Fall 2023 Folk Artist-in-Residence is spoon carver, kolroser

Liesl Chatman will be UW–Madison’s 2023 Folk Artist-in-Residence, as part of the Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest project in partnership with the School of Education’s Art Department.


Chatman is a spoon carver, kolroser, teacher, and advocate for education and equity in all walks of life. She will be hosting a regular carving club, as well as working with students in the woodshop to teach the art of spoon carving and kolrosing.

Her background as a graphic journaler informs her work as a spoon carver and kolroser, which reflects a wide range of interests, experiences, and continued engagement with her environment and her community.

Chatman is an experienced teacher and renowned artist. Her work is currently on exhibition at the American Swedish Institute in “Leaving Your Mark: Stories in Wood.” Among other works by Chatman, visitors are able to view a special spoon carving project she launched in 2020 to respond “to the simultaneous crises of COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd, and the ensuing protests that erupted.”

In addition to her own artistic work, Chatman teaches around the country at folk schools, museums, and other cultural institutions, including the American Swedish Institute, Fireweed Community Woodshop, John C. Campbell Folk School, North House Folk School, and Vesterheim.

The Nordic Folklife Project and the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures are sponsoring a talk with Chatman on Monday, Sept. 11, from 4-5 p.m., via Zoom, that is free and open to the public.

Keep an eye out out for additional opportunities to engage with Chatman throughout her residency, including the carving club.

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