ITE Art in Finland – 20-year jubilee

We would like to invite everyone to explore Finnish contemporary folk art, ITE art, and to take part in the jubilee year’s many festive events!

When the Association for Rural Culture and Education and its partners began surveying Finnish contemporary folk art in the late 1990s, the genre was virtually unknown in Finland, as was the general concept of contemporary folk art.

The consequences can be compared to opening Pandora’s box – in a good way. Hundreds of original creators and wonderful worlds of imagination were discovered on the walls of Finnish homes and especially in the vast expanses of remote countryside yards. Until then, their creations had been mainly ignored or sneered at.

The phenomenon was named ITE art, ITE being an acronym of the Finnish words itse tehty elämä, ‘self-made life’. It refers to the fact that most of these artists are self-taught and use their art to shape their entire lives; they construct their own stories through their works. In 2000, the first ITE exhibitions were held and the first book on the subject was published. They gained tremendous popularity and attention, and ITE art coverage was huge in the media. And now it’s time to mark ITE art’s 20-year jubilee.

Read more!

The Association for Rural Culture and Education also has an extensive Collection of ITE art, which is maintained by the ITE Museum in Kokkola on the west coast of Finland. Both the Association and the ITE Museum provide guidance and advice on all issues related to ITE art.

Contact us

Association for Rural Culture and Education
Helka Ketonen, Director, Cultural Affairs,
Raija Kallioinen, Coordinator, Cultural Affairs,
ITE Collection
Elina Vuorimies, Curator in ITE Museum,


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