ITE by hand

ITE by hand (ITE käsillä)
Hand-made contemporary folk art

13 May–16 October 2016
ITE – Contemporary Folk Art Museum
Pitkänsillankatu 28, Kokkola, Finland
Open Tue–Sun 11:00–16:00, Thu 11:00–18:00, Mon closed
Tickets € 4/2/0, free entrance on Thursdays

ITE – Contemporary Folk Art Museum in Kokkola exhibits handicrafts-based expressions of artistic creativity. People usually follow patterns and guidelines when making handicrafts, but what happens when the individual gets carried away by wild creativity and a passion for self-expression?

The ITE by hand exhibition displays wild works of handicrafts that charm, startle and amuse the audience. There are numerous materials and techniques used in the works, including embroidery, crocheting, needlework, appliqué, felting, junk sculptures and folded cardboard.

The 17 craftspeople featured in the exhibition all come from the margins of the art world, and in addition to the Finnish ITE artists, there are stars of outsider art from Denmark and Norway. The artists in the exhibition are Eivor Bennert, Ullakaisa Kaarlela, Alpo Koivumäki, Elisa Kärjä, Hannu Leskinen-Estola, Anna Lappalainen,  Wenche Nilsen, Erkki Nousiainen, Kenneth Rasmussen, Mirjami Rautio, Merja Riekkinen, Aune Riihonen, Marja Ruusunen, Rauha Ryynänen, Helinä Savonen, Johanna Seppä and Audgunn Vilhelmsen.

Some of the works are from the ITE Museum collections, and there are also works on loan from the Saarijärvi Museum, the Kellokoski Hospital Museum, the Kettuki collection, the Trastad collection at the Sør-Troms Museum, Norway, the Bifrost Art School in Randers, Denmark as well as from artists and private collections.

The exhibition is curated by art educator and researcher Minna Haveri.

Stumble across ITE

Stumble across ITE (Eti ITE)
21 May–30 July 2016
City of Parkano, Finland

You can stumble across fantastic sculptures while walking around Parkano’s town centre. They are all made by ITE artists – self-taught makers of contemporary folk art.

The exhibition’s theme Stumble across ITE invites you to explore parks, squares and roadsides to see if you can find art in unexpected environments.  You never know, you may bump into a visiting sculpture at a fountain or the health centre.

The animal kingdom is represented by a number of species, including deer, eagle, giant frog and a flock of cranes. Townspeople have been fascinated by the sculpture of a farmer and his wife making hay, not to mention the smiles brought to everyone’s faces by the massive woman made of sheet metal that is offering coffee to an admirer from a pot the size of a wheelbarrow.

Pictured here is Arto Tuominen, who put the exhibition together, in the Europresident’s chair made by Edvin Hevonkoski. Image by Hanna Tuuri.

The exhibition features sculptures by Edvin Hevonkoski, Alpo Koivumäki, Tauno Vuorenniemi and Markku Yli-Lankoski, among others.

Children of the moment

Children of the moment (Hetken lapsia)
19 June–10 September 2016
Artpark Hasanniemi
Hasanniementie 15, Joensuu, Finland

Artpark Hasanniemi is a meeting point in a natural beauty spot on the shores of Lake Pyhäselkä, Joensuu.  In summer, you can have a rest at the sunny café, watch sheep, enjoy a play at the summer theatre – and see the smallest ITE art exhibition in Finland.

A tiny hut is a place to reflect on the memory of two Erkkis. It reveals some of their significance to the surrounding communities and is also a monument to everyday creativity and passion for art.

Erkki Pirtola (1950–2016) was a visual and performance artist, critic and an advocate of ITE art. Erkki Kervinen (1954–2015) was a volunteer, who was passionate about promoting theatrical activities and various innovative construction projects.

The playhouse in the garden features delicate and ethereal works by ITE artist Sanni Korhonen made of fallen leaves.

Bear Festival Bear & I

Bear Festival ”Bear & I”
Finnish open championship competition in chainsaw sculpting
19–20 August 2016
Ilomantsi, Finland

The Bear Festival theme for summer 2016 is ”Mie ja karhu”, or ’Bear & I’.

This year the Bear festival is also the Finnish championship competition in chainsaw sculpting. Men and women compete together in two series; the six-hour sculpting competition and the 90-minute speed sculpting competition. We hope that the theme ’Bear & I’ will inspire the participating artists to try different styles and perspectives.

Sculpting wood is the most natural form of self-expression among Finnish self-taught artists, the chainsaw is the most common instrument and the bear the best-loved of all subjects. This was the foundation for the Bear Festival. It attracts self-taught sculptors to work together in Ilomantsi and to meet their enthusiastic audiences. The festival is organised by the Union for Rural Education and Culture and the municipality of Ilomantsi, and its partners include Suomen puunveistäjät ry, and various local associations and companies. The funding partners include the Kone Foundation, Keskitien Tukisäätiö and the Alfred Kordelin Foundation.

Aim: A land of a thousand bears

We would like to turn Ilomantsi into a land of a thousand bears in the coming years. It will be a sculpture park built along village roads, a display of different styles that will attract visitors from near and far. In the land of a thousand bears, the mythical realm of the forest’s king meets man’s cultural environment.

Programme in brief

19 August
6-hour competition between 12:00–18:00
Theatre in Katri Vala Kulttuurikeskus: ’Kolme iloista rosvoa’ at 18:00

20 August
90-minute Speed competition between 10:00–12:00
Award ceremony 14:00

For more information, please contact
coordinator Kaisa Kervinen,, tel. +358 45 322 8098.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @karhufestivaali.

Welcome to Ilomantsi!

Erkki Pekkarinen in Radical Craft exhibition

34 international and UK artists who express their creativity beyond the bounds of taught convention are showing work in Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making, a Craftspace and Outside In touring exhibition launching at Pallant House Gallery on 12th March 2016.

The exhibition is co-curated by Laura Hamilton, and will be touring in eight venues during 2016 and 2017.

Erkki Pekkarinen’s folkloric life size woven birch bark figures as well as his world’s smallest birch park shoes take part to the exhibition. Mr. Pekkarinen is the only Finnish artist chosen to the tour.

Press release:

Erkki Pekkarinen in his birch park suit. Photo Veli Granö.



Season’s Greetings!

Heikki Kylliäinen’s drinking straw mobiles, inspired by traditional Christmas decorations.
Exhibition in ITE Museum, Kokkola, 2015.
Photo Roza Tkacheva-Joki.

© Maaseudun Sivistysliitto