August 14, 2006

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Mille Guldbeck
Mille Guldbeck in her studio before leaving for Denmark

Painter Mille Guldbeck reconnects with her Danish roots

“My personal journey is to reclaim and discover the things that I love, and it inevitably leads to the natural world and the question of what is my place in it,” says painter Mille Guldbeck.

The BGSU artist has been selected for two prestigious exchange programs that will allow her to reconnect with friends, colleagues and the once-familiar landscape of Denmark.

The daughter of Danish parents, Guldbeck said that, for part of her childhood in Illinois, life was focused on Danish culture and the family’s roots. That sense of belonging continues to draw her back to her ancestral home, where she had moved at age 17. She is fluent in Danish and proficient in Swedish and Norwegian, which she believes played a part in her being chosen for the two programs that seek to bridge the distance between countries and cultures.

She left at the end of July for her first exchange program in Denmark, in the official capacity of guest artist in the Baltic Sea International Artist Residency program of the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA). NIFCA comprises artists from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

Guldbeck, who has been a BGSU School of Art faculty member since 1999, is spending the month of August in a guest studio and residence for sculptors and painters in Odense—birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen—where she is focusing primarily on creating works on paper. She will also meet with other artists in the region and hopes to arrange a small showing of her work.

The second program, with an $8,400 Fellowship grant from the Amanda C. Roleson Fund of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, will enable her to spend six months in Denmark. From February-August 2007, she will work alone on the remote island of Møn studying organic systems and rare plant life as the basis for new paintings.


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