Finlandia University Gallery to remain open thanks to anonymous donation

The Finlandia University Gallery, which was slated to close at the end of 2022, will stay open...
The Finlandia University Gallery, which was slated to close at the end of 2022, will stay open and resume exhibits thanks to an anonymous donor.(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 9:50 PM EST
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - The Finlandia University Gallery has announced it will remain open following an anonymous donation of an undisclosed amount.

It was originally to close following the end of its latest exhibit “Self-Revolving Line” on Dec. 14.

“One of the hardest things we’ve had to do is talk about closing the gallery over the last six months,” said Finlandia University President Tim Pinnow. “And the fact that one of our donors who is connected to the area, was willing to put forward a very sizable donation in order to keep the gallery open, knowing all that it means to this region.”

The university is facing budget challenges because of lower enrollment, a major factor in the gallery’s closing.

“We are going to have to look at alternate ways to continue funding it into the future, but our hope is to keep it open permanently,” continued Pinnow. “This gives us some time to rearrange things, to look at grant funding, to do some additional fundraising, as ways of keeping it open.”

Nine exhibits are shown one after the other every year, each from a national or international artist. Gallery Director and Curator Carrie Flaspohler, who has managed the gallery for 20 years, is setting up the next lineup with Finnish-American artists.

“I have lined up a very talented fiber artist named Bonnie Peterson to be our January exhibit,” said Flaspohler. “And I’m also negotiating with a Finnish artist that I had lined up for 2023 to see if we can get them back.”

Flaspohler said he would like to thank the donor for making this all possible.

“One person can make a difference, and a real positive difference to a community,” continued Flaspohler.

Peterson’s exhibit is scheduled for Jan.

The opening date is not set, but a reception is set for Jan. 26 at the Finnish American heritage center.