Greenwich Village Sept. 16-17

Art can bring people together no matter their nationality, religion or language.

Greenwich Village Art Fair (GVAF) is thrilled to welcome six artists from our Sister City of Borgholm, Oland, an island community south of Stockholm, Sweden.

This is the first time the Fair has welcomed international artists. The 58th GVAF is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 17.

Artists will bring works in various media. Eva Lissinger paints impressionistic abstracts. Stefan Ljunstrom has amazing works that are replicas of Viking pieces in gold and other metals. Stephan Lundh brings to life landscapes and seascapes. Ella Nilsson paints tremendous seashores. Oil and watercolor abstracts from Rudolf Jon Overa and Anna-Kajsa Alaoui Sosse oils and collage round out the collection.

Maria Johanson (my adopted Swedish sister), who is Borgholm’s equivalent of Arts Council director, will be returning to Rockford to support the artists.

“The artists are very excited to have this opportunity,” Johanson said. In addition to the artists, 16 other visitors will be coming to Rockford.

While many Rockfordians boast of their Swedish heritage, I have been most impressed with the Swedish innovation of today. I had the opportunity to visit Borgholm in March. The Borgholm Slott, that’s castle to you and me, is amazing. It’s not just about the history of the castle, it’s about the future of the castle. There have been rock concerts and the Global Art Glass Show, which hosts 26 artists from 14 countries. I saw the remnants of an exhibit of mirrored pieces that added a dimension to the white of the snow and the blue of the sky amazingly.

Old with new, heritage and vision, that is what I will now think of when I think of Sweden, fondly.

Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

From the Sept. 13-19, 2006, issue

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