The Minnesota Town School of Fine Arts is known for teaching Scandinavian folk art – WCCO

Milan, Munich (WCCO) – Because of its size, Milan is one of those towns that you will not miss or miss in western Minnesota. But if you look closely, you will find small treasures in every corner.

“The best way to describe Milan is strange,” said Ron Porf. “It’s small, but just so much is happening in this city.”

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During the farm crisis of the 1980s, the Art School in the village of Milan was opened as a way to create teaching positions for struggling artists.

“This area is a large area of ​​Norwegian immigrants, so most of the classes we teach are Scandinavian in nature,” said Porpp, director of the art school.

Over the years, the school has taken on a role, gained worldwide popularity and helped make Minnesota the center of the Scandinavian art movement. People come to the school from all over the Midwest to learn crafts like goldsmithing, rosemaling and knife making.

“The Norwegians themselves were unique when they brought it here,” said Jock Holman, who teaches at the school.

Holman’s grandparents came to Minnesota from Norway. He travels from the twin cities to Milan to teach a form of Scandinavian art called “Acanthus”.

“It’s mostly carving leaves to decorate anything from developers to cabinets,” he said.

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(Credit: CBS)

Using chisels and significantly sharper chisels, Holman’s students create art from birch and bass. Some projects, like Kathy Nardi’s, may take weeks.

“It’s supposed to go beyond development,” Nardi said, referring to the work he recently worked on. “It’s nice because it will be eight feet away, and no one will see all my little mistakes.”

Nerdy made the two-hour trip from St. Cloud to Milan many times. Acanthus is just the latest folk art she works to control.

“You take one lesson, you start taking other lessons, and pretty quickly you get addicted,” she said. “You get the catalog and you kind of, okay, have the next three that I sign up for.”

According to Holman, one of these arts can take decades to master, and often leads students to explore other types of Scandinavian folk art. All inside a 107-year-old school building.

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The teachers at the art school in the village of Milan are often from Minnesota, but some travel from all over the country to teach in a town with only 300 residents.

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