A Plato native won a white ribbon in woodworking in the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum’s annual “National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition.”

Russ Biros won the honor with a dragon-style carved bellows during the July 23-30 exhibition and competition. It was in conjunction with Decorah’s Nordic Fest celebration and was sponsored by Infastech-Decorah Branch and the Des Moines Area Friends of Vesterheim.

The exhibition also includes rosemaling (Norwegian decorative painting), knifemaking and weaving. Vesterheim, which has some of the most outstanding examples of decorative and folk art to be seen in this country, established the rosemaling exhibition at the first Decorah Nordic Fest in 1967 and added weaving, woodworking and knifemaking in later years.

“Some of the best practitioners of these traditional Norwegian arts enter the exhibition, which attracts national attention,” Gilbertson said. “This year’s exhibition included 138 pieces of beautiful contemporary folk art.”

Each year, judges award blue, red and white ribbons representing points that accumulate over successive exhibitions toward a Vesterheim Gold Medal.

Vesterheim is a national treasure that explores the diversity of American immigration through the lens of Norwegian-American experience, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and preserves living traditions through exhibitions and educational experiences.

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