Photographer Anna Kaarina Nenonen works in series that often span decades. Her current series, Romancing the Thoroughbred, is an in-depth study of equines initially inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s studies of animal and human movement. It dwells on the very ontology
of the horse, examines the horse as a mythical animal, symbol of power or status, and the relationship of horses and humans-the horse as an empowering form of therapy and a projection of our dreams.
Inspiration is often the serendipitous result of tragic events that befall us, as is the case with Nenonen: “A few years ago, I had a nearly fatal riding accident. I had to learn to live again. The aftermath of the experience fuels the omnipresent existentialism inmy work. I am concerned with death, memory and memorabilia, fragility of the landscape and the environment we live in, the animals around us, vulnerability of the human body, and how man-made objects from sculptures to toys will be broken and forgotten, reminding us that we are here for only a very short time.”
Nenonen is a native of Finland.Her work is widely exhibited and collected both in Europe and the United States. Her career as an art educator includes seven years as assistant professor of art at Emory & Henry College where she currently works as an adjunct professor, teaching art history and two-dimensional design. She also serves as curator of The 1912 Gallery
at the college.
The recipient of more than 16 national and international grants, scholarships and awards, Nenonen has been the subject of and appeared in several publications, as well as on Austrian radio and Finnish national television. For several years, her paintings have been featured at Bukovski (Helsinki) Auction House’ international auctions of contemporary art. Nenonen is a long-standing member of the Finnish Painter’s Union. Most recently, she was chosen for an artist’s residency in Grassina, Italy, at the villa of the Finnish Artists’ Association for May and June 2013.
Greg Finney is a retired professional photographer with over 35 years of experience in portraits, commercial and landscape photography. Finney is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2005, he received his Master of Photography Degree from the Professional Photographers of America, as well as the Certified Professional Photographer status. In 2003 and 2005, he was Photographer of the Year in the state of Virginia, awarded by the Virginia Professional Photographers Association. Finney received four Kodak Gallery
Awards of Excellence and a national award by the PPA for the best high school senior marketing campaign. He currently enjoys traveling the Caribbean with cameras in hand.
In addition to creating digital media for business and industry marketing, Finney also volunteers his time teaching photography classes in the College for Older Adults at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. Several of his students also have work featured in this exhibit.
Located on the second floor Art Wall, the exhibit will be on display through January, 2015, at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon. Admission is free. For additional information, please contact the Higher Education Center at 276-619-4300.