I’m not an artist, so I greatly admire those who have the ability to create. Working at Vesterheim Museum, I’m surrounded by art, artists, and artistry every day! I can see folk art and be inspired by it to my heart’s content, but I can’t take it home. So, I am encouraged by the fact that, since I’m not likely to produce any super pieces of my own folk art, it is available for purchase!
Yes, that’s right. Vesterheim has an online auction featuring 38 remarkable pieces of folk art made by renowned artists in their respective fields. Many of the artists are Vesterheim’s Gold Medalists and Ribbon Winners. Just go to biddingforgood.com/VEST-AUCTION to see the variety of folk art. There are weavings, rosemaling pieces, a hand-made knife and sheaf, wood carvings, such as a dough bowl and bread board, a woman’s bunad (traditional Norwegian costume), and a cuddly skinnfell (sheepskin) to adorn your home. The money raised helps support Vesterheim’s Folk Art School.
It’s easy and fun to participate and also share with your friends and family. For example, folk art makes a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for person! All you have to do to bid is register—entering your name, address, email, and payment information. It is also great to place a “watch” on items you are interested in. If you live in the Decorah area and want to see any of the pieces up close, many are on display in Vesterheim’s Bruening Visitor Center. With advance notice, it can be arranged for you to see any item. Act soon because the auction ends on Wednesday, October 19 at 9:00 p.m. CDT.
Since working at the museum, I’ve been involved with many of the Folk Art Benefit Auctions over the years. Some might remember that Vesterheim’s Folk Art Benefit Auction started as a live event in 2000. It was a biennial event, held on-site in the Westby-Torgerson Education Center in the Hands On History room, which served as a gallery to display the items. The viewing culminated in a combined silent and live auction. In 2014, Vesterheim switched to an online format. In the two years that the auction has been online, we’ve experienced exceptional support from artists and donors and have raised close to $40,000 for the Folk Art School.