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ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland


the way to art and nature


  • index art projects
  • environmental project VIA.ARS.NATURA the way to art and nature
  • personal statement Marja de Jong
  • vision
  • Mikkelipuisto
  • PDF file ARS.NATURA - exhibition in Mikkelipuisto 2009 -
  • road Taulumäentie-Lemettiiäntie-Karhuntie
  • PDF file VIA.ARS.NATURA the way to art and nature


    AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry is planning VIA.ARS.NATURA, the way to art and nature a program to develop new facilities and actions in the countryside and to develop a network of people living near old (historic) routes in the hinterland of the main roads and start a co-operation with professional (international) artists. Through the program, the cultural environment will undergo a development initiative and will also have an influence on (international) visitors and travelers with cultural and ecological interests.


    The program VIA.ARS.NATURA will be an overall and wide-range program of nationally and internationally significant artworks along old (historic) routes and paths in the countryside. These art works will be grown or made from the ingredients/elements of, or specifically related to the landscape and geology of the area. The use of these different components, like forests, plants, peat, earth, rock(s) and water will visualize the characteristics of nature and authentic roads in South-East Finland.

    A commission program will ensure that the artworks link up to form a complete and coordinated idea and project. The program will help to improve bio-diversity and to create new habitats and utilize green and sustainable processes for procurement and methods of working wherever possible. The plan is based on the strategy to strengthen the cultural and natural image of the rural area. The plan will be executed in different parts over a period of years.

    Finally the program VIA.ARS.NATURA can connect different locations (sites) over old historic and authentic roads and paths. The route can connect different cultural places, Salmela, Hirvensalmi, Mikkelipuisto, Saksalanharju, Kangasniemi, Juva, Anttolan Hovi, Savonranta, Retretti, Olavinlinna, Joroinen, Rantasalmi, etc.

    The program will give added value to the area with temporary and permanent nature and site specific art. The project is based on the need to integrate art in landscape and in the personal living environment and to involve people with new forms of landscape design and the added value of art. Environmental art has no barriers like art in museums, people don't have to open to art, but art opens to people. This project will contribute to the cultural diversity of the region and increase the number of (international) visitors.

    The rural area of Eastern Finland has the potency to be a source of wellness for other parts of Europe. In this area there is space, tranquility, nature, clean environment and silence available. It has many valuable treasures to offer.

    Agriculture and forestry are still the main means of living. Industry forms a small part of the economy. New technology, higher education and tourism are important parts of the economic growth of the area. It is important to develop sustainable forms of innovative cultural tourism which correspond with the region and have an eye for its authentic qualities.

    The integration of art and art related fields as a part is a sign of high cultural standard.

     VIA.ARS.NATURA will stimulate increased outdoor activity, encouraging people to walk, run, cycle or horse-ride to view the artworks and to travel along the different locations. The whole program will introduce new visions on landscape design and contribute to a sustainable use of the environment and activate the participation in cultural and art related activities. It will make the region more attractive for different target groups to stay for a longer period during holidays.

    This plan is in progress and AREFS is searching for funding to realize the plan step by step. The first step will be realized with an exhibition of sculptures and land art in Mikkelipuisto during summer 2009.

    The works in the project VIA.ARS.NATURA can be created for the short or long term - as temporary or permanent works - integrated and site specific. The area can be enriched with long-term planted and growing artwork, designed to fit in with the existing native trees and other plants. There are many possibilities for these kinds of art works like trees being woven, pleached, grafted and pruned into living sculpture. Areas of trees and/or bushes planted to form graphic shapes. Grass used to create visual images. Waterways altered with stone and trees. Earthworks and land shaping (landscaping) used as constructive elements. Landscape structures and planting which can give direction to the visitor.
    Temporary works can may be pre-existing, commissioned or invited for exhibition and relate specifically to the landscape or geology of Etelä-Savo, for instance sculptures that could be sited to draw attention to the agriculture or glacial history in the area. Conservation, bio-diversity and habitat are also items that can be included in the art works.

    The project can be found on the website of AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry and Rhiz.eu.


    information |Marja de Jong | mobile 00358 (0)50 4625 675 | info@arefs.org |

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