HANCOCK - Twenty years of highlighting Finnish-American artists will culminate in a retrospective exhibit starting at the Finlandia University Gallery Dec. 1.
Numerous artists will be on hand as well as the cultural counselor of the Embassy of Finland, Anneli Halonen, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Contemporary Finnish-American Artist Series with a reception at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery.
"Twenty years ago, the president and the gallery director decided it would be a good idea to highlight a Finnish-American artist every year as both a source for the community to learn more about Finnish American art and for our students and area young people to be inspired and encouraged," Finlandia Gallery Director Carrie Flaspohler said. "We feel that this exhibit series has advanced fine art and design for the Finnish-American community."
The reception will be held in conjunction with the celebration of Finnish Independence Day. Musical performances will occur, as well as talks from several artists and Halonen on their Finnish-American heritage.
"This is such a historic event for us," Flaspohler said. "We have a very prominent selection of artists from around the country."
Artists exhibiting work as part of the retrospective are Tarmo Watia, Joyce Koskenmaki, Kathleen Oettinger, Peder Kitti, Yeshe Linda Helander, Gerald Immonen, Elsa Bekkala, Marlene Ekola Gerberick, Rudy Autio, Gladys Koski Holmes, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Eric Aho, Petri Flint, Vaino Kola, David Salmela, John Lundeen, Desiree Koslin, Bruce A. Niemi and Dina Kantor. Augmenting the retrospective is a 48-page exhibition catalog put together by the gallery.
"It's a beautiful art book that has a reproduction from every artist as well as a biographical note," Flaspohler said.
The catalog will be offered for purchase at the reception as well as North Wind Books.
The Finlandia Gallery is located in the Finnish American Heritage Center on 435 Quincy St. in Hancock. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday or by appointment. For more information, call 487-7500.