IRONWOOD, Mich. (WJMN) – Norman Korpi has returned to his hometown of Ironwood Michigan. The artist and entrepreneur has been spending time creating, and helping out his cousin’s at Rigoni’s Bakery. If you don’t live in the western Upper Peninsula, you might have seen Norman on the Paramount+ show, The Real World Homecoming: New York.

Korpi was a member of the original The Real World cast in 1992. Now nearly 30 years later, the cast was reunited in the original Manhattan apartment for the homecoming show. Korpi spoke with us on Thursday from Ironwood and said he never originally intended to be on the show.

Being one of the first openly gay people on television, Korpi talked about the change in culture since 1992, and the role he played in that change.

Knowing what his life looks like now and the opportunities he’s add, we asked Korpi what he would tell his 23-year-old self about being on The Real World and what he would want to know.

During our conversation, Korpi found out that The Real World Homecoming: New York had been nominated for two Critics Choice Real TV Awards. Korpi and his cast members will go up against shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, Top Chef, and Queer Eye in the Best Unstructured Series, and Best Ensemble Cast In An Unscripted Series categories. Korpi said, there has been a renewed sense of celebrity with the reunion show, but he’s thankful to experience it in the Western U.P.

Korpi has become famous for his paper bag paintings of chocolate bunnies. In one episode of The Real World Homecoming: New York, he was able to demonstrate his art. Being back in Ironwood, Korpi has had the time and space to create new art, and now there’s a wait list for his work.

In the middle of now planning to attend an awards show, shipping out art to its new owners, Korpi spoke about what he loves about life in the U.P.

If you’d like to see more of Norman Korpi’s art or follow along with his latest projects, you can click or tap here.