Finlandia University Gallery
Finnish-American Heritage Center
435 Quincy Street, Hancock, MI (906) 487-7500
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. Thursday
12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Saturday
Front: The Reappearing Thought III, 2016, Watercolor on paper, 14” x 20”
October 24 to November 26
Thursday, October 24, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Artist talk beginning at 7:20 p.m.
HANCOCK, MI – Finlandia University Gallery will present the exhibition A Song for Time by Finnish artist Kristiina Uusitalo at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC), Hancock from October 24 to November 26, 2019.
An opening reception for the artist will take place at the gallery Thursday, October 24, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. with an artist talk beginning at 7:20 p.m. Following the artist talk, Finnish architect Olli Pekka Jokela will present a slide lecture about his recent collaboration with Uusitalo on the 2019 Vietnam Finland International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and his other designs of Finnish public buildings.
The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Direct experience, wonder and the landscape are among the principal themes of Kristiina Uusitalo’s work. Depicting life’s vibrant energy and using nature as a metaphor for human’s inner life, Uusitalo’s work makes visible the places where energy is stored and released. Climate change and plastic waste are the underlying subjects in her new series A Song for Time, on display at Finlandia University Gallery through November 26th.
“My current paintings take us into the midst of the plastic soup that we swim in,” says Uusitalo. “The sky is still blue, but we are choking in the useless material boiling away in our seas and on our shores… We need a huge change in our priorities if we are to go on from here in a healthy way. And the best tool I have is making these paintings. Here is what I have. This is my contribution.”
Uusitalo’s paintings and prints present a thought-provoking blend of beauty in the observed color and shape of discarded plastic, with the urgent message of how plastic consumption is polluting our oceans and shores. Once we associate these compositions with plastic litter, their message takes on a completely new meaning.
“Anything we touch will change a little bit. We cannot avoid using natural resources,” says Uusitalo. “Any deed towards another person will also leave a mark. Whether accidentally or consciously I am leaving a trace with my every step. It does not deny my right to live, but it makes me responsible for my choices.”
Kristiina Uusitalo has also completed several public commissions including collaboration with Finnish architect Olli Pekka Jokela on a recent school building in Vietnam. Uusitalo coordinated the art program for the building including eighteen prints on glass in the school foyers. Jokela, a Helsinki-based architect whose buildings have received numerous awards will also be a featured speaker at Uusitalo’s opening reception, October 24th.
Kristiina Uusitalo is one of most prominent Finnish painters. She completed her MFA as a Fulbright Scholar at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also attended The School of Fine Arts Academy of Finland (Helsinki, Finland). She has had numerous solo and group exhibits in Finland, Germany France, China and the United States. Her public commissions include the altar painting in Tainionkoski Church in Imatra (1997) and the mural Valon varassa (Borne by Light, 2013) in the entrance hall of Malmi Hospital. Her works are in over thirty Finnish public and private collections.
A Song for Time will be on display at the Finlandia University Gallery through November 26, 2019.
The Finlandia University Gallery is located 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., Thursday 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m., and Saturday 12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. or by appointment. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.