Rea Nurmi was born in Helsinki, Finland, where she graduated from the Structural Design Institute. After coming to the United States in 1973, she studied electrical engineering and worked as a designer in engineering firms. It was here in the U.S. that Nurmi began her formal study in Art. Encouraged by artist Corinne Nebil, she developed an appreciation for the essence of pastel, which has become her primary medium. She has also studied in workshops with Daniel Greene and with Flora B. Giffuni at the Pastel Society of America in New York City, where she has received scholarships.
Rea Nurmi's journey as an artist began in 1986. She left her work as a designer for a life adventure that took her travelling half-way around the world for several months, hiking in New Zealand, scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, exploring the beaches of Hawaii, and discovering Tahiti's Moorea Island in the South Pacific. Upon returning home to Milford, Connecticut, she decided to devote all of her time to Art. She feels that her travels influence and inform her work. From time to time she tours the country on an assignment with the U.S. State Department as a Finnish Interpreter, allowing her to link her Finnish heritage with her American home.
Rea Nurmi exhibits frequently, including solo exhibits in SoHo NYC, Seattle, Helsinki, Washington D.C., Boston, Martha's Vineyard and locally in New Haven, and West Hartford, CT. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Her work has been featured in galleries throughout New England, internationally in private collections, and can be found in corporate collections in New York City.
Through the years, Rea Nurmi has gained a reputation for versatility. Working from the realistic Inventory Series to otherworldly Underwater Series to the majestic Flight Series Nurmi has established her credentials as an artist and educator. Presently Nurmi works mainly in pastel, at times combining with acrylic.Using explosive color and movement, she has mastered a passionate and free flowing style of her own, giving viewers a glimpse into new visions of the world we live in.
Striking in their composition and color, Rea Nurmi's paintings and commissioned murals reflect a devotion to the beauty of nature. The work is influenced by her own ever-changing life experiences and communicate unmistakable enthusiasm and joy.
Rea teaches a class "Joy of Pastels" at Eckerd College, OLLI Program, St Petersburg Florida http://www.eckerd.edu/olli/index.php