Story of Galleri 2
A taste of the world we live in, and what lies beyond our grasp – outer space.
In the heart of the majestic Lofoten archipelago, where the untamed beauty of nature meets the boundless realms of artistic exploration, lies a haven of creativity known as Gallery 2.
Tucked away in the quaint village of Stamsund, this extraordinary gallery is more than just a space to showcase art; it is a portal to worlds beyond our grasp, where the essence of our universe and the mysteries of outer space intertwine with human creativity.
*All images by: Aurora Stenersen
Keep reading to get the full story 🖼️👇
VEBJØRG HAGENE THOE
In the enchanting world of art, where creativity blooms like a celestial dance, Vebjørg Hagene Thoe stands as a luminary artist, painting the canvas of her life with colors of passion and dedication. Born in 1953 in the scenic town of Fredrikstad, Norway, Vebjørg’s artistic journey has been one of exploration, curiosity, and artistic brilliance.
Her pursuit of knowledge led her to delve into the complexities of the human psyche, as she completed her Psychology Undergraduate studies in Oslo in 1974. But her heart yearned for the artistic realm, and so she ventured to the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts ‘Jan Matejko’, Cracow, Poland. There, from 1975 to 1977 and later in 1983 to 1985, she honed her skills, delving into various forms and techniques, and embracing the wonders of artistic expression.
Throughout her illustrious career, Vebjørg’s artistic brilliance has been recognized and celebrated with numerous scholarships, awards, and grants. From the prestigious National Art Grant for shows to the Ulrik Hendriksen Memorial award and the Vestvågøy County Culture Prize, she has adorned her artistic journey with a constellation of accolades, each a testament to her profound impact on the art world.
Vebjørg’s creative genius is not confined to galleries alone, as her art has ventured beyond to grace public spaces with its celestial touch. From “Leknes Bo- og Servicesenter” to the library in Harstad and beyond, her art has adorned public institutions, breathing life and inspiration into everyday spaces.
But her art is not just a display of skill and talent; it is a journey of teaching, sharing, and inspiring others. As a guest lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and a workshop leader for the UMOJA-Project in Mosambik and South Africa, Vebjørg has imparted her wisdom and passion for art to aspiring artists across the globe.
Beyond her artistic endeavors, Vebjørg has actively contributed to the artistic community, serving in various capacities such as a board member for “Nord- Norske Bildende Kunstnere” and as gallery leader for Galleri 2. Her dedication to promoting the arts and nurturing the creative spirit has left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape.
In the heart of Lofoten, amidst the untamed beauty of nature and the celestial wonders, Vebjørg Hagene Thoe continues to enchant the world with her artistic brilliance. Each stroke of her brush, each sculpted form, reflects the essence of emotions, transcending boundaries and touching the depths of the human soul. Her art is an invitation to journey beyond the ordinary, to embrace the wonders of the cosmos and the creative spirit that resides within us all. In the ever-changing tapestry of art, Vebjørg’s light shines bright, illuminating the way for generations of artists to come.
In the captivating world of art, where visions materialize and creativity knows no bounds, stands another artistic luminary – Scott Thoe, a Norwegian-American whose journey has been as diverse and remarkable as his creations. Born in Minnesota but raised in the vibrant state of California, Scott’s passion for art took root at an early age.
At the tender age of 13, he received a life-changing invitation to attend the prestigious Berkeley College of Arts and Crafts, a testament to his prodigious talent and boundless potential. His higher education journey encompassed both Europe and the United States, earning M.A. degrees from the University of Washington and Harvard, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington before embarking on his artistic education at the Academy of Fine Arts ‘Jan Matejko’, Cracow, Poland (where he met Vebjørg ❤️), following two transformative years at the Muthesius Academy of Art in Kiel, Germany.
For the past three decades, Scott Thoe has called the picturesque Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway his home, where his artistic endeavors have flourished amidst the untamed beauty of nature. His artwork extends far beyond gallery walls, with monumental building projects and awe-inspiring public installations that leave an indelible mark on the landscapes they grace.
Scott’s art transcends borders, and his impact reaches far and wide. Invited to Moscow by none other than President Gorbachev in 1992, he presented his visionary art concept “Tanks for Peace” before the Russian Duma in 1993. The model of the astounding 40 thousand-tanks bridge garnered admiration and was exhibited in renowned institutions like the OSCE Headquarters in Vienna and the Bundestag in Berlin.
His works are sought after by prestigious collections worldwide, including the National Gallery in Poland, the National Museum in Syktyvkar, Russia, and the National Gallery of the Republic of Komi, Russia, to name just a few. Scott’s artistic vision is not confined to galleries alone, as his public art installations have adorned spaces like Vestvågøy Rådhus in Lofoten and the Green River Municipal Library in Wyoming, USA, leaving an artistic legacy for generations to come.
In his solo exhibitions, Scott’s art weaves tales of wonder and contemplation, inviting viewers into a world where colors and forms dance in harmony, breathing life into his visions. From the National Museum in Syktyvkar, Russia, to the Fredrikstad Kunstforening in Norway, each exhibition showcases the diversity of his artistic prowess and the universality of his creative language.
Scott is also an esteemed teacher, sharing his wisdom and artistic knowledge with aspiring artists. As a guest lecturer together with Vebgjørg at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and a workshop leader for the UMOJA-Project (Mosambik and South Africa), he has nurtured the creative spirit in others and sown the seeds of inspiration.
In the vast tapestry of art, Scott Thoe’s brilliance shines as a guiding light, illuminating the way for fellow artists and art enthusiasts alike. His creations are a celebration of the human spirit’s boundless potential, an invitation to explore the depths of imagination and the wonders that can emerge when creativity knows no limits.
Step inside the world of two artists
Prepare to be captivated by the wondrous vision of Vebjørg Hagene and Scott Thoe, the talented artist couple who embarked on this artistic odyssey. Founded in 1999, Gallery 2 found its home within the walls of a venerable 100-year-old laundry at the renowned Hurtigruten quay. Surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty, it is here that Vebjørg and Scott sought to showcase not only the splendors of the world they inhabit but also to transport visitors to celestial realms beyond their wildest imaginations.
With each brushstroke and sculpted form, the art adorning these hallowed walls carries a story of its own. But what sets this gallery apart is the brush with greatness each piece has encountered – the brush with the cold embrace of space itself. Imagine standing before a masterpiece that has journeyed beyond our atmosphere, witnessing the interstellar journey of art that transcends the boundaries of our earthly existence. The cosmic dance of colors and shapes beckons, inviting you to traverse the cosmos from the confines of a Lofoten gallery.
The open sea, fish, and a hungry wildlife. Something everyone in Lofoten can relate to.
Bridging worlds of art
Vebjørg and Scott’s passion for bridging the worlds of art and space is palpable in every corner of Gallery 2. They have woven a celestial tapestry, where each stroke of art blends harmoniously with the natural splendors of Lofoten. And as you explore the gallery, you may find yourself wondering if the art reflects the universe or the universe reflects the art, for the lines between reality and imagination blur in this ethereal space.
As you browse the mesmerizing collection, allow yourself to be transported to distant galaxies and celestial wonders, guided by the artistic genius of Vebjørg and Scott. With each step, you uncover the brilliance of the human spirit, encapsulated in hues and textures that resonate with the very essence of our existence.
A lonely mountain rising like the back of a sleeping dragon.
Dear traveler, if you yearn to embark on an artistic voyage like no other, Gallery 2 awaits your arrival. Let the warmth of human creativity embrace the cold touch of the cosmos, and together, we shall venture beyond the ordinary, basking in the splendor of Lofoten and the wonders that lie beyond our reach.