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Päivi Mikola & Hannimari Heino at Finlandia University Gallery

paivi-artist-portraitSAMSUNG CSC

Vital Information

Finlandia University & the cities of Hancock, Michigan and Porvoo, Finland present the
Hancock / Porvoo Sister City Cultural Project


About the Exhibition:

HANCOCK, MI €“Finlandia University Gallery in collaboration with the City of Hancock and the City of Porvoo, Finland will present a Sister City Cultural Program featuring Porvoo artists Päivi Mikola & Hannimari Heino. Their exhibit Listening to the trees growing€¦feeling my own roots widening…will be on display at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from September 22 to October 15, 2016.

An opening reception at the gallery will take place on Thursday, September 22nd, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. with an artist talk beginning at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In coordination with the Sister City Cultural Program, Professor of Cultural Psychology Juhani Ihanus will present a lecture, €œPsychobotany: On the Psychic Life of Plants€ at the Community Art Center in Hancock on Tuesday, September 20th during their potluck series. The potluck and lecture begins at 6pm.

€œThe City of Hancock, Finlandia University and the surrounding communities are deeply rooted in our Finnish cultural identity; it is a central part of the region€™s history and identity,€ notes Finlandia University Gallery Director Carrie Flaspohler. €œBy creating opportunities for our community to interact with contemporary Finnish artists and scholars we are honoring our roots, addressing our contemporary connections and seeking relevance and cultural connections in our broader world.€

The overarching goal of this project is to build new relationships and cultural understanding between residents of Michigan and Finland through activities including viewing artwork, meeting, and listening to artists and scholars. By working alongside Finnish artists and scholars in Finlandia University classrooms and throughout the city we learn something of our common human experience, spanning both time and place.

Beyond the art exhibit and Community Arts Center lecture, activities related to the Sister City Cultural Project include a collaboration with the Ryan Street Community Garden, a visit by the artists to Barkell Elementary School to talk to the students about Porvoo, and lectures and workshops at Finlandia University. These activities are also coordinated with Festival Ruska 2106, a cultural program celebrating Hancock and the Keweenaw Peninsula€™s Finnish cultural roots.

Päivi Mikola is a Finnish architect, and designer who will exhibit furniture she has designed and manufactured. Mikola has spent her life and career applying design to improve the quality of everyday life. She has won several design prizes throughout her career.

She has been a professor in Oulu Univerkalanisity in Northern inland and currently owns a design studio where she designs and constructs furniture characterized by their unique combination of beauty and function, revealing the spirit in the material. Her design principles and work stems from the Nordic heritage of beautiful simplicity, meaning, pure form combined with the pragmatism of good functionality.


Hannimari Heino received a Master of Arts in 1999 from the University of Helsinki with the main subjects of Italian philology, literary studies and French philology. She has written several collections of poems and has translated poetry, documentaries and many novels. She has served as a columnist for a newspaper, a freelance critic, and has had exhibitions showcasing her collages of photography and poetry.SAMSUNG CSC

Heino works with poetry and botany in installations of words and plants. She is partnering with Ryan Street Community Garden to create an installation of poetry in the garden. During her visit to Finlandia University she will work with Assistant Professor of English Mark Lounibos to conduct a poetry workshop with first year English students.


Juhani Ihanus has belonged to the staff of the University of Helsinki since 1982 (PhD in psychology in 1990), and he is currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology. He also is an Adjunct Professor in Cultural Psychology (at the University of Helsinki), in Art Education and Art Psychology (at Aalto University) and in the History of Science and Ideas (at the University of Oulu).

In his lectuSAMSUNG CSCre at the Community Arts Center he will reflect on the ideas, starting from Aristotle, who proposed that plants have souls, from Linnaeus and Hegel, who classified plants between the minerals and animals, and from the German psychophysicist Gustav Theodor Fechner, who maintained in his work, in 1848, that plants have emotions and that they react to human attention, talk and affection. Later, experimental research on plants has brought forth that plants react to different kind of music and sounds, as well as to stress and pain-evoking stimuli.

€œFinnish artists and scholars have a unique voice that is both distinctive and universal,€ comments Flaspohler. €œThey provide a link to the thousands of ancestors who immigrated to Michigan from Finland, bringing language, scholarship, and artistic sensibilities to the United States beginning a century and a half ago. We are fortunate to have these three Porvoo artists and scholars visiting Hancock.€

Partners on the project include Finlandia University, the City of Hancock, the City of Porvoo and non profit Common Strands, International fiber art exchange, Minneapolis. Additional financial support was provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Minigrant program administered by Region 1A Copper Country Community Arts Council.

€œListening to the trees growing€¦feeling my own roots widening…will be on display at the Finlandia University Gallery through October 15, 2016.

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.
For more information, call 906-487-7500.
Photo captions:
Photo 1: The designer Päivi Mikola
Photo 2: The artist Hannimari Heino
Photo 3: Psychobotanist Juhani Ihanus