A new exhibition, “A Restored Connection: A Dream of a Cultural Identity,” will go on view at Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, Friday, Sept. 12.

There will be an opening reception that evening from 5-7 p.m., with a gallery talk by guest curators and Norwegian-born artists, Line Anda Dalmar and Regina Osbakk at 5:30 p.m.

The exhibition is sponsored by an anonymous donor and Mary Mills Dunea of Osage.

Through still and moving images, “A Restored Connection” explores how we define ourselves and the environment around us. 

“Although it features Norwegian Americans, visitors of all backgrounds will easily relate to the exhibition and its message of connection,” Laurann Gilberton, Vesterheim’s chief curator, said.

The exhibition was developed from a research-based art project that began in 2011 as a collaboration between Dalmar and Osbakk. 

The project examines how national identity occurs, and how it is inherited and transformed through generations. The aim of the project is to explore the human need for knowledge and a connection to one’s own culture and history.

Their research has been translated into three artworks that show how attachment to a particular culture appears in a multicultural society.

The first piece is a video series featuring a Norwegian-American family living near Northfield, Minn. The second piece is a collection of snapshots taken in Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, which capture expressions of Norwegian identity through clothing, festivals and food. 
The third piece includes 50 portraits of Norwegian-American children and young adults with Norwegian first names.

Osbakk holds a BFA in printmaking. Dalmar has a BFA in photography and an MFA in art. Their work has previously been exhibited in Berlin, Germany; Kristiansand, Norway; and Iowa City.

For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at vesterheim.org, call 563-382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.