March 22 to April 10, 2009: Watercolors by Chris Wirtanen

March 22, 2009

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 Phillip Faulkner, assistant professor of studio arts: intermedia, at (906) 487-7373, or

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