Norway’s roads less traveled: Gallery Cylindra features the cylindrical

Gallery Cylindra

Photo: Inger-Torill Kirkeby
Mayoress, a set of cabinets in full-body size placed outside the gallery next to the fjord.

Christine Foster Meloni
Washington, D.C.

This is the seventh article in our series “Norway’s roads less traveled.” The author is Inger-Torill Kirkeby, the immediate Past President of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce in Florida. She was invited to write this article by Mr. Trond Jensen, the Honorary Consul General in Miami.

The previous articles in this series are “Spitsbergen: A place out of the ordinary” by Ambassador Aas (April 15, 2016), “Ulvesund lighthouse is calm yet wild” by Elin Bergithe Rognlie (May 20, 2016), “Halden, an idyllic small border town” by Eivind Heiberg (July 1, 2016), “Tree-top adventures at Høyt og Lavt” by Lise Kristiansen Falskow (July 29, 2016), “Hvaler highlights the sun and the sea” by Hilde Skorpen (September 23, 2016), and “Hiking between east and west” by Morten Paulsen (November 18, 2016).

Kirkeby writes about a gallery in Norway with very special objects:
Gallery Cylindra is a unique place, and I would strongly encourage American tourists to add it to their list of attractions when visiting Norway. It is located along the Storfjord in the small village of Ikornes in Møre og Romsdal County.

Kjellbjørn Tusvik, the gallery’s owner, has worked closely with the acclaimed Norwegian industrial designer Peter Opsvik for almost 30 years. The gallery’s Cylindra objects are first designed by Opsvik and then handmade by Tusvik.

Photo: Inger-Torill Kirkeby
Kjellbjørn Tusvik at work.

The gallery was founded in 1989 to produce objects inspired by wooden barrels. They are beautiful pieces of furniture and, at the same time, works of art. They are sculptural objects in solid wood—chairs, tables, and cabinets of all sizes—and most have a cylindrical form. Initially, there were 20 different objects; now there are over 200. As one walks around the gallery admiring the pieces, it is obvious that Opsvik draws inspiration from the landscape just outside the windows of the gallery when designing them. At the same time, some of the decorative elements clearly show inspiration from human relationships.

While Gallery Cylindra is a sales gallery, many people come simply to admire the beautiful objects and to admire the fjords and the mountains. When opening the doors into the spacious gallery, they enter a world of beauty and serenity as the objects enhance the beauty of the nature seen through the large windows of the gallery.

Tusvik has on several occasions said that he is amazed to see so many people showing interest in his works. Visitors, however, are not at all surprised that the gallery arouses so much interest.

He is in many ways a renaissance man, and his interests go beyond art. He is well versed in both literature and music and enjoys hosting various cultural events at the gallery. A terrace of 120 square meters was recently added, and it is a place where one can enjoy listening to a jazz concert, for example, while observing the stunning scenery and the imposing cruise ships passing by.

I would encourage visitors, after visiting the gallery, to spend some time in the coastal town of Ålesund with its magnificent Art Nouveau architecture, which is only an hour away from Ikornes.

Inger-Torill Kirkeby was born in Akershus, Norway, and moved to Miami in 2001. She is currently a Tour Manager and Guide with Escape Travel in Norway, touring the U.S. with Norwegian tourists.

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She values her Norwegian heritage.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 16, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Christine Foster Meloni

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and philosophy of education, and a doctorate in international education.

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