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Finnish Orthodox Church-Building and Icons Subjects of June Exhibit at Heritage Center

A religious icon painted by Seppo LatvalaHANCOCK, MI -Seppo Latvala of Finland will present an exhibit focused on Finnish Orthodox buildings and icons at the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, during FinnFest USA 2013, June 17-23.

Panels from the Orthodox chapels and churches exhibitThe exhibit explores Latvala's research on building traditions in Finnish Orthodox churches and chapels (tsasounas), and includes information about and images of the churches and chapels Latvala has designed, and of the religious icons that he has painted. Latvala's chapels and icon paintings are found in the towns of Pietarsaari, Toivala, Saarivaara, and Inari (in northern Lapland), Finland, among other locations.

"Latvala's intricate studies of traditional Finnish architecture and his beautiful religious icons illustrate an aspect of ethnic Finnish culture that I believe will interest FinnFest USA 2013 participants," says Hilary Virtanen, FinnFest programming committee chair. "We are thrilled to have such a dynamic individual bring these displays to the Copper Country."

The autonomous Finnish Orthodox Church has three dioceses and more than 61,000 members that account for 1.1 percent of the population of Finland, according to Latvala. It is a national church in Finland, along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

Another FinnFest exhibit, "Finnish Smoke Cabins," presents Latvala's research on the ancient, traditional Finnish savutupa (smoke cabin). That exhibit is in the Finnish American Historical Archive, on the lower level of the Finnish American Heritage Center.

The exhibits are curated by Seppo Latvala and David Brule, and sponsored by David and Elsa Brule.

For information, contact Cynthia Coté, director of the Copper Country Community Arts Center, Hancock, at 906-482-2333.

Photo captions: 1) A religious icon painted by Seppo Latvala; 2) Panels from the Orthodox chapels and churches exhibit