Finlandia University Gallery hosts works of artist Bonnie Peterson in Word Count exhibit

This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:52 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - The Finlandia University Gallery is hosting its first exhibit since re-opening in December.

Located at the Finnish American Heritage Center in downtown Hancock, the exhibit ‘Word Count’ is from visual artist Bonnie Peterson.

It features a series of textile art pieces filled with embroidered texts inspired by global issues like climate change.

“I feel very fortunate to have nationally exhibited artist Bonnie Peterson for our first exhibit since re-opening the gallery,” said Finlandia University Gallery Director Carrie Flaspohler. “I wanted to celebrate local, like what is it about the Copper Country that makes us a special art center.”

Peterson began her artistic career after a friend’s death from breast cancer, which inspired her first work, ‘Talk to Me.’

She entered the work into a solo art show in Chicago in 1995.

“That was where I learned how much work goes into putting up a show,” said Peterson. “At the same time, I had submitted for an Illinois Arts Council fellowship, which was the most money that they gave to artists at the time, and I got one which was $6,000 or $7,000, and that really spurred me on to keep making artwork.”

She has since created other artworks inspired by environmental, historical and scientific issues. She said life experiences are her main inspiration.

“It’s changed based on my life experiences and interests,” continued Peterson. “One of those was doing artists residencies, which spurred on a bunch of artwork about hiking trips and glacier melting. Then, I got involved in the artist-scientist projects, and that’s what I’m working on now, turning some of the data that scientists work on into artwork.”

Peterson said she hopes viewers walk away with their own interpretations of her work.

A reception for the exhibit will be held on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the center’s Martha Wiljanen Community Hall.

The exhibit closes on Feb. 15.

For more information, check out the exhibit’s page by clicking here.