current exhibits at the Scandinavian Cultural
Center at Pacific Lutheran University (on
display through November 12) share the theme,
“Touch of Sweden.” Kristine Leander’s photo
exhibit is a collection of photographs of
children from China, Ghana, Greenland, Norway,
Scotland, Sweden, and the United States.
The photographer chose the
beloved Swedish hymn, Children of the
Heavenly Father, as a motif for her
photographs because as a child she drew strength
from its words. She also wanted to honor Sweden
as a leader in protecting children.
Leander, who is
Swedish-American, traversed the globe to take
her photographs over a period of 20 years. “I
photograph whatever I find beautiful, or tells a
story, or evokes a mood,” Leander says. “I’ve
learned a lot by studying my photos. Take the
young African child next to his brightly clad
parents. I didn’t see how well they enveloped
him in their care until I studied the photo.
He’s very loved and protected by the adults in
“Our mind’s eye shows us what we want to
see, but the camera’s eye captures what is
really there,” Leander adds. She combines the
eye of her camera with her view of the need to
protect the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
Leander hopes that when people view this
exhibit they focus on the words of the hymn in
addition to the photo. Each photograph is
matched with a line from the hymn. Swedish
artifacts complete her exhibit.
“I enjoy the process of marrying photos
with text,” she says. “The hymn, written by
Karolina Sandell-Berg, is the perfect complement
to my photographs. She wrote that we are all
children of God, and the love and care we hope
for each child in the photos is the same love
and care God extends to each of us.”
Leander, of Seattle, has a Ph.D. in
educational administration and is Director of
Communication for the nonprofit adoption agency,
World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP).
A second outstanding exhibit, Landscapes
from a Swedish Heritage, completes the
“Touch of Sweden” theme. Eleven exquisite
paintings by Niklas Aronsson are on display in
the Scandinavian Cultural Center’s Stuen Room.
The Swedish painter was born in 1962 and
grew up in the industrial village of Gemla,
situated in southern Sweden. He has worked as an
artist for almost sixteen years, with art shows
in Sweden and exhibitions in the United States.
As a painter with an Impressionist touch, he
draws inspiration from nature. Using oils and
watercolors, he depicts moments of what he sees
and experiences with emphasis on light and
shade. Aronsson describes his work by saying, “I
want to convey the feeling of joy and excitement
I have for my subject, and a sense of humility
towards life and nature.”
Admission is free. Public hours during August:
Sundays only, 1:00 -4:00 PM. Regular public hours
begin September 6. 11:00 AM- 3 p.m. Tuesday and
Wednesday and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information visit