February 23, 2019  

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Gulf Coast Library Presents Art Exhibit by Osmo Visuri

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The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Library will present a watercolor exhibit by the late Finnish artist Osmo Visuri. The exhibit will be on display, Sept. 6 – Nov. 30, on the third floor of the Gulf Coast Library on the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. An opening reception will also be held on Thursday, Sept. 21, from 4:30 – 6 p.m.

The collection is on loan from Mary Pyle of Gulfport, who met Visuri during his tenure as a professor at the University of Helsinki in 1988. Pyle was visiting Finland as a presidentially appointed member of the National Council on Vocational Education.

Visuri later visited Pyle and her husband, Jack, at their home in Mississippi. During his visit, the artist and the couple attempted to find a place to exhibit his paintings. After an unsuccessful effort during his month-long stay, Visuri left his paintings with Pyle, where they remained until 2017. Since then, the pieces have been displayed at William Carey College’s Tradition Campus and the Mary O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs.

A painter, photographer, filmmaker, author, professor and world traveler, Visuri traveled extensively in the Middle East and published several books on Israel when the state was being established after World War II. He is recognized as a television pioneer in Finland, serving as head of documentary programs for Finnish National Television and as the head of the department of television and film at the University of Helsinki.

Visuri was also known in Italy, where he operated a watercolor studio, and in Israel, where he authored several books about the biblical parables. After retirement, Visuri continued teaching at his studio until his death in 2013. A respected citizen of Finland, Visuri received the Knight of the Order of the White Rose of Finland and the distinguished Kalevala cultural medal.

For more information about the Osmo Visuri art exhibit, contact Betty Shaw at 228.214.3456 or email Betty.Shaw@usm.edu.