NORDIC ART & DESIGN
Nordia House has a growing collection of contemporary and traditional art works on premises.
Part of our mission as a cultural organization is bringing the arts to our community. We do this through gallery shows and events.
NORDIA HOUSE DOORS
Designed By Leroy Setziol / Completed By Monica Setziol-Phillips
The hand-carved Nordia House front doors make for a grand entrance. Inspired by the PNW and by traditional Viking dwellings and runes, these works of art were commissioned by the original founders of Nordic Northwest, then the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, with renowned wood sculptor Leroy Setziol. As we like to say, Nordia House was designed around these doors. At 88 years old and in failing health, Setziol did not feel like he would be able to take on such a large project. His daughter Monica Setziol-Phillips suggested a collaboration, with Setziol designing the doors and Setziol-Phillips carving them. Evoking myriad symbols of traditional Nordic arts and crafts, the doors weave a narrative of Northern heritages. Can you find the Viking axe? The maple leaf? The swan boat? A game of hide-and-seek, Setziol-Phillip's realized vision invites the viewer to stand in awe of a humble and functional item—a door—and to view it for its great historical significance across time and ecologies, as the entrance to a great hall lodge, a warm stuga, a buried earthen home, a contemporary Nordic cultural space. Setziol-Phillips can be found often at Nordia House; a weaver and sculptor, she is represented by a variety of galleries across Oregon and her work is in many private collections in many states. She also has work in public spaces; most recently three of her pieces were chosen for The Allison Inn, the world class resort in Newberg. For a number of years she has participated in the Sitka Art Invitational.
Photos Courtesy of Lauryn Kay Photography.
FINLAND 100 MONUMENT
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence from Russia, a 6' tall, 2200 pound piece of Finnish bedrock granite, the Finnish Independence Monument, has been installed and unveiled in a ceremony at Nordia House. The unveiling ceremony included music by Con Fuoco; a speech by Vesa Vihavainen, Finland’s Honorary Consul in Oregon and a blessing by the pastor of the Finnish Church, Seppo Airas, as well as a presentation and poetry reading by Katariina Lehtonen, who was instrumental in this project. Three organizations sponsored the creation of the monument: Finlandia Foundation Columbia-Pacific Chapter (FFCPC), the Finnish-American Historical Society of the West and the Messiah Lutheran Finnish Church of Portland. Learn more about these organizations here!
Beaversson & Ottersdotter
Designed By Georgia Gerber
Two charming life size bronze sculptures of a beaver and otter can be found on the Nordic Northwest Campus just outside the back patios of Nordia House near the meadow and with the wetland forest beyond. The sculptures were donated by longtime members Marianne Bratt and Al Baker and were dubbed the names “Ottersdotter” and “Beaversson” in 2020.
These sculptures were designed by renowned artist Georgia Gerber, who also designed the beloved Animals in Pools, a series of ten trough-style fountains and twenty-five life size bronze sculptures of Pacific Northwest animals located in downtown Portland. Visitors to Nordia House are encouraged to interact with the animals through direct physical contact and/or simple viewing to spark your imagination and evoke feelings. To be enjoyed by all generations and guaranteed to spark your inner child.
“I like my sculpture to invite an interaction with its audience. This is often meant to be a direct physical interaction, but always I strive to engage the viewer’s imagination. I tend to present an incomplete visual narrative; a story is suggested, a feeling evoked. And the viewers find themselves providing details.”
- Georgia Gerber