Art gallery “Sapmi” opening in Lovozero on August 9 2015

Some time ago we wrote of the plans to open the Saami art gallery in Lovozero. Now it is a reality! The opening ceremony starts at 3pm at ulitsa Shkolnaya 4, in the left wing of the boarding school, 3rd floor, entry from the back. The admission is free!

In addition to over 50 works of Saami artists, the event will feature workshops on bracelet weaving from wool (by Valentina Sovkina) and embroidery with beads (by M.N. Kalmykova), the work of children’s center “Umka”, and sampling of drinks from northern berries.

Exhibition participants:


from N.E. Afanasyeva’s collection

Nadezhda Lyashenko (Nadia Fenina), a painter, a writer, and a practicing shaman. Nadezhda was born to the family of repressed reindeer breeders from the Zapadnaya Litsa bay area. Her works are on display in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Ukraine.










New Year’s Angel, by M.N. Filippov, village of Lovozero. Watercolours, ink. 1999.

Mikhail Filippov. Born in Lovozero. Graduated from the Art and Graphics Faculty of the Leningrad Pedagogical Institute named after Gertsen (1986). From 1986 works in art schools of Olenegorsk, Revda, and Lovozero. Authored over 800 poems, three (unpublished) books, painted over 200 pieces of art, developed art direction known as “Energy plastics”.








galkinIvan Galkin. Painter. Finished the boarding school in the village of Afrikanda. Participated in exhibitions in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Ivan has been actively painting since 1970s.







Hero Lajne

Yakov Yakovlev. A painter and a book illustrator, a master of applied arts. Graduated from the Art and Restoration Colledge in Leningrad (1980-1982). 1984-1986 − wood carving in the city of Apsheronsk of the Krasnodarsk kray. 1987 − decorator artist in Lovozero. 1994 – decorator for the folklor and ethnography dance theatre “Dancing Saami” in Lovozero. 1991 – studied bone carving in Sweden. 1995 – learned the North Saami dialect of the Saami language in Norway, from 1995 г. − teaching of wood, horn, and bone carving in Lovozero. Participated in illustrating books of Saami writers and poets.


The history and the future of the Saami Art Gallery

A word to Valentina Sovkina, Chairperson of the Saami Parliament of the Kola Peninsula:

We’ve been thinking of setting up Art Gallery “Sampi” for a long time. Idally it was to be located in the regional center, in Murmansk.

At this time live carriers of language and culture are passing away while we don’t have the transmission of culture properly organized. There is no platform on which we could put together traditions and inheritance on the one hand and new approaches on the other. We understand that we need to accumulate Saami culture and tradition, and that’s why we’ve decided to start moving forward with this project. 

Each one of us has some sort of a hobby. And I too started with little, by collecting paintings by Saami artists, articles by Saami craftsmen, dolls, literature. I plan to transfer all these things to the Gallery.

We’ve discussed the idea with the Saami Parliament and the Fund of Saami Inheritance and Development, who acted as founders. Also invited were international organization “Saami Women’s Forum” and the Union of Saami Craftsmen “Chepes Sam”.

The motto of the event: «We value traditions, are interested in inheritance, and need innovations” or, simply put “Preserve and develop”.

Our goals:

– To attract and educate our own visitor – thinking and creative people, able not only to accept art in all of its manifestations, not only knowledgeable in the history of culture, but also able to participate in social and artistic evolution.

– Development of historical and local projects related to finding meaning in the cultural inheritance of Saami and its popularization.

– Creation of a platform for a wide spectrum of events dedicated to spiritual and creative growth.

– Development of international cultural relations. We plan to hold exhibition for painters from different countries, workshops, art festivals.

Art Gallery “Sampi” is intended to be an informal art gallery with a wide range of interests, a multi-functional cultural and educational center, a generator of a variety of artistic and educational projects. Based on the Gallery there will be an art learning center, a design bureau, and an art boutique.

Theme and personal exhibitions will be complimented by additional cultural events that organically support the exhibition’s idea (concerns, theatric or dance performances, workshops, installations or, for instance, herb tea ceremonies).

We hope that our guests will progress from being passive visitors to active participants of workshops, lectures, seminars or discussions.

But modern artistic process cannot be limited by gallery walls. Bringing traditional Saami art into the village environment, turning streets into communication and public art forums, where both artists and visitors can on equal footing imprement their ideas is the global goal we have in front of us.

We thought of children too. Children’s corner “Umka”, where kids will be invited to follow the pathways of fantasy, to breath in the air of creativity, to meet the revelations of child’s soul. Children are surprised and joyful becaue they see the world they know and understand. We plan exhibiting children’s works, holding regional and international shows of children’s art.

We will open the “Third Age University” – a project aiming at people from 50 to 85. As a rule, retirement enables one to discover their hidden talents.

The project’s plans and ideas can go far.

Any exhitition assumes background work, such as publication of leaflets, books, postcards, posters, and interaction with the press.

The work will be supported by volunteers and charitable contributions.

Financial support has been provided by the Kola Saami Radio and Fund of Saami Inheritance and Development. Privately owned materials also are used.

All events will be both commercial and non-profit in character.

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