Vesterheim Folk Art School is happy to welcome two new program coordinators! Josh Torkelson started at Vesterheim last spring to help launch the new digital learning initiatives and has been invaluable to these programs. Josh is now excited to gradually switch over to onsite learning as we make plans for reopening onsite programs later in 2021. But digital learning will continue, so we’ve brought in Andrew Ellingsen to assist Josh and Director of Folk Art Education Lea Lovelace in keeping those programs running. This great new team is both skilled and enthusiastic! We hope you join us and meet our completed Folk Art School team online soon!

Folk Art Education Program Coordinator:
Onsite Learning and Engagement

Josh Torkelson comes to Vesterheim from Tomahawk Scout Camp in Northern Wisconsin, where he worked for the last nine summers and was the program director for some of that time. He has also been working at the American Swedish Institute as a Handcraft Instructor and Visitor Services Associate. Josh studied Studio Art & Art History at St. Olaf College and is a practicing sculptor. As a handcraft instructor, Josh primarily teaches woodcarving and green woodworking, as well as some basketry classes. He has taught extensively throughout
Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is an avid gravel biker, aspiring banjo player, and sci-fi/fantasy geek.

Josh is passionate about craft education, cultivating community, and reconnecting with ancestral knowledge. He is excited to bring his skills and ideas to Vesterheim’s team and to continue expanding access to Nordic folk art and connecting with new audiences and communities.

Josh Torkelson

Folk Art Education Coordinator:
Digital Learning and Outreach

Andrew Ellingsen comes to Vesterheim from the Decorah Community School District, where he taught elementary music and worked as an Instructional Coach. Andrew has degrees in music education from Luther College and the University of St. Thomas, and has worked as a teacher educator in courses at Southern Methodist University, the University of Memphis, and the University of St. Thomas. In addition to his work with learners of all ages, Ellingsen manages and hosts the C&C Trivia weekly online trivia competition with his husband Eric and is passionate about making Sámi bracelets.

Andrew is excited to join Vesterheim Folk Art School! He is looking forward to developing new and innovative programs, helping instructors to learn effective and efficient use of technology in teaching, and connecting new audiences with Vesterheim.

Andrew Ellingsen