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A Retrospective of Exceptional Expression

The Contemporary Finnish American Artist Series 20th Year Retrospective Exhibit Catalog can be purchased through the office of the International School of Art & Design.

The 48-page soft cover book includes 19 full-color reproductions of the artwork featured in the exhibit. The cost is only $20.00.

Retrospective Bridge ImageIn his introductory essay to the exhibit catalog for the Finlandia University Gallery’s Contemporary Finnish-American Artist Series 20th Year Retrospective, Chicago-based art writer and journalist Jeff Huebner writes that the exhibit series “embraces a group of people whose work represents not only the range and diversity of Finnish-American cultural expression-from abstracted landscapes to ceramic vessels, from realistic paintings to photographic portraits, from stainless-steel sculptures to fiber art-but also the wide-ranging heterogeneity of the American art experience itself.”

Huebner stresses, however, that, “While these artists and their appealing works are part of our American heritage, they also reveal varying levels of engagement with their ethnic identity, or nationality. Some directly explore themes and images related to their Finnish-ness (suomalaisuus), Finnish-American-ness, or Sámi heritage … other artists show a more tenuous connection to their ancestry, their work more concerned with formal issues…[and] some of these artists mine veins of magical realism, psychological realism, or surrealism.”

“Though justly proud of their heritage, I’d venture to say that most of the artists in this exhibition would prefer not to be classified by such limiting, hyphenated labels. They are all exceptional American artists, period.” Huebner concludes, adding that, “Except sometimes through the surname, you wouldn’t necessarily know these folks were Finns.”

“The Finlandia University Gallery gratefully acknowledges each of the 19 artists who have been part of the Finnish-American Artists Series,” says gallery director Carrie Flaspohler. “It is their commitment that has made it a success. They are an inspiring, professional, and generous group of artists.”

The exhibition and catalog are supported in part by Finlandia Foundation® National, Finn Spark, Inc., Patricia Van Pelt, and a gift in memory of The Hon. Dr. Gloria Jackson.


Please call 906-487-7225 or e-mail

Finlandia University Contemporary Finnish-American Artist Exhibit Series Participants

Retrospective Catalog Cover

1991 Tarmo Watia
1992 Joyce Koskenmaki
1993 Kathleen Oettinger
1994 Peder Kitti
1995 Yeshe Linda Helander
1996 Gerald Immonen
1997 Elsa Bekkala
1998 Marlene Ekola Gerberick
1999 Rudy Autio
2000 Gladys Koski Holmes
2001 Arno Rafael Minkkinen
2002 10-Year Retrospective
2003 Eric Aho
2004 Petri Flint
2005 Vaino Kola
2006 David Salmela
2007 John Lundeen
2008 Désirée Koslin
2009 Bruce A. Niemi
2010 Dina Kantor