Artist Kevin Finnerty Dies in Arson at his Home

This is way too sad a story. Kevin Finnerty, a well-known artist from Arlington Heights, IL, set fire to his home early this month killing his wife, his 11 year old son and himself. Two other children escaped. He left a suicide note that blamed financial troubles. The previous weekend he had exhibited his paintings in a familiar place, a store that was near the Arlington Heights Art Fair. "LaSalle Bridge" Read the story at the Chicago Tribune, and a rather more bizarre story in the Daily Herald that talks about his painting and only eludes to the deaths of his family. Here is Kevin's website:
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  • That sucks, I am also going thru financial difficulties right now, I lost my house, all my money (trying to keep up with the mortgage to no avail) and I am penniless not to mention health issues. No one is buying high-end art right now and it is a huge strain. But to go that far....its tragic, He was a fantastic artist. I wish he had gotten some help. I hope that everyone else that is in this boat will realize that it is just temporary and we are not alone. Give each other hope, support each other and this too shall pass.
    My condolunces to the family. (excuse the spelling, I can't spell, no spell check on this!)
  • How tragic! God Bless and comfort the loved ones left behind.
  • I am so sorry to hear of this tragic story. Life throws many different curve balls and I suppose Kevin had reached a mountain that was too difficult to climb, or perhaps he had already climbed it in the past. Truly, none of us know the why answer. I can only offer my condolences, and my quiet tears of pain. Sincerely, Linda Creager of NatureWhispers
  • Arlington Heights is a home of sorts, still have a studio here and my main business (the one that actually shows a profit) is headquartered here as well.The family was well known in a town where despite the size, everyone seems to know everyone. Tragic without a doubt,the home still cordoned off as a crime scene,the flower memorials now decaying.If I were a ghoul, I would be one of those photographing it for dramatic effect.
    For what it's worth, the Herald ran a series of stories that were respectful, but informative of the circumstances.They told of his struggles with his work, the past history of family difficulty. The article you mention written as a follow up story, the comment "only alludes to the deaths of his family" not quite fair.
    I thought of mentioning the story here, kinda wish I had. This was, for all outside appearances the perfect suburban family, white picket fence, mini van, etc. Arlington Heights is an affluent community, peer pressure for both parents and children can become overwhelming. The Chicago area manages a vibrant art community with shows every weekend in every neighborhood, galleries all over downtown.
    What I found fascinating, is how "normal" the man's life seemed. Doing shows, I see folks of all sorts, not to catagorize, but more than a few would not seem quite at home in the white bread suburban setting of Kevin. The follow up articles spoke of how difficult he found his chosen vocation to be, but also how he tried to keep up with the changes by venturing into photography (he was on top of the current rage of huge gallery wraps) teaching, and exhibitions both in galleries and corporate settings.
    For what it's worth, the man was an artist. A true artist not just in his talent,but in his choice to use his talent, his business ability to make his living.To support his family. It's a haunting story, to say it's heartbreaking is at once true, but a shallow reference because this pain will become part of the lives of those left behind. I never met the man, and for what it's worth, I'm proud of the way the local newspaper managed to convey the tragedy, but yet wrote a story of the man's life we can all relate a bit to.
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