Harry Nurmet

Harry Nurmet was born on April 25, 1909, in Tallinn, Estonia.
Throughout public school and high school he always had an avid interest in art. He studied Law at Tartu University.

He first studied art at Ants Laikmaa's Studio and later pursued additional art courses in the United States. In 1946 he helped to organize the first art exhibition in Tübingen DP camp in Germany, and from 1946-49 he exhibited in Geislingen and Reutling Estonian Artists' Shows. From 1944-49 Nurmet worked at the YMCA as a Director in the French Zone, and then as a Director at the Lutheran World Federation.

He immigrated to the United States of America in 1950 and settled in Oregon, Illinois. During the first few months he worked as a painter.
For the next 29 years he worked at Watt Publishing Co. as an applied artist. He also joined the Rockford Art Association, and in 1951 won I Jury Award. For 27 years he exhibited in their Juried Shows, winning many awards.

Nurmet works mainly in watercolour, oils, monotypes and acrylics, and was founder of the Oregon Illinois' Eagle's Nest Art Group, which operated until 1985. He was the group's leader and was elected President eight times. As such he organized exhibitions, courses and classes for young artist. From 1964-1985 he experimented in acrylic techniques with Estonian motives, like brooches which introduced Estonia and its situation. From 1964-1986 Nurmet organized twelve juried religious art exhibitions at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Oregon, Illinois. He exhibited with his wife, who designed banners and he paintings, and which won them many awards. In 1983 Arts Alliance of Ogle County organized his "Monotype Exhibition" where he exhibited 31 monotypes. In 1976 he designed and painted in the centre of Oregon City a large mural celebrating 200 years of American independence. In 1985 he designed the Oregon City flag and in 1993 the City of Oregon elected him the Grand Marshall of its Autumn on Parade Fall Festival.

Nurmet continues to paint and exhibit in art exhibitions. On April 22, 1999 Eagle's Nest Art Group held an exhibition of Nurmet's work to celebrate his 90th birthday. This exhibition included 50 of his paintings from 1946-1999. Speeches and the exhibition itself were videotaped for sale.

Since his wife passed away in 1982, Nurmet has volunteered as an art instructor for seniors. In 1981 Endel Kõks, in Sweden, wrote in "Välis-Eesti" that Harry Nurmet has won the most art awards by Estonian artists in exile in the United States. His works are in many private and public collections in the United States, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Australia; also in many catalogues and periodicals.
Nurmet has been a member of EKKT since 1999 and currently resides in Oregon, Illinois.

Sündinud 25. aprillil 1909 Tallinnas, Eestis. Hea kunstialuse saanud algkoolis ja gümnaasiumis ning Ants Laikmaa ateljees. Hiljem end täiendanud USA-s. Oppis Tartu Ulikoolis õigusteadust. Aitas korraldada esimese DP'de Kunstinäituse Tübingenis 1946.a. Sellest ajast kuni 1949.a.-ni esines Geislingeni ja Reutlingi Eesti kunstnike näitustel. Täätas World's YMCA esindajana Prantsuse tsoonis 1946-1949. Hiljem Lutheran World Federation'is Prantsuse tsoonis direktorina (DP'de laagris) 1949-1950. Emigreerus USA-sse 1950.a., asus elama Oregoni linna Illinois'i.

Algul täätas maalrina, hiljem Watt Publishing Co. juures rakenduskunstnikuna. Astus Rockford Art Association'i liikmeks, 1951.a. esines züüriinäitusel, omandades I züüriiauhinna. 27 aastat esines nende züüriinäitustel, omandades mitmeid auhindu.
1957.a. asutas Oregon, Il. Eagle's Nest Art grupi, mis tegutses kuni 1985. aastani. 1964.a. hakkas eksperimenteerima akrüültehnikas, kasutades eesti rahvakultuuri motiive, sõlgi ja preese, mis aitasid tutvustada Eestit ja sealset olukorda. 1964-1985 korraldas St. Pauli Luteri kiriku soovil 12 züüriinäitust religioossel teemal. Esines koos abikaasaga, kes kujundas estargilisi bannereid ja tema religiooseid maale, mille eest said rea auhindu. 1983.a. korraldas Arts Alliance of Ogle County tema monotüüpiate näituse, kus esines 31 monotüüpiaga. 1976.a. maalis suuremõõtmelise pannoo Oregon'i kesklinnas USA 200. aastapäeva tähistamiseks. 1985.a. kujundas Oregon'i linnalipu. 1993.a. valis Oregoni linna Autumn on Parade Fall Festivali komitee H. Nurmeti tema kunstitegevuse tunnustuseks paraadi Grand Marshall'iks.

Maalib pidevalt edasi ja esineb ikka näitustel. On seitse aastat õpetanud vabatahtlikuna vesivärvimaalimist seenioridele. 22.
aprillil 1999 korraldati Eagle's Nest Art grupi soovil tema 90.a.
juubeli puhul kunstinäitus, kus oli maale aastatest 1946-1999. Kõned ja näitus lindistati videole (müügiks). 1981.a. kirjutas kunstnik Endel Kõks Rootsis "Välis-Eestis", et H. Nurmet olevat Välis-Eesti kunstnikest USA-s suurima hulga auhindade võitja. Tema maale leidub USA-s, Eestis, Soomes, Saksamaal ja Austraalias. Tema täid on paljudes era- ja ametlikes kogudes, samuti kataloogides ja ajakirjades. EKKT liige alates 1999.a. Elab Oregon'is, Illinois, USA's.