Boreal Ornament V

June 29-September 22, 2024

We are thrilled to present Boreal Ornament V, an exhibit of artwork by Tara Austin. This exhibit features rosemaling with a contemporary painting focus, highlighting the beauty and techniques of this Norwegian decorative tradition infused in a modern narrative.

Tara’s work is part of a revival of rosemaling in the Upper Midwest, which builds on traditions while giving each piece contemporary reworkings for future generations. In 2014 Tara took her first rosemaling class at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Since then, she completed a yearlong Rosemaling Apprenticeship with Vesterheim Gold Medalist Andrea Herkert, focusing on Telemark and Gudbrandsdal styles. In 2020 she received a Scandinavian Folk Arts and Cultural Traditions Grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation. Tara received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and loves plants, painting, and her home on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Austin’s company, Scandi Bijou, provides painted heirlooms for the modern lifestyle, including Dala horses and rosemaling d├ęcor.

Tara said, “My upbringing in Northern Minnesota instilled an appreciation of botany and a keen observation of patterns in the natural environment. Reflecting on my experiences in the Midwest, South America, and Europe, I seek to communicate a form of natural beauty. I incorporate techniques from scenic painting and faux finishing, the folk art of Norwegian rosemaling, and reverse painting on glass. Observing these customary processes became a way for me to develop a personal aesthetic based on the necessity of good craftsmanship. Their established authority of geometry, harmony, and beauty speaks vibrantly.”

Check back for information about a gallery talk with Tara in August.

Tara will be teaching at Vesterheim in 2024! Register for her classes at the links below.

Rosemaling Boreal Plants from Scandinavia, August 8-9
Paint Your Own Dala Horse, August 10, 2024
Gudbrandsdal Style Rosemaling, August 12-14, 2024

This exhibit was made possible by a generous gift to the Vesterheim Annual Fund by Tina Keune in memory of Russell Keune.