The woman behind the arts - Elisabet Gunnarsdottir

Steve Bartlett
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Elisabet Gunnarsdottir is the director of the Fogo Island Arts Corporation.

Zita Cobb lauds the attitude and effort of the Fogo Island Arts Corporation's director.

"The way her head is wired is right on," says Cobb, co-founder of the Shorefast Foundation.

Elisabet Gunnarsdottir's wiring is, in part, the result of experiences in her native Iceland and in Norway.

A trained architect, she ran Iceland's first architectural and de-sign studio for years.

Based in a rural community, she did town planning, graphic de-sign and restoration work. The work taught her a huge lesson.

"I learned you never, ever copy the old. You do what you can to restore it and give it new life, and then contemporary architecture should never be a copy of the old and this we followed here (in Fogo Island), too.

"If you copy the old, it's a copy."

Organizations: Fogo Island Arts, Shorefast Foundation

Geographic location: Iceland, Norway, Fogo Island Scandinavian countries Gander

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