This carved figurehead, called “Viking Longboat,” earned Plato resident Russ Biros a blue ribbon in the woodworking category at the annual National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition. 

Plato resident Russ Biros won a blue ribbon in the annual National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition at Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center in Decorah, Iowa.

With the award, Biros earned a Vesterheim gold medal.

The yearly judged exhibition is Vesterheim’s major summer show and was on display from June 12-July 25. The awards were announced in conjunction with Decorah’s Nordic Fest celebration, July 23-25.

Biros won the ribbon in the woodworking category with a carved figurehead, “Viking Longboat.”

The exhibition also includes rosemaling, knifemaking and weaving categories. Vesterheim has many outstanding examples of decorative and folk art and established the rosemaling exhibition at the first Decorah Nordic Fest in 1967 and added weaving, woodworking and knifemaking in later years. This year’s exhibition included more than 150 pieces of beautiful contemporary folk art.

“Some of the best practitioners of these traditional Norwegian arts enter the exhibition, which attracts national attention,” said Vesterheim’s chief curator Laurann Gilbertson.

Each year, judges award blue, red, and white ribbons representing points that accumulate over successive exhibitions toward a Vesterheim gold medal. Judges also present honorable mention and best of show awards.

Through 24,000 objects and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim (the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center) shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world. It is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in authentic Norwegian folk art every year. For more information about the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities and ways to donate, visit Vesterheim’s website at, call 563-382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, Iowa, 52101-0379.

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