Artist Background:
Kerttu Annikki Havola was born in Finland and immigrated to the USA at the age of ten. Her friends at Matthew Whaley School in Williamsburg, VA nicknamed her "Trudi", being easier to pronounce, the nickname has stuck. She believes that her Finnish background has been a strong influence on her art. Trudi received her BA degree in Fine Arts, Oil Painting from the College of William and Mary and her MA degree from George Mason University. She has worked in Fairfax County as a professional artist and an art teacher for over twenty-five years and is now retired.

Art Recognitions:
Trudi is a monthly exhibitor at the Fairfax Old Town Hall Art League gallery. She has won numerous awards, Best in Show, Spotlight on the Arts in ’06, Special Merit Award in ’07, to People’s Choice Awards.

In June ‘07 Trudi was chosen to travel to China as a People to People Ambassador to take part in a journey with the theme “Women in Higher Education”, because of her involvement in photography.

She also exhibits each year at the “Local Women Artist” show in Clifton, VA, sponsored by Clifton Community Women’s Club.

Her photography entries won two first place state awards, as well as the Best in Show in the Northern VA Women’s Club competition in ’07 and ’08. Her work has been said to have visual power and richness of ideas combined with high quality of handling art materials.

In 2008 her design for sculpture of the Fairfax County’s Library Foundation was chosen to be the selection for the new Burke library. The theme of her design is “Look Inside and Find Great Things”.

Trudi received an Outstanding Service Award from Fairfax County’s superintendent, for her ten years of work as an art program specialist for Adult Community Education in Fairfax County Public Schools. She has twice been nominated for the Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts.

Featured in two traveling exhibitions:Oil painting "Across the Plains", a bi-centennial exhibit of women artists, sponsored by the American Association of University Women.

Mixed media, guache painting "On Approaching Baltimore", selected as a part of a traveling state of Maryland exhibit.

Recent: Oatlans Plantation, Summer Exhibit, 2007, Mason Festival of the Arts, June 2008, Poetic Art, Lorton Arts Foundation, in collaboration with poet Cynthia Hearne Darling, mixed media painting, "Mississippi Mother."

Continuing her advocacy of art education, Trudi has aimed her volunteerism since retiring, by organizing and leading the enrichment art program "A Child's Introduction to Art", at the Main Street Child Development Center", in Fairfax, Virginia. She has been a frequent judge for student art competitions and shows, such as the PTA Reflections, Fairfax's Spotlight and for the Arts, 4 H Camp at Frying Pan Park. "Children are such lively and innovative artists, it is a joy to enforce their art interests," Trudi.