Book Shop hosts event with Brian Andreas, Harley Refsal

Two-day event features Luther student carver James Miller

The Luther College Book Shop will host a book signing and carving demonstration Dec. 3-4. Luther alumnus Brian Andreas will sign two of his recent books from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Professor Emeritus Harley Refsal and James Miller, Luther class of 2018, will give wood carving demonstrations from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and noon-1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

At the Saturday event, Andreas will sign two of his recent books, "Bring Your Life Back to Life" and "Something Like Magic." Refsal and Miller will showcase and sell a limited number of their wood carved figurines. Both events are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Writer, painter, publisher and speaker Brian Andreas is the creator of StoryPeople and author/illustrator of a dozen books. A nationally recognized artist, his prints and other work can be seen in galleries and storefronts around the United States. In 2012, he founded tumblecloud.com, a collaborative digital storytelling platform, and in 2014, he created brianandreas.com, as a platform for his original art and other projects.

Refsal is a master and regarded as the leading authority in the world of Scandinavian-style flat plane figure carving. An internationally recognized artist, teacher and writer, Refsal is the author of five books and numerous articles on the art of Scandinavian figure carving as well as the recipient of numerous wood carving awards. Refsal was honored by H.M. Harald V, King of Norway, with the St. Olav medal, for his efforts in reinvigorating Scandinavian figure carving in the United States and Norway. He continues to teach at Luther and in workshops around the United States and in Scandinavia.

Influenced by his father and grandfather's interest in carving, Miller began flat plane figure carving in 2008. It was in local community education classes that he began his formal study of the craft. Miller loves the simplistic style of the Scandinavian flat plane figure carving. "Compared to other styles of figure carving, flat-plane looks a bit simplistic, yet at the same time it can portray such emotion and life in ways that more finely-detailed styles often do not," said Miller.

He was introduced to Refsal in 2011 when he enrolled in a workshop taught by the professor, a workshop he continued to take the next two times Refsal offered it. Refsal's influence is evident not only in the folk art world, but also in his ability to draw students to the college. "I came to Luther because of Harley and the Nordic studies program," said Miller. He began competing in the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum's National Exhibition of Folk Art during Nordic Fest 2011, bringing him to Decorah and familiarizing him with the Luther community. "I liked what I saw, so Luther instantly became my top choice of colleges," he said.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the bachelor of arts degree in 60 majors and preprofessional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: www.luther.edu.