WSRA Board

Board Members


Andrea Herkert

It is an honor for me to serve as President of WSRA and I am pleased that I have this opportunity to “give back” to our organization.

My husband, Jim, and I live in the country outside of Verona where we can indulge our love of gardening, bee-keeping and walks in the woods. We have two grown children. Our daughter, Marita, lives in Madison with her husband, Eric, and our two grandchildren, Miles and Afton. Our son, Andrew, lives with his wife, Genevieve, in Saint Paul, Minnesota with their new son, Roosevelt.

I started Rosemaling in 2006 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I joined the Norse Rosemaler’s Association. After moving to the Madison area in 2008 I also became an active member of WSRA and have been on the Board since then. Rosemaling is my passion and I am pleased to have many opportunities to share it through teaching, painting for commissions and shows at the local and National level and serving various Rosemaling Associations. I work out of my studio in my home.

Vice President

Kathy Julseth

My name is Kathy, and even though I am not Norwegian, I find the art of rosemaling fascinating. I have a number of pieces which I have collected over the years. I started rosemaling over 20 years ago, but took a break when my kids were younger. I am now back to painting, and am happy to explore the creative side of myself again.


Nancy Odalen

I have a BS degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and computer science from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I retired in September 2015 from my position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Radiology as a Post-Award Research Administrator. I returned to the Department of Radiology in February 2016 on a part-time basis and continue working for Medical Imaging Research Service Image Analysis core lab. My career has provided me with many opportunities to collaborate with scientists in the fields of Physics, Astrophysics, Medical Physics and Medicine. I traveled to the South Pole, on three occasions as part of a scientific collaboration spearheaded by the University of Chicago.

My journey in the study of Rosemaling began with my first Vesterheim Rosemaling class in 2001; actually this was the first art class that I had every taken. I have taken, and continue to take classes from instructors that have given generously of their time and talents to teach me various styles found in the Norwegian art of Rosemaling. Most notably, I worked with Andrea Herkert, Vesterheim Gold Medalist (VGM), in a one-year apprenticeship (2013-2014) after receiving funding from the Wisconsin Arts Board Folk Art Program. This apprenticeship offered to me the opportunity to focus on the Ryfylke style of Rosemaling. Ryfylke is Gammel (Old) Rogaland that has its roots in the Western area of Norway where my Grandparents lived before coming to the US.

I have served on the Wisconsin State Rosemaling Association Board and was President for two terms. I now serve on this board as Secretary. I am Vice President and Cultural Director for the Sons of Norway, Mandt Lodge, located in Stoughton Wisconsin. The position with Mandt Lodge will end in December 2017. I have just been elected to the position of Treasurer with the new national Rosemaling organization, Rosemaling Coast to Coast. I teach Rosemaling at the Sons of Norway Lodge and arrange classes for our Lodge members and non-members with other experienced Rosemaling instructors. I especially enjoy working with first time painters. I paint pieces for local and national competitions as well as commissioned work.

I paint mostly in the styles from Western Norway (Vestlandet). My passion and strength lie in painting Ryfylke, and the styles from the Hallingdal region.

My journey continues as I learn from the old and create pieces that come from my soul.


Sonija Straavaldsen

I was born and raised in Madison, WI along with 2 brothers. My parents (Astrid Wedvick & Oscar Telvick) immigrated from N. Vagsoy, Norway in the 1920’s and married in Seattle. I have been married and divorced, 2 sons (1 deceased), 2 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, 9 nieces and nephews. I graduated from East High School and MATC and retired from Datex-Ohmeda in 2000 as Manager of Administration. Since that time, I have worked part time for my nephew as bookkeeper at Remington Electric, Inc. I have always been interested in Rosemaling as my mom and Ethel Kvalheim’s husband were cousins. Our annual reunions include all families from N. Vagsoy and their descendants. My maternal grandmother was from Kvalheim and my grandfather did Rosemaling in Norway and many of my cousins there are wonderful painters. I have visited my relatives in Norway 4 times. I started Rosemaling in 2006 and have thoroughly enjoyed the art.

Margaret Andrews


Margaret Andrews served as treasurer 2 years ago and previous to that role she was on the WSRA board. Margaret worked to achieve 501c3 Non-Profit status for the WSRA in 2015. She works in Madison as a Project Manager and lives on the west side of Madison with her Boston Terrier Holly. In addition to rosemaling, Margaret enjoys gardening and embroidery.

Board Members At Large

Lin Schoenleben

Education Committee: Classes, Apprenticeships

My earliest memory of rosemaling is the plate that hung above the table in my grandmother’s kitchen. I loved the colors, the design and the Norwegian message. Now that I think about it, it may have been a Per Lysne plate. My grandmother and great-grandparents came from Norway, so all things Norwegian are just a major part of who I am. I grew up in Wisconsin, but have lived all over the country. In 2007, I moved back to Wisconsin and decided this was my time to find someone with whom to study rosemaling. I found Carol Bender on the Sons of Norway website and the rest is history. Classes at the Vesterheim, through WSRA and Coulee Region Rosemalers and a folk-art tour to Norway in 2014 with the Vesterheim have been such amazing learning experiences. They were just plain fun and make me want to study more and more. The opportunity to study with Pam Rucinski through a Wisconsin Arts Board apprenticeship has helped me grow as an artist further than I ever expected. There is so much more to learn and I look forward to painting, painting and more painting.

Jan Norsetter

Membership Committee

Artist Jan Norsetter is an award-winning oil painter known for vibrant landscape paintings en plein air and the decorative art of rosemaling. Norsetter paints en plein air (painting in the open air) to imbue her paintings with a sense of place. She works outdoors in every season, painting close to home in Wisconsin, other states in the US and overseas in Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Norway.

The artist has exhibited in more than 30 juried, collaborative or solo art shows. Selected paintings, prints and rosemaling are in many permanent and private collections around the world. In addition to her work as an artist, Norsetter teaches landscape painting and rosemaling. She continues to draw inspiration from respected mentors in oil painting and rosemaling.

Four Wisconsin-based galleries represent Norsetter’s work: Zazen Gallery in Paoli; Pink Llama Gallery in Cedarburg; Diakonos Gallery, Main St. in Stoughton; and U-FrameIt, E Johnson St, Madison.

Heather Gunderson

Communication Committee: Social Media, Newsletter, Website

Although I have only been rosemaling for a few years, I have been around rosemaling all my life. My mother has been painting since I was very young. Growing up, I learned that you always, ALWAYS check in the oven before turning it on. You never knew what rosemaling piece mom was drying, away from running accidents and curious fingers. Now, as a painter, I can appreciate the safety of the oven when my nieces and nephews visit! If you come over... you'll know where to find the pieces I am drying. :)

As a 4th & 5th grade teacher, whether it is writing narratives or opinion pieces with my students, or setting up terrariums and extracting DNA with my budding scientists, it is never a dull day. It has been so fun having students edit and revise my writing here on the website. They get to see writing for a purpose, in action! As an added bonus...I am secretly developing a love of rosemaling in our next generation!

For the WSRA, I work with the Communications Team (which is always looking for more teammates!!) to keep everyone up to date on Facebook, organize our super informative newsletter and manage our new website! If you would like to be part of the communications team, send me an email!

Marie Stenjem

I have lived in Stoughton, WI most of my life. (since the age of 2) I graduated from Stoughton High School in 1987 and have dabbled in just about everything since then. Prior to receiving an Associate of Arts degree, I had taken what I like to call a "self-enhancement" classes in Accounting and Landscape Design. Some format of Art has always been a part of my life from playing the violin to scrapbooking to painting. Through all these experiences I found my true passion in Rosemaling having taken my first rosemaling class in 2006.

I met my husband in 2000 who has always been one of my biggest supporters in everything I do. In 2009 we made it official by taking each other's hand in marriage. I have two cats and a black lab that keep me busy at home. Each have their individual personalities that humor us on a daily basis. When I am not at work or painting, one would probably find me in the company of family and friends and spending summer months in the vegetable garden.

Carol Bender

Volunteer Committee: Special events, Volunteer organization

I grew up in a home with a Mother and Father passionate about their Scandinavian heritage, which I must admit was 100 percent Swedish . My Mother loved to paint the Swedish kurbits on everything she could! Moving to central Wisconsin after marriage, I decided to sign up for a rosemaling class at the local Vo-tech college with Norma Splitt. I thought it would be a one time class , but it turned into 5 years of continuing study. Norma Splitt was one point away from becoming a Vesterheim Gold Medalist at her passing. Losing our leader, I pretty much quit rosemaling. After our kids were older, I started up again. Classes at Vesterheim and through Wisconsin's area rosemaling clubs have helped me get back on track. One joy of rosemaling has been teaching kids ages 9-15 rosemaling at the 5th district Sons of Norway camp, Masse Moro. I have been their instructor since 2003. I have also been an apprentice the last two years with Pam Rucinski, VGM made possible through a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board. I also enjoy teaching Rosemaling classes at Chestnut Center for the Arts in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Rosemaling has become an important part of my life !

However, I have not forgotten my Swedish heritage! I still love painting kurbits and teach Swedish folk art painting classes for Ingebretsens.

Mary Knoflicek

I grew up in stoughton, the little German girl, so I did not care for anything Norwegian. In the early 70's my mom took Rosemaling classes from Vi Thode. She painted many years and when she passed away, I took all her supplies and thought I may try it some day. I took first class with Karen Syens in Fort Atkinson. I have painted for almost 30 years. I love teaching and sharing this art with others.

Tusen Takk to our Committee Members

Shannon Suddeth

Special Events

Kelly Pollack


Lila Gullixson

Volunteer Organization

Sharon Jenson


Heidi O'Neil

Membership Committee

Elaine Brye

Judging Committee

Carol Rendall

Judging Committee

Kim Monsen

Membership Committee

Demonstrations Coordinator


Jan Northey

SKAPE Day Team

Heidi O'Neill

SKAPE Day Team

Lisa Ruth

SKAPE Day Team