Courtesy of The Nordic Heritage Museum
Crafts are in the spotlight at the Nordic Heritage Museum as two new exhibitions open celebrating weaving and ceramics. Picture left is Margaret Turner's Return Thru the Salish Sea tapestry. And right isLarry Halvorsen's Ribbed Viking Bowl.

Two new exhibitions open at the Nordic Heritage Museum

Crafts are in the spotlight at the Nordic Heritage Museum as two new exhibitions open celebrating weaving and Nordic-American ceramics.

Titled "Celebrating 75 Years of the Seattle Weavers’ Guild", one of the new exhibitions commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Seattle Weavers’ Guild and its rich variety of Nordic weaving techniques and continuing traditions.

The exhibition features work by over 30 members of the Seattle Weavers’ Guild, including pieces created by members during studies in the Nordic countries, as well as recent pieces that showcase distinctive Nordic techniques such as the long-pile rya, ribbed Swedish ripsmatta, and Norwegian krokbragd, among others.

A hands-on area will allow visitors to try simple weaving techniques. The exhibition stands as a testimony to the impacts of modern technology in textile art, and the relevance of traditional textile arts in contemporary life.

“I’m excited about this exhibition because it features works by women who have chosen to communicate their personal and collective experience of heritage through the art and craft of weaving” said Dr. Lizette Gradén, the Nordic Heritage Museum’s new Chief Curator. “Though these textiles are created by individuals, they embody a universal message that speaks to the influence of Nordic heritage on both individuals and their communities.”

The origins of the Seattle Weavers’ Guild can be traced back to the influential Swedish immigrant weaver Margaret Bergman who lived in Poulsbo, Washington: it was some of her students who started the guild in 1937. The mission of the twenty-three original members–to further interest and knowledge of hand weaving in its membership and the broader public–is continued today by a membership of over 300.

Weaving demonstrations will take place at the Museum on Saturdays during the exhibition.

Here and There: Contemporary Nordic-American Ceramics

The second exhibition opening on March 9, is titled "Here and There: Contemporary Nordic-American Ceramics", and coincides with the upcoming Annual Conference of National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) held in Seattle this spring.

The exhibition features 11 acclaimed local and national ceramic artists, exploring themes of place heritage, Nordic design, craft, technique, and traditions.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the community-wide celebration sparked by the significant gathering of ceramics artists and educators who will be attending the NCECA conference,” said the Museum's CEO Eric Nelson. “The works on display at the Museum are by artists who are exploring their Nordic identity in ways that will intrigue and delight those who visit the exhibition.”

Artists include Diane Baxter, Patsy Thola Chamberlain, Gina Freuen, Larry Halvorsen, Jeanette Harris, Lars Husby, Lena Lönnberg-Hickling, Kicki Masthem, Anders Ruhwald, Susan Stewart, and Lars Westby.

Museum members, media, and invited guests are welcome to attend a preview reception on Thursday, March 8, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

For more information, and to view a schedule of the Saturday weaving demonstrations, visit www.nordicmuseum.org or phone (206) 789-5707.

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