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  • First Look - CraftBOWL
    Jan 03, 2018

CraftBOWL Exhibition Launches American Swedish Institute’s 2018 Year of The Handmade

First Look Preview Party on Friday, Jan. 19, features visiting artists, music by Chris Koza, craft demos, hands-on activities, festive food and drink. Exhibition runs January 20 – April 8, 2018.

Press Walk Through, 5 p.m. Friday, January 19

MINNEAPOLIS—CraftBOWL is a multi-part exhibition of vessels and objects made by Swedish master craftspeople that launches the American Swedish Institute’s 2018 The Handmade, a year-long exploration of the handmade form showcasing three major, international exhibitions. CraftBOWL examines the work and careers of renowned Swedish artists: woodworker Jögge Sundqvist, Ingegerd Råman, who designs ceramics/glass, and glassmaker Bertil Vallien.  Also on view will be 101 Bowls, an eclectic display of creativity, and a non-profit benefit exhibition, Bowls for Open Arms. CraftBOWL opens on Friday, Jan. 19, with the First Look—CraftBOWL preview party and runs through January 20 – April 8, 2018, in the American Swedish Institute’s (ASI) Osher Gallery and Turnblad Mansion. ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis. For more details, visit or call 612-871-4907.

The Handmade focuses on master makers, the work they create and the global movements they have inspired, opening a window on to Sweden’s intimate connection to the handmade form and its international impact.  In addition to CraftBOWL, two other 2018 exhibitions are part of ASI’s The Handmade: The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson, on view April 21 – July 15, 2018, (First Look opening April 20) and Gudrun Sjödén – A Colorful Universe, on view July 27 - October 28, 2018 (First Look opening July 26). Ceramic sculptor Kim Simonsson of Fiskars, Finland, creates sensitive, yet otherworldly, figures in ceramics of children, animals and mythical beings, often communing in nature. Gudrun Sjödén, considered the godmother of Swedish fashion, is a renowned textile designer and entrepreneurial force whose boldly feminine collections are inspired by nature and Swedish folk motifs. She grew up on a farm where handcrafts, such as knitting or carving, were a part of life. This visually striking exhibition shares her original watercolors and archival constructed catalogs.

Bruce Karstadt,  ASI President/CEO, commented, “The Handmade offers the American Swedish Institute a unique opportunity to dedicate a year to exploring the tradition and contemporary evolution of handmade forms by inviting some of the most respected Nordic and local artists and craft makers to share their work and insights. In a society that is increasingly invested in the virtual experience, we encourage visitors to reconnect with handmade objects and tap into the aesthetic and the innate physical and creative abilities that are part of the human experience.”

CraftBOWL Artist Overviews

CraftBOWL unites the work of three influential Swedish craftspeople with accompanying work by local artists and a wide variety of programming.  Both Sundqvist and Råman will visit ASI during the exhibition and take part in tours and other activities.  Woodworker Jögge Sundqvist (aka Surolle), in an installation titled Surolle, will display 45 master works that champion his philosophical approach as connected to the Swedish sensibility of slöjd or handcraft. He is acclaimed for his expressive and beautifully carved objects including bowls, chairs, sculptures, cupboards, spoons and trays. In his live show “Rhythm and Slöjd,” he shapes artwork to rock music. His installment is presented in collaboration with Hemslöjden, The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies. 

Ingegerd Råman, recognized as a Swedish National Treasure, is a legendary artist in glass and ceramics who is acclaimed for her simple, timeless and highly functional designs. For almost five decades she has worked with such prestigious Swedish glassworks as Johansfors, Skruf and Orrefors, and more recently designed a line for IKEA focusing on natural fibers. The Form installation at ASI will feature selections from Råman’s six signature collections demonstrating the dialogue among form, function and aesthetic. Her work is presented in collaboration with Svensk Form, the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.

Bertil Vallien’s work, in an installation called Rites of Passage, will include glass sculptures and wooden bowls ranging from the early 1960s to new vessels, brought together by ASI for the first time. The display explores Vallien’s obsessive fascination with boats, bridges, portals and paths that may lead between life’s different stages. For more than five decades, Vallien has probed the mystical and narrative expressing a constant drive for innovation. He has worked on his own and as a guest teacher at the Universities of Chicago and Minnesota, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Pilchuck School of Glass, forming important links between the U.S. and Sweden. Vallien is presented in collaboration with The Glass Factory.


First Look CraftBOWL
January 19, doors 6:30 p.m., event 7 – 10 p.m.

$15 ASI members / $20 non-members

The CraftBOWL opening night preview party offers a “First Look” at a new, multi-part exhibition featuring the work and careers of three Swedish master craftspeople: woodworker Jögge Sundqvist, Ingegerd Råman in ceramics/glass and Bertil Vallien in glass. CraftBOWL also launches ASI’s 2018 year of The Handmade.  At First Look, experience the visiting Jögge Sundqvist in a “Rhythm & Slöjd” performance where “wood, sweat and woodchips” mix with rock n’ roll, meet Maja Heuer of Sweden’s

The Glass Factory, which holds many of Bertil Vallien’s works, listen to acclaimed local musician Chris Koza, try hands-on activities including pot throwing with Northern Clay Center, watch demos from FOCI Minnesota Center for Glass Art and ASI’s spoon carvers, and browse a pop-up library from the American Craft Council. Sample beer from Indeed Brewing and coffee by Tiny Footprint Coffee. Crafted cocktails and curated appetizers are available from the award-winning FIKA Café.  

CraftBOWL Exclusive Exhibition Tour with Jögge Sundqvist

Saturday, Jan 20, Two tours: 11 a.m. – noon, 2 – 3 p.m.

$15 ASI members / $20 non-members. 30 person capacity

Join Swedish artist/woodworker Jögge Sundqvist (aka Surolle) for a rare U.S. opportunity to see his work and hear him talk about his creative process. As a charming champion of the Swedish sensibility of slöjd (handcraft), he is acclaimed for his expressive and beautifully carved objects. Presented in collaboration with Hemslöjden, The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies.

CraftBOWL Exclusive Exhibition Tour with Maja Heuer
Saturday, Jan. 20, 1 – 2 p.m.

Join Maja Heuer, museum director of The Glass Factory, one of Scandinavia’s most prominent glass museums, for a comprehensive tour of the Bertil Vallien glassworks in CraftBOWL. The Glass Factory, located in Boda, Sweden, holds Sweden’s most comprehensive collection of art glass including many Bertil Vallien artworks. $15 ASI members / $20 non-members. 30 person capacity.

Film Screening: The Spoon, The Bowl and The Knife
Sunday, Jan. 21, 2 p.m.

With a talkback hosted by visiting Swedish artist and the film’s producer, Jögge Sundqvist, this documentary film is about his father Wille Sundqvist, a craftsman whose extensive knowledge and teaching abilities have played a key role in keeping traditional Swedish woodcraft alive.

$5 ASI members / $10 non-members.

Curated Cocktail Tour with Ingegerd Råman
Saturday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m.

Join celebrated artist and Swedish National Treasure Ingegerd Råman for an exclusive walking tour of the CraftBOWL exhibition, complete with cocktails from FIKA, inspired by her glassware creations. 

$50 ASI members / $55 non-members. 30 person capacity.

Conversations on Craft and Form with Ingegerd Råman
Saturday, Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m.  

In a conversation with Ingegerd Råman, hear how form, function and aesthetics have influenced her career. $5 ASI members / $10 non-members. Includes museum admission.

Upcoming 2018 Exhibitions as Part of The Handmade

On view as part of CraftBOWL:

101 Bowls
January 20 – April 8, 2018This exhibition is an ambitious, wildly creative and one-of-a-kind collection of local and international handmade vessels in various mediums that showcases many works from many different artists. Selected vessels represent organizations that intersect with ASI, celebrating the communal craft community, including Hemslöjden, The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies; the American Craft Council, the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

Bowls for Open Arms
January 20 – April 8, 2018ASI, FOCI Minnesota Center for Glass Arts, Northern Clay Center and the American Association of Woodturners will collaborate with craft ambassadors to present one-of-a-kind handmade vessels that visitors may purchase, with 100% of the proceeds going to Open Arms of Minnesota, a Twin Cities nonprofit that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people with life-threatening illnesses.

International Exhibitions

The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson

April 21July 15, 2018

(First Look Opening: Friday, April 20)

Ceramic sculptor Kim Simonsson of Fiskars, Finland, crafts sensitive, yet otherworldly, life-sized ceramic figures of children, animals and mythical beings, some seemingly covered in moss and often communing in nature. This exhibition features more than 40 selections of Simonsson’s work on display in ASI’s contemporary Osher Gallery and throughout the historic Turnblad Mansion.

Gudrun Sjödén  — A Colorful Universe

July 27 – October 28, 2018

(First Look Opening Thursday, July 26)

This American Swedish Institute collaboration with renowned Swedish textile designer and entrepreneur Gudrun Sjödén examines her career and her boldly feminine collections inspired by Swedish folk motifs. As part of Gudrun Sjödén Design, her colorful, eco-conscious design processes and philosophies have earned her a worldwide network of fans. This visually striking exhibition shares her original watercolors and archival constructed catalogs, inspiring a forum for inspiration, knowledge and positive thinking.                                        -

Other ASI Exhibitions

Lake Country Pastel Society
On View Now Through March 4, 2018

Mastering the medium of pastel can take years of practice. This exhibition of pastel art by members of the Lake Country Pastel Society, which represents a four state area, features local winners of national and international pastel competitions. The Society raises awareness of pastel as a unique and beautiful art form, demonstrating artistic expression in landscape, cityscape and portraiture. ASI’s Community Gallery helps build local artist networks to further our work to engage locally while connecting globally.

ASI Staff Art Exhibition: Manuscript
March 9 – April 1, 2018

This year’s American Swedish Institute Staff Art Exhibition explores the 2018 theme, The Handmade, through a variety of mediums. Many artists on staff will display examples of works made by hand that are significant in their lives and art practice.

UIla the Baker – an Exhibition/Installation in ASI’s Youth & Family Gallery

Through October 7

ASI’s Youth & Family Gallery in the Turnblad Mansion has become an imaginative environment inspired by Ulla the Baker, a children's book in Swedish and English by Swedish author and woodworker Anders Suneson. The book, on sale at the ASI Museum Store, and exhibition are experiments in words encouraging discovery of creativity and art.

Related activities will continue throughout the exhibitions. For more information, visit or call 612-871-4907.

THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE is a museum and cultural center that is a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts, informed by enduring ties to Sweden.  The ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, 55418.  The Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.” For more information, visit or call 612-871-4907.

ASI MUSEUM HOURS:  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, Noon–5 p.m.; closed Monday.

Museum Admission: $10 adults, $7 ages 62 +, $5  ages 6–18 and full-time students with ID. Free for ASI members and kids ages 5 and under.                             

FIKA, ASI’s award winning café, is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday:  8:30 a.m. –5 p.m. (full menu 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.); Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m.  (full menu 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. ) Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (full menu 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

The ASI MUSEUM STORE is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. –5 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. –8 p.m.  Sunday,  Noon-5 p.m.


Exhibition Partners:

HemslöjdenThe National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies is a non-profit organisation. Our vision is that Handicrafts should have a natural place in everyone’s daily life.  We co-ordinate Sweden’s handicraft societies.  We publish the magazine Hemslöjd, Sweden’s biggest magazine for handicrafts. We run Hemslöjdens förlag, a publishing house for books related to handicrafts.

Svensk Form: (the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design) is a not-for-profit membership association mandated by the Swedish government to promote Swedish design at home and abroad. Svensk Form’s goal is to demonstrate the benefits of good design to social development, to stimulate the development of design in Sweden, to increase respect for the value of design work and to expand and deepen attitudes towards issues of form and design.

The Glass Factory is an experience-based, interactive glass museum with a quality-assured operation located in the heart of the Kingdom of Crystal. The museum serves as a knowledge centre and creative meeting place for artists, designers and visitors. The Glass Factory has Sweden’s most comprehensive collection of art glass, which consists of about 30,000 objects from various glassworks by more than 40 artists who have worked with glass

The exhibition project is presented with support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and Karin Larson. Special thanks to ASI contributing members and donors, whose contributions help make our programs, exhibitions and community work possible. Hospitality Sponsors include Delta Air Lines, Whole Foods Market and the Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel.

Minnesota artist activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

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