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Grete, creating designs on the loom.
Grete, creating designs on the loom.
Grete Bodogaard and her husband, fllmmaker Chuck Nauman
Grete Bodogaard and her husband, fllmmaker Chuck Nauman

Our Joyful Weaver

Dec 22, 2014

Grete Bodogaard and her husband, filmmaker Chuck Nauman, have been hanging out in the little Yankton County town of Volin for a number of years.

Many of us who live here in southeast South Dakota felt quite blessed to have such a gentle soul in our commuity. Grete and Chuck didn't participte a great deal in community activities, but they were apt to show up now and then. And you might catch them at Mac's Pub, which was across the street from the old Volin Bank where they lived and worked.

I looked for them on several trips to Volin this summer and fall, but to no avail. After asking around, I was told they had returned to the Black Hills because of Grete's health. She is serioiusly ill. Our thoughts and prayers go to her and her family.

When in Rapid City last weekend, I attended a forum at the Dahl Arts Center on Seventh Street downtown and felt fortunate to happen upon an exhibit of Grete's creations titled "Celebration of Works."

Grete was born in Norway, and learned some of her techniques in the old country. She came to the United States in 1969, and she quickly spun her way into our hearts and into our art culture. She is not only one of South Dakota's greatest and most accomplished artists, but also considered one of the master weavers of our time.

"As I travel on my journey around the sun I have learned to spin fibers, dye yarns and weave my thoughts and ideas," she says in an introduction to the exhibit. "Weaving is my other language, my expression of joy and frustrations."

Her contributions to South Dakota have brought only joy, and we thank her for that.

The exhibit will be up through Jan. 31, 2015.


01:25 pm - Tue, December 23 2014
Laura Andrews said:
I read that Grete passed away yesterday. I really regret that I never met her on my many visits to Volin, and that I didn't take the time to go to the natural dyeing classes she taught at the North Country Fiber Fair. What a talented woman, and an inspiration to all of us who dabble in the fiber arts.
02:56 pm - Sun, December 28 2014
deb lux said:
Grete had an impact on everyone she met. An indelible woman. I am blessed to have known her as a friend and had the pleasure of working on some projects with her. Her conscious approach to all she did was an inspiration to others. We will miss her and her artistic soul.
05:48 pm - Sun, December 28 2014
Tom Thorson said:
Grete threw amazing parties in all seasons and once took her large dining table outside to the lawn to be sat around out there. She criss crossed the state to attend the exhibit openings of her friends and even cooked food for at least one reception of my exhibits and I suspect she did so for others. She believed that art helped to right a troubled spirit and as an artist in the schools she went to places others were reluctant to go; the Star Academy for Boys and the Star Academy for Girls, and to the prisons, and inspired the people in those places to create with focus. She was constantly exploring new ideas in her own weaving and took on apprentices. When traveling with her she never missed an opportunity to educate about textiles encountered. John Day of the USD College of fine Arts attributed to Grete the infusion of content into an often decorative art form. She brought civilization and encouragement everywhere she went and even though she said her frustrations were many, she tirelessly found the joy and thrill in those frustrations and helped others to do the same with their own frustrations. She was always lending a hand up to everyone whether by inclusion or finding something to complement. She will be sadly missed but her memory will by joyfully celebrated for a long long time.
04:27 pm - Tue, February 2 2016
Eirik Heikes said:
We miss her every day. She had such an impact on so many people.

09:18 am - Wed, August 31 2016
Cheryl Timmons said:
I am so sorry to hear about Greta's passing she had a huge impact on my life and she made me stretch in a time in my life that was difficult for me. I took a independent study in weaving class from her in a time I was undergoing multiple surgeries and to this day I can not look at a beautiful wild plant or a piece of lichen and wonder what color it would turn yarn when boiled I am so sorry for your family's loss I am sure she has been very missed.
My thoughts are with you when you.

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