The scenes in Bygdetun at Bryggja
When the old Bygdetun at Bryggja was formally opened in 1935, the artist Erling Solheim gave a beautiful artistic contribution to the building. He had painted scenes showing the view from Bryggja with the characteristic profile of the Hornelen mountain in the background. The white birches would symbolize hope, spring and youth. Throughout the years, the scenes became worn and the canvas had started to rot, and many cracks had appeared as well. This was one of the villagers' most treasured art works, and everybody rejoiced when the scenes were restored and displayed in a showcase in the new Bygdetun. On 31 June 1996, the formal opening of the new showcase took place. On the same occasion, there was also an exhibition of paintings and drawings made by Erling Solheim.
The artist Erling Solheim
Erling Solheim was born at Bryggja in 1911 and died in 1973. He has made a name for himself in the Nordfjord villages. Erling was son of teacher Anders Solheim and Anne Brobakke. After primary school, Erling Solheim went to attend middle school in Ålesund, and later secondary school at Eid. During his secondary-school years, he painted a number of pictures that were hanging on the walls in the school building. Erling was a self-taught person in terms of drawing and painting. He never got the chance to get any education in the field where he showed so much talent. One of his first major works was the scene for the village hall at Blakset. It measures four by three metres and shows the view towards the Hildeneset and the Innvikfjord. This he painted when he was 17-18 years old. Solheim made hundreds of drawings with motifs from the Nordfjord villages, and most people in this area has seen one of his drawings. His style is characteristic and easily recognizable. The most common motifs are inspired by the Nordfjord countryside, frequently with animals that are depicted in a lively and realistic way. Many people think highly of his drawings and they are found in many a home in Nordfjord.