Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Finlandia Gallery to feature art of John Lundeen Nov. 15 - Dec. 13

HANCOCK -– Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center will host the 17th Annual Contemporary Finnish-American Artist Series with John Lundeen: From the Ether of Superior from Nov. 15 through Dec. 13, 2007.

An opening reception for the artist will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Finlandia University Gallery. At the reception, the artist will give a brief gallery talk about his work. Refreshments will be served. The reception is free and open to the public.

Finnish-American artist John Lundeen works from his studio on the shores of Lake Superior. Images of the lake act as a base for Lundeen’s metaphorical paintings where boats, fruit and mathematical formulas all float above the surface of the water in a playful expression of the wonders of nature and the human mind.

John Lundeen's "L’Ark, 2005." Oil on Canvas, 22" x 32". Click on photo for larger image. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Lundeen explains, "My images reflect a fascination with the workings of nature and the human mind. Fruit trees package their seeds in beautiful wraps and send them off with nourishment to survive a journey beyond the influence of nature."

Lundeen draws parallels between these natural processes and parenting.

"In my work, fruit becomes a metaphor for human offspring," he notes. Lundeen’s metaphorical "parents" send their young into the world with high hopes, relying on knowledge as the nourishment to help them survive.

The ambiguity in meaning of Lundeen’s images is an inherent part of the artwork.

John Lundeen. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

"Fish out of water and boats in the sky and other incongruities in my work will have different meanings to different people. It is my hope that each viewer will construct their own vision and interpretation of my work rather than relying on my explanation," says Lundeen.

Lundeen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a bachelor’s degree and continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving a master’s degree in 1963. Lundeen managed an architectural design and construction company for 29 years before retiring to Au Train, Mich., in 1992. His artwork has been exhibited across the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. He is also a participating artist in the traveling exhibition "A Celebration of the Upper Peninsula as Home," organized and sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition. This exhibit will tour five venues in the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin, including a stop at the Finlandia University Gallery from Dec 20, 2007 - Jan. 31, 2008.

John Lundeen: From the Ether of Superior will be on display through Dec 13. The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., or by appointment. Please call 487-7500 for more information.

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