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Icelandic Artists at INL Convention

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

We can honor our ancestors in many ways. Meet two extraordinary and awe-inspiring Icelandic sculptors, Tryggvi Thorlief Larum and Jón Adólf Steinólfsson, that honor their Icelandic roots through their artwork.

This past fall at the Norsk Høstfest, Tryggvi was honored with the “Chester Award for Artisan,” for his wood sculpture of a polar bear. This is the Høstfests highest honor. Jón was presented the “Exhibitor Award for Excellence.” The Chester award is a 14-inch tall bronze statue of Chester Reiten, the founder of Norsk Høstfest. Last night Chester passed away at the age of 89. Tryggvi was the last person to receive this award while Chester was still alive.

Norsk Hostfest Tryggvi Thorlief Larum and Jon Adolf Steinolfsson

The Norsk Høstfest is held in Minot, North Dakota each September and is North America’s largest Scandinavian Festival drawing tens of thousands of enthusiasts each year. More than two hundred internationally recognized artisans and craftspeople are invited each year. So, receiving these awards from the committee is a great accomplishment.

Tryggvi’s “Chester Award of Excellence” sculpture was the 60 cm x 70 cm wood sculpture titled “Bearserker.” The “Bearserker” portrays a polar bear, which was a gift to kings in the Icelandic sagas and embodies the word for the Viking warrior, “berserker.” The inscription reads in Old Norse runes, “With claws in battle, challenging foes and rivals, crossing the ice I have traveled, for seals and survival.”

Tryggvi Thorlief Larum and Bearserker

Tryggvi and Jón collaborated on a commemorative work of art and they donated it to the Norsk Høstfest. This is so appreciated by the festival and the people that attend each year. They both have wonderful partners that share their interest and support them in their journey. They even let me join in on their celebration! I think it was the Icelandic National Costume.

Icelanders presenting the artwork of Jon Adolf and Tryggvi Thorlief

It was a great weekend for these artists and for Icelanders. It was a great weekend for me, too. I brought home two beautiful posters – one from each Jón and Tryggvi. I also brought home a mixed media sculpture by Jón.

Tryggvi and Jón presented their work very professionally. Their enthusiasm and dedication to preserving our Icelandic culture and history through their artwork is inspiring. They both are very outgoing and interesting. I wondered how we could showcase their work in other places. I suggested that they do an exhibit in Seattle at our annual Icelandic National League of North America (INL of NA) convention.

They said YES! We are so blessed that Tryggvi and Jón will be bringing their artwork to the 2013 Convention in Seattle. The mission of the INL is to preserve and protect our Icelandic heritage and culture. Having Tryggvi and Jón sharing their amazing artwork will add another dimension to an already magnificent event. The Early Registration discount expires January 31 for the convention. More information can be found on the website:

For more information on the artists, see their websites: Tryggvi Thorlief Larum Jón Adólf Steinólfsson

And just one more photo —- it is hard to pick just a few photos of their amazing work. I love every single piece! We are in for a treat at the convention, that is for sure! I hope that you can join us in Seattle!

Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

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