- MFA, The New York Academy of Art
- BFA, Univ Michigan-Ann Arbor
I am a child of Finnish immigrants with English as my second language. My father was a child refugee of the Winter War. Growing up in my hometown in Upper Peninsula Michigan on the border of Canada I was exposed to a wide diversity of cultures with immigrants from Finland and Italy as well as the large local Native American population. Surrounded by the Great Lakes and gorgeous wilderness I was inspired to become an artist and pursue my education traveling around the world in learning about art. Personally experiencing the tragedy of September 11 in New York City I began appreciate the power of art to heal from trauma and dedicated my life to bringing art as a teacher to everyone who wants to learn. There is beauty in both the creation of art as well as simply experiencing it.