Leading with the Heart: Nordic, Sami, and Ojibwe Designs From Nature

August 31, 2024 to April 13, 2025

It is our hope that this exhibition encourages your own artistic curiosity. We aim to lead with our hearts to promote inclusiveness, artistic creativity, and a greater understanding of our shared humanity.  – Wendy Savage and Alison Aune

Ojibwe, Sámi, and Nordic artisans have always decorated domestic objects and ceremonial clothing with sacred patterns. Traditional arctic designs, woodland and garden flowers, vines, leaves, and berries symbolize a spiritual relationship with nature. Today, artists featured in this exhibition are preserving, reinterpreting, and revitalizing cultural patterns. They are exploring and honoring their cultural roots and ancestral traditions through art.  

The exhibition, first shown at the Nordic Center in Duluth, Minnesota, is curated by Wendy Savage (Duluth, Minnesota) and Alison Aune (Duluth, Minnesota). Participating artists are Alison Aune, Chi Ma’iingan (Cloquet, Minnesota), Laurel Sanders (Duluth, Minnesota), Wendy Savage, Dr. Lisa Savage (Binghamton, New York), and Marlene Wisuri (Duluth, Minnesota). 

This exhibit is made possible by a generous gift to the Vesterheim Annual Fund in loving memory of Floy Anderson Sauey by her daughters.