Runes Revealed


“Woman Warrior” Runic Sculpture by Kati Casida

“Runes Revealed” is coming to the SCC on July 8th and will be on view through September 24. The exhibition explores the ancient Norse runes, a distinctive form of writing that developed before the Viking Age and was used into the 19th century in some areas of Scandinavia. The pieces are created by artists in the group Nordic 5 Arts, an organization based in San Francisco that offers artists with Nordic heritage and Nordic expatriates living in the U.S. a chance to connect with their roots through art.

We are delighted to have Nordic 5 Arts return to the SCC. They last displayed a themed exhibition inspired by Nordic landscapes in 2008.

The exhibition theme of runes is very exciting, especially for those with an interest in history and the beliefs of pre-Christian Scandinavian. The runic alphabet is based on the sounds of the Old Norse language, but it was not only a simple representation of sounds. Each rune was imbued with symbolism, mystery and an association with specific gods in Norse mythology. In their exhibition, the Nordic 5 Artists expressed the mystique of the runes in a variety of mediums, including painting, prints, sculpture, textile and photography. Included alongside each artwork are brief explanations from each artist about what the piece means to them and how they created it. You will learn more about how this ancient alphabet resonates in us today.


“Birch Bark” Sculpture with Runic Alphabet by Norma Anderson Fox

The Nordic 5 Arts are a group founded in 1993 by Kati Casida, an artist of Norwegian heritage, as an organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group allows expression in the arts to flourish and gathers artists with a common heritage to explore new ideas and present a unique Nordic/Scandinavian sensibility. As a group of professional artists, the works are available for purchase, a great way to keep their efforts going.

Now comprising 30 professional artists, the group has presented many exhibitions during the past twenty years, showing their work in museums, galleries, educational institutions, and corporate and public exhibition spaces. The group also promotes Nordic cultural events in the Bay Area and has sponsored folk dance, poetry readings and lectures, including a presentation by Craig Dykers, the lead architect at Snøhetta, about the new expansion of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For more information about Nordic 5 artists, visit their website,

Join us for the opening on July 8th from 6-8 p.m. in the SCC!