Reflection Gallery Past Exhibits
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Reflection Gallery Past Exhibits

November 1 to November 30, 2009: Jewelry Artist Aaron Sault

Aaron Sault Jewelry WorkThe Finlandia University Reflection Gallery will host an exhibit of jewelry designs by Marquette, Michigan-based artist Aaron Sault from November 1 to November 30, 2009.

An opening reception and artist talk will take place Thursday, November 5, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., at the Reflection Gallery. The reception is open to the public and all are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

Sault creates industrially refined, yet organic, jewelry that highlights the beauty of fur, bone, leather, wood, glass, and wool. At the heart of his work are the combination of sculpture and function and the contrast of metals against natural, non-metal textures. He says he seeks to honor the relationship between the organic and the refined through textural opposites.

Sault admits that he sometimes encounters design problems when attempting to fuse such drastically different materials. Despite the challenges this process creates, Sault states that "experiences and mistakes further my knowledge, and the mere 'act of doing' is an important aspect of my growth."

For Sault, the creation of jewelry is more a process of experimentation than creating items of adornment. "I believe that this small-scale sculpture has the possibility to get more intimate with the viewer because it is jewelry," he explains. "Especially when worn, these pieces seem to have qualities that invoke reaction."

About his art creation process, Sault further shares that he is "intrigued to learn from the process of living in the moment. The process of creating is a very useful tool for self-exploration." This self-exploration is the control Sault has on his jewelry pieces.

As for the viewer, Sault says he is not concerned about personal opinions, he is interested in the questions viewers take away from his work; questions such as Why do we choose the things we do? What do they say about us? and What is the use of adornment?

Sault completed a bachelor of fine arts at Northern Michigan University. He is currently employed as the exhibits and facilities manager at the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum, Marquette.

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia's Jutila Center campus, 200 Michigan St., Hancock.

For additional information, please contact Yueh-mei Cheng, professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or

December 1, 2009, to January 11, 2010: Skyler Ross and Jessica Spear

The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery will host a dual exhibit from December 1, 2009 to January 11, 2010, featuring the paintings of Jessica Spear and photographs by Skyler Ross.

An opening reception and artist talks will take place Thursday, December 3, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., at the Reflection Gallery. The reception is open to the public; refreshments will be served.

Skyler Ross, a Graphic Design major in the Finlandia University International School of Art & Design, uses Photoshop 7.0 to digitally alter photographs. In his photographs, he hopes to "capture the natural elements of everyday life... take the ordinary and give them vitamins."

Jessica Spear, a junior-level Finlandia Studio Arts student, uses color, texture, and collage to create large scale paintings overflowing with color and texture. Spear is involved in the local art community and works at the Copper Country Community Arts Center as a gallery helper.

"My work is mostly about my love of color, line, and collage and how these work (or don't work) together," Spear explains. "Spontaneity plays a huge role in my art. Paint splashes and brush strokes are often the result of letting the paint do what it wants to do."

Spear's fantastic use of color sprung from an experience in eighth grade. She explains, "the first time I saw 'Green Marilyn' [by Andy Warhol], I was hooked on that green or shades of green." She says she also enjoys using variations of purple, since purple is "the color of perfect spirituality and creativity."

Spear notes, "I am continuously inspired as I learn about different artists, their techniques and philosophies. I think art is a window for people to look into that provides vital information for understanding each other, our culture, and ourselves."

Skyler Ross enjoys manipulating what already exists, even if it is just taking a blue and making it a brighter, more saturated blue. He notes that he enjoys using bright saturated colors or very dark muted colors.

Through his work, Ross "wants the art to make you ask yourself questions. Whether it is asking yourself about your own life or just questioning life itself. It's about emotion behind or what is in the photo."

"This show is about how there is always more to a subject than what you see," he says, adding, "that there is a feeling or a presence within each experience."

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia's Jutila Center campus, Hancock. For additional information, contact Yueh-mei Cheng, associate professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or

March 22 to April 10: Watercolors by Chris Wirtanen

HANCOCK, MI - An exhibit of work by watercolorist Chris Wirtanen is featured at the Finlandia University Reflection Gallery March 22 to April 10, 2009.

An opening reception and an artist's talk will take place at the gallery Thursday, April 2, at 1:00 p.m.

Chris Wirtanen says his watercolors reflect the many moods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. His impressions of the rugged landscape and stark beauty of his familiar haunts are difficult to categorize, and he shuns the idea of developing a 'style.' He describes his paintings as a reaction to the moment.

 "I have no particular approach," confirms Wirtanen. "Whatever I am about at that instant, I will paint."

Wirtanen is a retired art educator who, after 37 years of teaching, finally has an opportunity to "practice what he preaches". He completed a master of arts with an emphasis on the lost wax process of bronze casting, and has completed additional university study at several institutions, including University of Wisconsin, Superior, and Northern Michigan University, Marquette.

"Although education has been my emphasis, the necessity to create has always been there for me," Wirtanen says. "Most of my efforts have been in the direction of mastering the media I teach."

"The only thing constant in life is change," Wirtanen states. "The seasons change, our moods change. My art will also change. I am not content to continue to travel one road. The excitement of art is found in its diversity."

A native of Ironwood, Michigan, Wirtanen presently resides in Bergland, Mich.

The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It is located on the second level of Finlandia's Juitila Center Campus, 200 Michigan St., Hancock.

For additional information, please contact Yueh-mei Cheng, associate professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7373, or

Download a PDF of the release

February 18 to March 16: A Group Exhibit of Work by Three Student-Artists

The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery, Hancock, will host a group exhibit of work by junior-level studio arts and illustration students February 18 to March 16, 2009. The group exhibition includes an installation by Laura Metcalf (Gwinn, Mich.), photographs by Stephanie Trevino (Hubbell, Mich.), and comic book illustrations by Sarah Anderson (Houghton, Mich.).

Each exhibitor has used an assortment of techniques and styles to express their imaginative points of view," says Reflection Gallery director sophomore Rachel Reidenga (Wetmore, Mich.). "All three artists demonstrate their own unique talent in each piece they have made."

Laura Metcalf describes her installation called, "Home" as a mixed media exploration of how individuals are connected to certain places and people. She says it attempts to uncover the mysteries and secrets that families guard, sometimes even from each other.

Sarah Anderson sees her work as a way to make people laugh. She points out that comic pages are more than just characters on a page, and that the text is an important element of her artwork. "Titles should do more than simply describe a piece; they should be as much a part of the piece as the composition and pallet," Anderson says. "The story should be enhanced by the image."

The series "Doll Dreams" by Stephanie Trevino, is a photo-comic about the lives and loves of a motley group of dolls, toys, and figurines.

The Reflection Gallery is on the second level of Finlandia's Jutila Center campus, Hancock. For additional information, contact Yueh-mei Cheng, associate professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or

Photo cutlines:
"Remember When We Met," photography by Stephanie Trevino.
"Home," an art installation by Laura Metcalf