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Seeking Sisu: From Finland, with Love
Creativity Works exhibition

June 15
June 22 2024

Where Finnish Heritage Museum
301 High St.
Fairport Harbor, OH

Work by Gwen Putz for "Seeking Sisu: From Finland, with Love"

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Seeking Sisu: From Finland, with Love, a solo exhibition by Cleveland Institute of Art rising senior Gwen Putz, will explore themes of immigration, migration and refugeeism through the lens of the artist's family's Finnish and Karelian heritage, including the family’s experiences during a war between Finland and Russia in the 1940s.

Seeking Sisu: From Finland, with Love will open to the public from 3 to 6pm Saturday, June 15 at the Finnish Heritage Museum at 301 High St. in Fairport Harbor. A brief artist presentation will occur at 3:30pm.

Putz’s exhibition will be on view alongside the museum’s permanent collection and will remain up through Saturday, June 22. The Finnish Heritage Museum is open to the public every Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Karelia is an area in Northern Europe currently divided between Finland and Russia. At the outset of World War II, Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union and ceded a large portion of Karelia via treaty—forcing hundreds of thousands of people to be relocated. Finland soon took back this territory, but a few years later, was forced out again. This resulted in the entire population being evacuated from the region with no chance for return. '

For Seeking Sisu: From Finland, with Love, Putz found inspiration within the museum's collection and by connecting with its Finnish members. In addition, for this exhibition, she explored a range of printmaking processes. The responsive works she created are mainly lithography and monotype.

Seeking Sisu: From Finland, with Love was created through CIA’s Creativity Works program, which is made possible by the generous support of the Fenn Educational Fund and the G.R. Lincoln Family Foundation. Creativity Works is a self-initiated internship program with the goal of supporting a student's professional development. Participating students create proposals that align with their long-term professional goals.


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Finnish Heritage Museum
301 High St.
Fairport Harbor, OH 44077

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Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Cleveland Institute of Art is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.