Editor’s Notes

A very special summer …

Lori Ann Reinhall

Photo: Ulf Reinhall Lori Ann Reinhall at her desk with Nikolai Astrup.

The Norwegian American

Dear readers and friends,

While I enjoy putting together every issue of The Norwegian American with our team, this one is particularly special, because we are revisiting an old friend, Nikolai Astrup.

With the first North American exhibit of Astrup at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., there has been a lot of buzz in the press everywhere about the “discovery” of one of Norway’s greatest artists, but this is not the first time we’ve written about Astrup in our newspaper. As president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, I regularly pay a visit to the KODE Art Museums in Bergen, where Astrup is normally on display, and an Astrup self-portrait hangs next to my desk, where much of my writing takes place. I have written and lectured about Astrup. I’ve had endless discussions with Mary Jo Thorsheim from Norway Art® in Minneapolis about my favorite artist, and Victoria Hofmo, one of our regular contributors based in New York is also a fan. Lucky for us all, Victoria was able to visit the opening of the Astrup exhibit in Williamstown, and we are pleased to share her visit with you.

There are many other artists from Bergen very dear to my heart, and fortunately, they are alive and well and working at the USF Verftet studios there, including ceramicist Kari Aasen and painter Rolf Monsen. Photojournalist Ingerid Jordal recently met them there and shares her impressions. Another article by Victoria reports on textile artist Sissel Blystad, who works there in Bergen and currently has her art on display in NYC. 

Indeed, the “summer of Astrup” inspired us to create an issue with a heavy emphasis on art, even some unusual creations, including a very popular fellow here in Seattle, the Fremont Troll. He is arguably the most popular piece of public art in the city, and he got us thinking more about trolls in general. We hope you will enjoy reading about them and will respond to our call for photos of your favorite trolls. We will publish them in our next issue and on social media, as we all have fun together.

But perhaps what is most fun about this issue is that we are all coming together in person once again, and it’s been exciting to go see all the activities taking place in the Norwegian-American community from coast to coast. Don’t forget to check out our online Events calendar at www.norwegianamerican.com/events-calendar/list.

Finally, please don’t forget that we are taking our annual summer publishing break during the month of August. We’ll be back with our annual Education issue on Sept. 3, and in the meantime, we’ll stay in touch online. If you are a print subscriber and don’t have access to our website, please be sure to email us at subscribe@na-weekly.com.

Wishing you sunny and happy summer days,

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief

This article originally appeared in the July 23, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.