Marta Elise Skrøvseth Havdal, niece of Norwegian artist Kalla Skrøvseth, arrived in Petersburg with one goal in mind, to find as many of Skrøvseth's paintings as possible.
“We have about 300 of her paintings in the gallery in Norway,” Havdal said. “But she has paintings all over the world, we are hoping to photograph any that we find here in Petersburg.”
A Centennial Celebration of Skrøvseth's work will be held in Norway, November of 2013 and she is hoping to collect more pieces for the gallery.
Skrøvseth came to Petersburg in 1952 to work in the cannery and when she wasn't working she spent her time giving art lessons.
“Painting was her passion,” Skrøvseth's second cousin, Barbara Stockwell said. “She never married and never had children. I don't think she wanted to divide her time.”
A Skrøvseth painting hangs in the Long Term Care Facility of Petersburg Medical Center. It is a large landscape of Petersburg as seen from Kupreanof. The piece was painted in 1954, before she returned to Norway.
“She had such a love for life,” Havdal said. “She poured herself into all of her paintings.”
Skrøvseth began painting in 1930 at the age of 18 and did not stop until she died in 1997. Her work became almost exclusively biblical in the late 1950s. She received the county cultural prize in More og Romsdal in 1979 and her old studio at Tellesbo in Surnadal is now a museum under the name Kallstua which means, Kalla's house.
If anyone has knowledge of any Kalla Skrøvseth paintings please contact Molly Kaylor Mowat at (360) 770-0857 or Barbara Stockwell at (360) 466-4903.