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Anna Alapuro: Fragments from Mänttä, June 24 – Sept. 12

HANCOCK, MI €“ Anna Alapuro: Fragments from Mänttä will be on display at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from July 24 to Sept. 12, 2014.

Alapuro will travel from Finland to attend a closing reception at the gallery on Thursday, September 4, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Alapuro will display a series of 35 carborundum prints representing different views and fragments from Mänttä, a small forest/industrial town located in the Pirkanmaa region in central Finland. Seen together, these prints create a kind of memory map of Mänttä, delivering a colorful and impressionistic vision of the Finnish town.

Mänttä is home to a paper factory with declining employment and the town has become quiet.

€œIn my work I focus on the details of the small community, logos, structures of the factory buildings, designs of the products of the factory,€ said Alapuro. €œSome of these are part of the common memory to all Finns, some are more difficult to identify.€

Alapuro€™s prints range from abstract to realistic; this contrast leaves the work open to different interpretations and fosters a sense of universality.

€œEven if my work deals with a small Finnish community, it reflects the common experience of place and everyday life with its signs and decorations,€ notes Alapuro. €œHancock has many similarities to Mänttä; it is a small town with a great history of mining industry. In both towns, industry was blooming already over 100 years ago, and there were many Finnish workers in Hancock. This makes it interesting to bring these prints to Hancock.€

Alapuro has her Bachelor of Art from the Lahti Institute of Fine Arts, and also completed studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary and the Art School of Lahti. She is currently teaching at the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, Programme of Visual Arts, Imatra. Her work has been exhibited widely in Finland and internationally, including exhibits in Denmark, Estonia, Vietnam, China and Spain.

Her work is included in many art collections including Finlandia University, the State of Finland, the City of Helsinki, the Finnish Parliament Art Collection, the City of Tampere, the Oulu Art Museum and the Lahti Art Museum.

€œFragments from Mäntt䀝 will be on display through September 12, 2014.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment.

For more information, call 906-487-7500.

Photo captions:
Photo 1: Artist Anna Alapuro in her studio
Photo 2: MÄNTTÄ , Carborundum print, 22€ x 20€, 2013