Nature and animals have always been fascinating to Mirka Hokkanen. Since she was born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1979 and could walk, she has played in the woods and explored the variety of wildlife that existed around her. After moving to Illinois, USA, from Finland in 1998 her appreciation and closeness to nature grew even more as an international student far away from the lakes and forests that she was accustomed to.

Mirka took her first printmaking class as a freshman in college and hasn’t stopped printing since. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rockford University, Rockford, IL, in 2002, and Master of Art (2004) and Master of Fine Arts (2006) degrees from University of Dallas, in Irving, TX. (All degrees with a concentration in printmaking.) Since graduation Mirka has worked as a fulltime artist exhibiting work both nationally and internationally. In addition to showing her work on a regular basis, she has attended art fairs, been on panels at conferences, curated exhibitions and taught a variety of classes and lectures in printmaking, drawing and art history. She currently lives in TX with her husband and two wild kids.

Hokkanen uses a variety of printmaking, drawing and painting techniques in her art; depending on what media she thinks will best convey the message she is trying to communicate. Currently the main media employed in her work is relief printing; linocuts and wood engravings. Through her work Hokkanen hopes to convey her love and fascination towards nature and wake up the viewers senses to it. She is interested in the shapes animals make, the relationships we have with them, and capturing undulating and swirling fur/feather patterns. In addition to images of animals, Hokkanen’s art is often imbued with a second dimension of subtle humor that reflects her personality. As a whole, her body of work is varied and particular attention is paid to all the hands-on technical aspects of creating an original hand pulled print that will delight the audience with its skill and wit.

Short Artist Statment
The subject of my art has always been animals and nature. Living inside air-conditioned boxes and noses buried in our lives many of us don’t take time to venture out into nature and discover what it has to offer. Little sublime moments are strangely sobering. I will never be able to capture how awesome, beautiful and varied creation is around us, but I am doing my best to make footnotes. These little studies are well translated from my head to paper in detailed engravings, relief cuts and sometimes drawings. I am fascinated by; the shapes created by animals as they live, the relationships we have with them and the undulating and swirling fur/feather patterns. Through printmaking I hope to turn the viewers senses on to the wonderful living things around us.

2006 Master of Fine Arts, University of Dallas, Irving, TX
2004 Master of Arts, University of Dallas, Irving, TX

2002 Bachelor of Arts in Art, Rockford College, Rockford, IL

Selected grants and awards
2017 First Place in Portfolio Showcase, Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators Brazos Valley Conference, College Station, TX
2015 First Place in Printmaking Category, Brazos Valley Art League Juried Show, Arts Center of Brazos Valley, College Station, TX
2011 Finlandia Foundation National Grant, given for the Finnish Wallhanging Project
2010 City Purchase Award, Kent Summer Art Exhibit, Kent, WA
2005 Purchase Award, 19th Parkside National Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin, Kenosha, WI
2004 MAPC Juried Exhibition Recognition Award, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

2001 The derrick Prize in Art, Rockford College, Rockford, IL

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2017 Illustrations and Prints, Gallery 979, Bryan, TX
Grafiikkaa, Galleria G, Helsinki, Finland
2016 Human. Nature, SEAD Gallery, Bryan, TX
2014 Prints by Mirka Hokkanen, Jorvi Hospital, Espoo, Finland
2012 Prints by Mirka Hokkanen, Krab Jab Studio, Seattle, WA
2010 Inching Closer, La Familia Gallery, Seattle, WA
2010 Puskaradio, Galleria Gjutars, Vantaa, Finland
2009 Down the Grapevine, Friends Gallery, Lakewood Library, Lakewood, WA
2007 Kaikenkarvaiset, Tuusan Aitta, Nummela, Finland
2006 Maatilalla (At the Farm), Galleria Harmonia, Jyvaskylan Grafiikkakeskus, Jyvaskyla, Finland

2006 Manipulated, Continental Gallery, Dallas, TX

Selected Group exhibitions
2017 View from the Art Village: 50-Year Retrospective, Beatrice M. Taggerty Gallery, University of Dallas, Irving, TX
Wood Engravers Network Triennial Exhibition, traveling exhibition starting from Hamilton Wood type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, WI
Society of Wood Engravers 80th Annual Exhibition, traveling juried exhibition, opening at the North Wall Arts Center, Oxford, England
Gone Fishing, Galleria Dix, Helsinki, Finland
2015 10th Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition 2015, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT
Society of Wood Engravers 78th Annual Exhibition, travelling exhibition starting from North Wall Gallery, Oxford, England
A Second Look: Interpretations of Slected Works from the Permanent Collection, Forsyth Galleries, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Brazos Valley Art League Juried Show, Arts Center of Brazos Valley, College Station, TX
2014 77th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, traveling exhibition starting from Art Jericho, Oxford, UK
Wood Engravers Network Triennial Exhibition, traveling exhibition starting from Hamilton Wood type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, WI
Masters of Print/Grafiikan Mestareita, Galleria Dix, Helsinki, Finland
A Woodengravers Menagerie, Zygote Press, Cleveland OH
International Wood Engraving Invitational, Davison Galleries, Seattle, WA
2013 Animal/Elain, Haihara Cultural Arts Center, Tampere, Finland
2012 Uusi Lehti, Uutta Taidegrafiikkaa, Galleria G, Helsinki, Finland
2011 PS 5, Washington State Convention Center, South Galleria, Seattle, WA
2010 18th Annual Juried International Miniature Show, Parklane Gallery, Kirkland, WA
La Familia Gallery Group Show, Art Monaco 2010, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
2009 Grafiikkaa Veistoksia, Galleria Ferin, Helsinki, Finland
National Small Works 2009, Washington Printmakers Gallery, NW Washington DC
2008 Faculty Exhibition, Armstrong Atlantic State University Gallery, Savannah, GA
Naestved International Mini Print Exhibition, Naestved Grafisk Vaerksted, Naestved, Denmark
Political and Poetical: 14th Tallinn Print Triennial, Kumu Art Museum, Tallin Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
2007 Miniprint Finland 2007 Triennial, Lahti Art Museum, Lahti, Finland
6th Lessedra World Art Print Annuall, Lessedra Gallery and Contemporary Art Projects, Sofia Bulgaria
2006 Draw_Drawing_2, The Foundry Gallery, London Biennale, London, UK
West Meets West, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2005 Egos: Erik Tosten, Mirka Hokkanen, Sara Maxwell English, 500X Gallery, Dallas, TX
New Texas Talent XI, Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, TX

2004 Mid America Print Council Members Juried Exhibition, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, NE

Selected Public Collections
Jorvi Hospital, Espoo, Finland
City of Kent, Portable Works Collection, Kent, WA
Käpytikka RY, Helsinki, Finland
Lillie M. Kleven Print Collection, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Society of Wood Engravers
Suomen Taidegraafikot (Association of Finnish Printmakers)



2 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Mirka,
    My friend Mirka Breen told me you’ll be illustrating her work. We’re both marveling at the fact that we now know 3 Mirkas in the arts. Is Mirka a common name in Finland? I’m Mirka for my maternal grandmother, who lived in eastern Poland when it was occupied by Russia and returned to Poland after WW I. I was born in Italy. My Mirka and I had fathers born in Lodz, Poland. We are always excited to know of more Mirkas because we grew up not knowing any and having people wonder about our name.

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