In preparation for my big adventure as an Artist-in-Residence in Norway last fall, I studied language tapes and practiced wrapping my mouth around sounds and letters that don't even exist in the English language. I stayed at an artist's workplace called Kunstnarhuset Messen in the beautiful town of Ålvik, a small community on the magnificent Hardanger Fjord in Western Norway. At Messen, a municipally sponsored work space for local and international visiting artists, I had a large studio, good company, and a quiet place to stay.
I painted, hiked, and toured Norway by bus, ferry, and train, visiting art studios in Bergen and Trondheim, and, just for being an artist, getting free entry to art Museums everywhere I went. At the Hardanger Folkemuseum, just a short ferry ride over the Fjord, I spent days learning about traditional Norwegian culture. I was even lucky enough to attend the Cured Sheep's Head Festival in Voss! Most importantly, I had time to work, think, and reflect.
I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. Mange takk (many thanks) to the good people at Messen and my new friends in Ålvik, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council for help with my ticket to Norway, and to my local language coach and traveling companion, Mr. Bart Watson, who first introduced me to the sounds of the Hardanger fiddle and Norwegian language and folklore.
You are invited to the Franklin Street Gallery at the Baranof Hotel on February 1st, from 4:30 to 7:00, for the opening reception for "Snakker du Norsk?: Three Months of Painting in Norway". Thanks again for your support! Har de bra (have it good)!