This year the Finnish American Folk School will host two visiting artists to help us celebrate midsummer in Hancock thanks to generous support from the American Scandinavian Foundation. Weaver Wynne Mattila will be teaching a 5-day rug weaving workshop in the Folk School Fiber Studio. Violinist and composer Sara Pajunen will debut new work in the Finlandia University Gallery, perform, and teach. We hope you’ll be able to join us to celebrate summer! For more information, see the detailed schedule below or call 906-487-7549.
Folk School at Midsummer at Finlandia University Gallery
Opening Reception with Presentations by Sara Pajunen and Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen
Wednesday, June 22nd 7pm
Finlandia University Gallery
Admission: Free, no registration required
The Finnish American Folk School celebrates the work of the instructors and students with The Folk School at Midsummer, an exhibition in the Finlandia University Gallery at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. The work of guest artist-instructors Sara Pajunen, Wynne Mattila, Anita Salminen Jain, Liv Aanrud and local instructors Karen Tembruell, Phyllis Fredendall, Clare Zuraw, Alice Margerum, Lindsey Heiden, Kenyon Hansen and their students fills the gallery with the inspirations and results of folk school programming. The opening reception will highlight a new composition by Sara Pajunen, commissioned by the Folk School. On Wednesday, June 22 during the opening reception, folklorist Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen will join Sara to present and contextualize this new installation.
Folk School Juhannus Dance
Join violinist Sara Pajunen and Thimbleberry Band for an evening of traditional music and dance.
Friday, June 24th 7:30-9:30pm
Finnish American Heritage Center
Admission: $10 in advance by 6/23, $15 at the door
Click here to purchase advance tickets.
Song Workshop with Sara Pajunen
Saturday, June 25th, 1-3pm
Admission: $20, advanced registration required
Click here to register
Learn to sing Finnish songs with Sara Pajunen. Participants will learn the words, melodies, and stories of a handful of Finnish songs and sing them together as a group. Sara will help with Finnish pronunciation and provide English translations. No singing or Finnish language experience is necessary.
Artist Bio: Sara Pajunen is a violinist and composer who has received music degrees in both the United States and Finland and holds a Master of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory (Boston). Centering projects on themes of culture, immigration, home, and progress, she has released six albums in connection with her Finnish ancestry – including the most recent Aallotar recording on German label Nordic Notes. In 2018, Pajunen launched ‘Mine Songs,’ a long-term project that explores the altered landscape of the Mesabi Iron Range (her childhood and ancestral home) through sound and image. She was the 2015-16 Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year and her work has received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Koneen Säätiö, and the Arts Council of Finland.
Folk School Demonstrations
Traditional arts demonstrations by Finnish American Folk School instructors
Saturday, June 25th 10am-12pm
Outdoors on Quincy Green (next to Finnish American Heritage Center)
Admission: Free, no registration required
North Wind Books Juhannus Market
Friday June 24th 10am-4pm + Saturday, June 25th 10am-1pm
North Wind Books
Finnish-Style Cotton Rug Weaving Workshop [SOLD OUT]
Instructor: Wynne Mattila
Monday-Friday, June 20-24th
Jutila Center – Folk School Fiber Studio
Admission: SOLD OUT
Artist Bio: Wynne Mattila wove her first rug in 1985 at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and before it was finished, she knew she was a rug weaver for life. Wynne’s goal is always to use color to its full potential to create a beautiful rug.
“I weave in what I call the “Finnish-Style” with new brightly-colored cotton fabric strips cut one-inch wide on 15-ply Finnish cotton warp sett at 5 ends per inch. I work with fabrics designed for quilters. My specialty is color blending using the alternating 3-shuttle technique. The off-white warp I use becomes a blank canvas on which I am able to paint with colored fabrics—the design of the rug is created solely by the arrangement of the weft strips. I love this visual process in which each shot of fabric plays a part in the overall design.”
Wynne has been teaching rug weaving for more than 20 years, focusing on good rug weaving techniques and the creative use of color. In her upcoming book, “Warm the Room with Color—Weaving Finnish-Style Cotton Rugs,” Wynne will share her passion for rugs and describe her artistic and weaving processes.
Toivola Volunteer Fire Department Kokko
Saturday, June 25th, 9pm