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exhibition Current Exhibitions

3rd Floor Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm (Wednesday until 7 pm)

Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People

Through Saturday, August 23, 2014
Free admission | #samistories

Curated by the Tromsø University Museum and Northern Norway Art Museum, Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People is a landmark exhibition examining the history, identity, politics, and visual culture of the Sámi, the indigenous people of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia’s Kola Peninsula.

Sami StoriesFeaturing a selection of contemporary artworks and traditional duodji (handicraft)—including a reindeer milk scoop, shaman’s drum, cradle, and a selection of hats and dolls—Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People offers visitors an overview of Sámi history and visual culture from the 17th century to the present.

The exhibition’s eight contemporary artists—Rose-Marie Huuva (SE), Iver Jåks (NO), Britta Marakatt-Labba (SE), Arnold Johansen (NO), Aslaug Juliussen (NO), John Savio (NO), Arvid Sveen (NO), and Marja Helander (FI)—are all of Sámi descent, with the exception of Sveen, and work in a variety of media, including sculpture, video, installation, woodcut print, embroidery, and photography. Installed alongside the historical cultural objects, the contemporary works illustrate the issues, ideas, and narratives that have shaped and continue to shape, the Sámi people and culture.

The exhibition has been organized in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament and the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, which, in 1988, was revised to offer unprecedented formal recognition of the Sámi people, language, and culture.

The exhibition has been curated by Charis Gullickson and Marit Anne Hauan and organized by the Tromsø University Museum, Northern Norway Art Museum, and The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF).

Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People has been made possible by grants from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Tromsø, with the collaboration and expertise of the Center for Northern Peoples. Funding for the accompanying exhibition catalogue has been provided by the Fritt Ord Foundation. The ASF gratefully acknowledges exhibition support from The Bergesen Foundation, DNB Bank ASA, The Bay and Paul Foundations, Bård and Barbara Bunaes, and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York. Support for educational programs and events was received from Scandinavian Seminar and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, and funding for artist travel was received from Frame Visual Arts Finland. Additional support has been provided by a number of funds of the ASF, including The Bonnier Family Fund for Contemporary Art, the Hilppa and Joe Roby Fund for Finnish Cultural and Educational Programs at Scandinavia House, and the Andrew E. and G. Norman Wigeland Fund.

Audio Guide

Audio Guide

Through Saturday, August 23, 2014
Free (no cost except your minutes)

Learn more about Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People with your cellphone! Hear the exhibition’s curators share their thoughts on several exhibition highlights and walk you through this innovative exhibition. Call 212.514.0013 to begin the audio tour.


$65 ($55 ASF Members)

Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People is accompanied by an illustrated, two-volume boxed set catalogue and will be available for purchase in The Shop @ Scandinavia House.

Exhibition-related Programs

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Journeys through Arctic Art and Folk Culture
Exhibition Workshops with Art Educators

Saturdays, 2 – 3:30 pm, April 26 through June 14, 2014 – No workshop on Saturday, May 24, 2014
$12 ($10 ASF Members), Series pass: $68 ($56 ASF Members); Ages 6 – 11
Enrollment is limited; early registration is strongly encouraged

Inspired by the Sámi Stories exhibition and drawing upon the rich art and culture of the Sámi – an indigenous people living in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia’s Kola Peninsula – children will create projects using mixed media, textiles, and natural materials in tandem with stories about Sámi history and folk culture.

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Indigenous Expressions and Identity: A Symposium

Saturday, May 10, 3:30 pm
Free, but RVSP encouraged

Sámi Stories opens with an afternoon symposium offering in-depth perspectives on Sámi history, identity, and visual culture. The program features a panel discussion with contemporary artists Britta Marakatt-Labba, Aslaug Juliussen, and Jason Lujan; renowned musician Mari Boine; and curators Charis Gullickson, Northern Norway Art Museum and Marit Anne Hauan, University of Tromsø Museum.

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Mari Boine

Tuesday, May 13, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Brave and distinctive, Mari Boine’s soaring voice has defined a new musical language in Norway. Her beguiling talent for weaving other sounds into joik, the traditional music of her native Sámi people, incorporates rich seams of other folk music, jazz, and rock.

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Art Afterhours

Tuesdays, 6 – 8 pm, June 3 & July 1, 2014

Come early and stay late! Art Afterhours is a once-monthly art party with extended gallery hours, 6 to 8 pm, featuring music and drinks. Meet up and socialize with other Nordic art fans at Scandinavia House to relish Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People after hours.

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Sámi Side of Life: Films from the Far North

Wednesdays @ 7 pm, June 4 through June 18, 2014
$10 ($7 ASF Members)

A cycle of nine films – including feature-length narrative and documentary films, short films, and music videos – dedicated to exploring facets of Sámi identity through artistic means.

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Duodji: Sámi Traditional Objects
Lecture by Dr. Thomas DuBois, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tuesday, June 24, 6:30 pm

Dr. Thomas DuBois introduces some of the basic considerations of form, substance, and use that characterize traditional Sámi objects, showing how, in Sámi art, aesthetic values are inseparable from other considerations such as usefulness, belief, and skill.

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Artist Talk with Marja Helander

Tuesday, July 29, 6:30 pm

Finnish-Sámi artist Marja Helander and American artist Janet Biggs discuss Helander’s artistic practices and her 2001 photographic series Modern Nomads, currently on view in Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People.

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Press Information

To request visual materials and further press information, please contact:
Kate Erickson, Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation or +1 212.847.9717