Friday, June 21, 2013

Art Contest – Adult Winners, Midsummer 2013

The adult entries in the first art contest at The Norse Mythology Blog were incredibly impressive. We received fantastic submissions from many talented artists from around the world. The judging panel had a very difficult time ranking such accomplished works of art, and I’d like to again thank Richard Elson (The Mighty Thor, Journey Into Mystery) and Boo Cook (2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine) for their time and insights as judges.

We would like to heartily congratulate the three adult winners. We felt they were the strongest in a very deep pool of talent. Seriously, we had a very difficult time deciding between this large selection of beautiful works! You can also check out the winning kid entries here and winning teen entries here.

Note: You can click on the art to see larger versions.

Jen Wagner
Age 26
California, USA

“My piece is more about the spirit behind summer than a specific ritual. Midsummer is firstly the solstice, the time when Sunna has the longest of journeys. It is a time where we drive out evil with flames (some by wheel, some by cart, some by bonfire), a time to celebrate the sun itself and the new life it is helping to grow in the fields, and a brief rest from the harsh winter of the North. Sunna makes her hardest of rides this day, enduring the chase of the evil that is at her heels as well as giving the most light, warmth and life. It is the triumph that the fires, the healing and fertility rituals, and the dancing that are held this night celebrate.

“Sunna is shown riding across the heavens. She shines brightest this day and it is the longest of rides she has. The shield Svalinn keeps the world safe from the spark of Muspelheim that lights the earth. Driving her chariot are the horses Árvakr and Alsviðr and between their shoulders are the bellows Ísarnkol to keep them cool from the great heat. A great wheel of her chariot is shown behind her, a representation of her and Sköll (who will eventually consume her) forever in chase as it turns.”

First Place: Jen Wagner

Laura Belmar Campos
Age 26

“This shows Sól, the daughter of Mundilfæri, together with one of her horses, Alsvinn, with whom she carries the sun over the sky. It is the eve of midsummer and people have set up a midsummer pole to dance around. Some diminutive trolls have already started with the fun though, and apparently they don’t take the sacred holiday that seriously. Sól is above such mischief, of course, gliding over the land to bless it. The firs (which I always pictured as enchanted trolls since I was a child) seem to have put on their holiday garment as well, with sprouted bright, new needles.”

Second Place: Laura Belmar Campos

Carl Olsen
Age 35
St Peter, Minnesota, USA

“The picture is set on a late midsummer evening, with the sun low in the sky but not set. I have always enjoyed the perpetual twilight at night in the Scandinavian summer, even if I have not yet had a chance to see the midnight sun above the polar circle. I spent midnight of my 31st birthday watching the sun just barely dip into the sea on the beach in Iceland, and years before read translations of Eddic poetry as a new grad student on a bench in the midnight twilight in Uppsala, just after flying in for a language program. The figures in this picture include a fox (found occasionally in animal folktales in Scandinavia), a tomte (a house-spirit from Swedish folklore, although you find related beings in Danish and Norwegian folklore), and a dragon, hiding in the trees to the side. Probably not Fáfnir, but they might be friends.”

Third Place: Carl Olsen

Thank you to all the talented artists of all ages who entered the contest! We already have celebrity judges lined up for the upcoming Yule 2013 Art Contest – Erik Evensen (USA) and Anker Eli Petersen (Faroe Islands). Click the “Join this site” button in the right column at to stay connected!

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