich tradition, still very much alive in our region, of handmade textiles by artisans who honor and are inspired by Finnish and Sami techniques and designs. Gathering together twenty four textile artists from the upper Midwest and Canada, the exhibition allows viewers to compare and contrast 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.


Many of the works in the exhibition 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.


Artists included in the exhibition are:


Margareta Ahlstedt-Willant; Mary Erickson; Paivi Homola; Irene Johnson; Susan Johnson; Laurie Jacobi; Jonelle Kallio; Susan Saari Karasti; Edythe Karlstrand;
Pirkko Karvonen; Karen Kiviluoma; Ruth Koski; Helmi Lammi; Karen Lamppa;
Alli Lehtiharju; Hilma and Laimi Maenpaa; Annikki Marttilla; Wynne Mattila;
Mel Olsen; Kirstu Nyysala; Joyce Seppala; Bill Schaffer; Carol Sperling; and
Mary Wovcha.



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