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Home » Campus News and Events » March 2010-Press Release Archive » 3-24-10, Joyce Koskenmaki Illustrations, Paintings at Reflection Gallery April 1 to 25

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Joyce Koskenmaki Illustrations, Paintings at Reflection Gallery April 1 to 25

"Boat and Stars" by Joyce KoskenmakiHANCOCK, MI -The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery will host an exhibit of book illustrations and paintings by local artist Joyce Koskenmaki April 1 to April 25, 2010.

An opening reception and artist talk will take place Thursday, April 1, 12:15 to 1:00 p.m., at the Reflection Gallery. The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

In the exhibit, Koskenmaki presents a collection of illustrations she produced for the book, "Naked in the Stream: The Isle Royale Stories" by Vic Foerster, which will be published April 15 by Arbutus Press. In these drawings, Koskenmaki infuses the imagery often found in her paintings-land, sea, animals, and boats-into Foerster's storyline.

"Following her experience drawing the book illustrations, Koskenmaki created a number of paintings inspired by the drawings," says Reflection Gallery director Amanda Moyer. "Those paintings are also part of this exhibition."

Book Illustration  by Joyce KoskenmakiThe process of creating book illustrations was new to Koskenmaki. "This experience of four months of intense drawing has had a strong effect on my work," she explains. "The first painting I did after the drawings was 'Boat and Stars,' and the publisher decided to use it for the cover of Foerster's book."

"The stories (in the book) are really about the relationship between people and the environment," Koskenmaki says of "Naked in the Stream." "So if I left out the people, there would still be sufficient imagery to express the meanings."

Koskenmaki has engaged in many artists in residence programs in her career, including one on Isle Royale in 1998. Since then, she has visited the island four additional times.

On her most recent visit, in preparation for creating the book illustrations, Koskenmaki observed, "The area of the island where I had spent my residencies was not the one that is covered in the book. I had to find out what the rest of the island looked and felt like."

Book Illustration  by Joyce KoskenmakiSo she took the ferry around the island, "seeing the beautiful coves on the way to Windigo, the cliffs along the north side, McCargo Cove, the smaller islands including Dead Horse Rocks, and how the terrain changed," noting that many of Foerster's experiences take place in and around boats.

Koskenmaki earned a MFA in painting from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a BA from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. Her artwork is exhibited and collected internationally. Koskenmaki has taught around the country, including at Finlandia University.

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, associate professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or

Photo cutlines:            "Boat and Stars," a painting by Joyce Koskenmaki

Illustrations by Joyce Koskenmaki from the book, "Naked in the Stream: The Isle Royale Stories," by Vic Foerster