All roads lead to a summer exhibition

In summertime most Finns tend to spend a lot of time in their country homes and summer cottages. Staying in the holiday home in the countryside gives a good chance to explore the local surroundings, which – quite surprisingly – are often filled with art exhibitions.

Heading to the countryside isn’t a bad idea for a tourist travelling in Finland, either. It is quite fair to say that there is an exhibition almost in the end of every small road. To find one, all you need to do is to check out the local events nearby in a local newspaper or on the Internet – or just ask from someone local who happens come by. We bet that in a distance of 100 kilometres you will find at least one exhibition.

This summer our favourite exhibitions, among others, can be found in small towns of Mänttä, Mustarinda, Purnu or Fiskars.

Fresh names redefine the contemporary art at Mänttä Art Festivalboat2_2011.07.16_v_b

For over 20 years Mänttä, a small community 80 kilometres northeast of Tampere, has celebrated summer by arranging a contemporary art festival. This summer, the curators Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger have invited a group of international contemporary artists working in Finland to exhibit their works in the new present exhibition. The Mänttä Art festival goes on all around the town until 30 August.

Composing sustainable values in Mustarinda

Heading to Kajaani and further to Hyrynsalmi in North-Eastern Finland, you’ll find a fascinating place – and an art association – called Mustarinda. The non-profit association aims to foster sustainable values and lifestyle in all aspects of life and art.Ulrika-Jansson-teoskuva_mustarinda_web

Mustarinda’s summer exhibition focuses annually on the issues around art and ecology. The title of this summer’s exhibition is Composition, and it is open for public until 8th August.

In Mustarinda you will find not merely artworks but also a nature trail and a sightseeing tower. “Mustarinda is a meeting point for the artists, researchers, travellers and locals surrounded by the beautiful old forests”, states Mustarinda active Pauliina Leikas.

Slowing down in Purnu

Another extraordinary place for exploring art is the Purnu Art Centre situated on the beautiful shore of Lake Längelmävesi in Orivesi. Each year Purnu organises a summer exhibition with a changing theme and an additional programme with performances and events.

The founder of the art centre, sculptor Aimo Tukiainen (1917–1996) started organising the summer exhibitions already 1967. “Harmony between nature and culture creates a unique ground for experiencing art”, says exhibition assistant Laura Lehtinen.

AimoTukiainen ja EmmaHelle_web(1)Purnu’s exhibition of this summer is called Imageful. It wishes the viewer to slow down and watch slowly, as the artworks have unique qualities that you can fully notice only by stopping in front of it for a while. The exhibition is open until 9 August.

We love wood(s) in Fiskars Village

Last but not least: an exquisite place to visit all year round is the pretty village of Fiskars, a unique community of artisans, designers and artists in southwestern Finland, a 90-minute drive away from Helsinki.

fiskars_takopaja_webThe village was founded for producing ironworks in 1649, and the close connection between the village and the local Fiskars Company has remained until today, although the character of industrial activity has changed during the history. Nowadays, the Fiskars Corporation is famous for its brands such as Fiskars, Iittala and Gerber.

The year round, the Fiskars community arranges high-quality exhibitions presenting crafts, design and art. This year’s summer exhibition, We love wood(s), is open until 20 September.

IMG_4885Photographs (listed from top to down):
Copper smithy and the river, Fiskars. Photograph: Kaius Hedenström.
Jaanus Samma with Alo Paistik, photograph from series Applied Art for a Gay Club.
Ulrika Jansson,
The spirit of Nordic forestry – a practical research in progress with paper pulp, wood and discussions around forestry (2015). Photograph: Karoliina Korvuo.
A sculpture by Aimo Tukiainen discussing with one by artist Emma Helle. Photograph: Laura Lehtinen.
Photo: Forge. Photograph: Olli-Pekka Röhn from the archives of
Fiskars Oyj Abp.

How to get there: