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“Rosemaling-Migration of a Tradition and Reflections on a Journey to the Gold”

October 8, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Livsreise is proud to host local rosemaler, Nancy Odalen in our auditorium for this special presentation!!

Nancy Odalen began studying rosemaling with her first  Vesterheim rosemaling class in 2001.  She has taken and continues to take classes from instructors that have given generously of their time and talents to instruct her in various styles of rosemaling.  Most notably, she has worked with Andrea Herkert, Vesterheim Gold Medalist (VGM) in two apprenticeships through the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB) Folk Art Apprenticeship. The first was in 2013-2014 and the second inn 2018-2019. These apprenticeships offered Nancy the opportunity to focus on Ryfyllke, Agder, Hallingdal and Telemark styles of rosemaling.  The knowledge gained in these two apprenticeships opened the opportunity for her to receive funding through the WAB Folk Art apprenticeship program and then share her knowledge as a Master Instructor with two apprentices.  She then became a Vesterheim Norwegian-American Folk Art School Artist in Residence and will be doing a study of the Vesterheim rosemaling collection! In May 2022, she achieved the Wisconsin State Rosemaling Association Nordic Rose classification and this past July was awarded the Gold in rosemaling at the Vesterheim National Folk Art Exhibition.

Nancy states that she is “drawn to rosemaling because it is a part if my heritage.”  She is a great-granddaughter of a sea captain and a grand daughter of an adventurous sailor who left Stavanger, Norway and sailed around the world one- and- a half times before jumping ship in Australia, then later ended up in the USA.  She is also the granddaughter of a 23 year old woman who traveled to the Midwest from Stavanger alone!

She desires to continue developing her knowledge  and rosemaling skills. She especially enjoys the styles from the west coast of Norway.  These styles are “rather eclectic” (like Ryfylkke)  were developed and later refined towards the middle of the “gilded age (1750-1850) of rosemaling.  Romsdal  is another one of these styles that started finding its voice in the early 1800’s, These styles incorporate motifs and stylistic forms from other districts and helped to create new local and regional styles.   The richness of the colors, in these styles and the use of lights and darks directs the eye to the elements that the artist wants you to see.

Her journey continues as she learns from the old to create pieces that come from her soul. It is her true joy to share her passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge of rosemaling with the public her colleagues and her students.


October 8, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Norwegian Heritage Center
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277 W. Main Street
Stoughton, WI 53589 United States
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(608) 873-7567