July 24 – 28, 2024

Among North American Sámi descendants there are many who have identified as artists, expressing themselves through the visual arts, music, and writing. Numerous art exhibits, performances, and written materials have been produced since the beginning of the “Sámi Reawakening” in the early 1990s. This program will provide an overview of some of these artists, featuring their stories and examples of their work. There will also be a look at some of the exhibitions held over the years such as Bouhkat, the first Sami American Art Exhibit held in Superior, WI, in 1997; the Imago Mundi exhibit in Italy; and Govahallat seen at the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in Duluth. Also, our ongoing collaborations with the American Swedish Institute will be explored. Two special editions of the journal Báiki: The International Sami Journal have been devoted to the art and writings of the artists of the North American Sámi community and will be introduced. This topic is rich and not widely known; it should be of interest to FinnFest participants.

Presenter Bio: Marlene Wisuri is a visual artist and author whose work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a 2022 and 2024 recipient of Creative Support for Individuals grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the author or co-author of over 12 books including To Be Free: Understanding and Eliminating Racism in 2023. She is currently the board chair of the Sami Cultural Center of North America.