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Nancy Odalen

Vesterheim instructor Nancy Odalen

Rosemaling is part of Nancy’s heritage. Nancy is the granddaughter of an adventurous sailor who sailed around the world one and a half times before jumping ship in Australia. Also, her grandmother traveled to the United States, by herself, at the age of 23. Nancy’s rosemaling echos the colors of the west coast of Norway, and the movement of her rosemaling mirrors her families’ traditions and adventures.

Nancy’s journey in the study of rosemaling began with her first Vesterheim rosemaling class in 2001. She has taken classes from instructors that have given generously of their time and talents. 

She is humbled to have received a Gold Medal in 2022 after earning ribbons on five pieces, including one Best in Show at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Folk Art Exhibition. Nancy has received grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board as a Master Artist to two apprentices, one in 2020-21 and the other in 2022-23. She is also a recipient of one of the 2022-23 Folk Artist Residency grant from Vesterheim. 

Her journey continues as she learns from the old and create designs that come from her soul. It is Nancy’s true joy to share her passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge of rosemaling with others.