Now that you’ve invested all this time and effort into studying folk art, why not become a folk-art instructor? APPLY to the Vesterheim Folk Art Apprentice Program by September 1, 2019!

Vesterheim Folk Art School has been embracing folk-art traditions and a community of folk-art instructors for over 50 years. Now we encourage you to apply to a special professional development opportunity!

  • Learn from Vesterheim Gold Medalists and experienced teachers.
  • Explore our specialized folk-art collections of over 33,000 objects.
  • Identify what your own teaching style might be to continue to pass along these important folk art traditions.


You are encouraged to apply if you have a passion for Scandinavian folk art, have been studying and exploring one of our folk-art categories represented in the National Norwegian American Folk Art Exhibition (weaving, wood carving, metalworking, knifemaking, or rosemaling), and feel like you are at the proficient level to teach the discipline. Your experience should be noted on the application, including images of your original handcraft.


  • Submit the on-line application as it relates to your professional or education experiences as a folk artist and aspiring instructor.
  • Submit four high-resolution photos representing your best work.
  • Provide two professional references who could speak to your abilities as a folk artist or teacher.

Materials will be reviewed starting September 3, 2019 and we will select and notify as many as six Vesterheim Apprentices for the 2020 year by September 12.


  • We commit to helping you in your journey from artist to instructor by fostering a nurturing environment for you to learn alongside other apprentices, Vesterheim staff, and seasoned instructors.
  • We offer you a creative pedagogical environment including opportunities for one-on-one discussion with experienced instructors in your folk-art discipline, free housing, and a food stipend while you are onsite for a special two-day apprentice-training event for new apprentices.
  • We give you three FREE folk-art classes (which may have a value upwards of $800) during the 2020 season so you can witness different teaching styles, have one-on-one conversations with Vesterheim instructors, and experience the community and facilities of Vesterheim’s Folk Art School.


  • If you are accepted, you must send in a non-refundable $100 deposit within a week to assure your commitment to this professional development opportunity.
  • You must be available for a two-day apprentice-training event Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19.
  • Be ready to travel to Vesterheim! If you are accepted as an apprentice you agree to attend three folk art classes and will receive FREE enrollment for these during the 2020 calendar year.
    • Two classes are of your choice in your specific folk-art category, (i.e. woodcarving, rosemailing, weaving) experiencing the classes through your apprentice lens.
    • One class in a folk-art discipline you haven’t explored in the past, to learn a new tradition and reflect on the instructor’s teaching style as a beginning folk-art student in that art form.
  • Be enthusiastic about carrying forward Norwegian-American folk-art traditions!

If you have further questions, please contact Lea Lovelace, Director of Folk Art Education at