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ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland

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    The environment of the art-residency is Saksalanharju and Kyyvesi lake, a unique shaped landscape on Saksalanharju, the ridge of biggest monolith of Europe. Saksalanharju-Kirkonkylä is a national heritage.

    The background of art centre Saksala ArtRadius is to create an environment where an artist can work, retreat, explore and reflect on their art and vision.
    The art production is an individual process and an isolated place like Saksala ArtRadius is most conveniently situated for the purpose of an artist concentrating on their personal art production.

    The target group for Saksala ArtRadius artist-in-residency in Finland are international and Finnish artists interested in contemporary art and exploratory site-specific or community based arts. Artists are invited to respond in an artistic way to rural and site specific themes.
    An attitude of independency in project development is expected of the artists, besides an open mind towards the inter-cultural aspects of the stay.

    Saksala ArtRadius provides any support to create the co-operation between the artists and with local inhabitants and local craftsmen. Artists can work in work spaces, studios, the fields, forest, lake and harbor. The own studio can be used for small art productions. Other work spaces are available for bigger works and painting etc. The outside area can be used for sculpting. There is free internet access in the library. The books are free to use in the library. Tools and machinery are available and free to use after registration.

    Disciplines and media are: Visual arts, New Media, Literature, Dance, Educational projects/programs

    In Finland there is more than enough harmony and space, coupled with a cultural climate that stimulates the development of visual art. This project, to create an art centre in Finland, was originated by the Dutch artists Marja de Jong and Lucien den Arend. The art centre Saksala ArtRadius and the Finnish Open Air Museum are the result of this initiative. This unique environment offers artists a place where they can work while discovering their own artistic direction or concentrating on a project. Artists of all ages from all over the world stay here for a short or longer period of time to find the peace to work and to discuss with a fellow artist the essence of art. For all these artists, whether just starting or experienced, the opportunity to work in an environment where space, peace and harmony abound results in a confrontation with their own conceptions and artistic vision. New insights arise.

    Artists are invited to stay in the residence program and to take part of the special ambiance in the center. Artists have to keep in mind that it is the individual artist who makes his/her own program and atmosphere. When possible artists can collaborate, but there is no guarantee that this can be realized, it depends on the number of artists and their interests.

    The art centre is open the year round. A place in the rural area of Finland is very quiet and isolated in winter. During summer cultural events are organized.  The art centre is developing special art education programs and has the intention to start a student-in-residence facilities including art and art education master classes.

    The main purpose is to develop a place in the unknown rural area of Eastern Finland were artists can work on their own art production, take part in the social life of the local community and be a part of the growing, changing and exploring art center.

    The art centre is founded with private capital for the benefit of the artists and the cultural development of the local society. Up to now there is no structural governmental support. All the costs have to be covered by income from rent, art courses, art sales, activities and events.

    There is no huge organization on distance, but a direct contact between the artists and the small organization. Living in this young, small and developing art center gives unique and unexpected experiences to an artist who want to find an individual artist-in-residence. Each artist is a contributor to the image of the art center.

    In a few years the art centre has build up an interesting network with art organizations in Finland, Russia, USA, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Turkey, etc this network is expanding all the time. Artists taking part in the artist-in-residence program are part of this network and they can be invited to different art projects, like symposiums,  exhibitions, contests, seminars etc.

    Being an artist in the artist-in-residence program, the symposiums or in the selected exhibitions is being a partner in the growing network of Saksala ArtRadius.

    In 2006-2007 the art center has participate in different EU-projects: ART ENLARGES THE AREA, ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE ETELÄ-SAVO, VOINTIA and Rur-Act.
    In 2007 the art centre has been invited to the artists-in-residence conference in Boston and was bringing exhibitions of different artists to St. Petersburg Russia.
    In 2008 the collaborative exhibition SOJOURN IN WHITE is accepted into TransCultural Exchange USA and new cooperation projects with St. Petersburg are planned. The art centre is also taking part in Culture Forum a cultural exchange between Finland and Russia.
    In 2009 the artist-in-residence program again has been invited into the TransCultural Exchange Conference in Boston.
    During a stay in the USA in 2009 Marja de Jong has visited and have had meetings and lectures in Provincetown MA - FINE ARTS WORK CENTER, Peterborough NH - MacDowell Colony, Johnson VT - Vermont Studio Center and Providence RI - the Alliance of Artists Communities.
    In 2011 the program of Saksala ArtRadius is part of the TransCultural Exchange Conference in Boston.


    The buildings are situated in an extensively wooded area, open to the public on the basis of the 'everyman' rule. The lake and the village are about three and six kilometers from the centre. Larger places such as Mikkeli and Pieksämäki lie 40 kilometers further, Helsinki is 300 kilometers away and St. Petersburg 400 kilometers.

    The main objectives of the Saksala ArtRadius residency program are:
    - To provide international arts professionals with an opportunity to undertake creative work, conduct research and carry out special art projects in the Rural Area of South-East Finland.
    - To develop possibilities for artists to work together with the local society.
    - To create circumstances where artists can develop their skills in art education.
    - To offer, through collaborative exchange programs, opportunities for artists based in Finland to work at residency centers abroad.
    - To develop international collaboration, exchange and dialogue in the arts.

    The art center is connected with different residencies all over the world. In the first place through organizations like ResArtis, TransArtists, TransCultural Exchange, Finnish Artists' Studio Foundation and Alliance of Artists Communities.

    Saksala ArtRadius is part of the artists-in-residence group of Etelä-Savo (TAIRE).

    With residencies in different countries art centre Saksala cooperates in special projects, like the Babayan Culture House in Turkey, Centre Art I Natura in Spain, the Fine Art Work Center in the USA, and Kulttuuri Kauppila in Finland.

    An artist impression 'Oh Finland' by Cassie Thornton (artist-in-residence 2007-2008) can be found on Flickr.

    Artist impression by Ilse van den Berk during her stay in winter 2009-2010.


    The artist-in-residence program is closed and will open on another location after the reorganization.


    The artist-in-residence program has got funding by:

    Arts Council Finland
    AllaprimA foundation the Netherlands
    AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry

    Saksala ArtRadius

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

    art links
    also visit
    AllaprimA | AREFS | 14square | Marja de Jong | ArtRadius | Lucien den Arend | St Ives Net / Selected Art

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    in cooperation with Lucien den Arend