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ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland


an image of a rural-urban society

  • catalogue - Bulgaarse Kunst langs de Drechtoevers 1999 - PDF file
  • report - De kunst van investeren in cultuur - Atlas voor Gemeenten - PDF file
  • report - Skills and Creativity in a Cross-section of Dutch Cities - Utrecht School for Economic - PDF file
  • report - creative industries in the Netherlands - PDF file
  • report - A Creative Economy Green Paper for the Nordic Region - Norden - PDF file

  • Mikkeli Sculpture Park is an important initiative about nature, culture and art. The combination of the nature surroundings and the different garden experiments with the sculptures, environmental objects and land works is a great challenge for the image of Mikkeli. It is a place where art in a natural way is connected to the landscape and where the landscape is a challenge to add sculptural forms.  It is a place where citizens can enjoy the changing landscape and be inspired by nature, art and unexpected views. It is evident that Fins are very interested in nature and art and in the way to live with it.


    Mikkelipuisto is an excellent location to explore the rural-urban context of Mikkeli. The point of view of artists - and in their to imagination appealing visual language - is extremely suitable to start thinking about the quality and the special nature of the environment of Mikkeli. It is interesting to explore the available conditions and to use history, tradition culture and art in connection with the location at the shares of Saimaa. Mikkeli Sculpture Park is the silent evidence of human creativity, strength, vision and involvement.

    In the international context Mikkeli-town will show through the Sculpture Park the way how nature and art  are essential ingredients for the well-being of their citizens and for the visitors. The Mikkeli Sculpture Park is an attraction of high international level that will attract specific groups of visitors the year round.

    Mikkelipuisto and Mikkeli Sculpture Park are close to the center of Mikkeli. The sculpture collection and historical buildings in Mikkeli will be add to keep attention on the public treasures in town.

    The first sculpture exhibition was very successful. The works of Kari Huhtamo, Mari Shields, Veli Blakçori, Yildiz Güner, Lucien den Arend and Jaak Hillen have been appreciated very much by the visitors of Mikkelipuisto in summer 2009.

    Different artists (e.g. Kari Huhtamo, Antero Toikka, Lucien den Arend) will offer in loan one of more sculptures as part of the Park. With international symposiums temporary and permanent works will be add to the collection.

    By looking art we widen our horizon, we start thinking about what we see and we learn to appreciate. Art evokes emotions, invites for observations, reflecting, discussing, and  emphasizing.
    This is the function of art; contributing to the discussion about the quality of the environment.
    (Dick Corporaal - former mayor of Zwijndrecht  -
    opening Open Air Museum Drechtoevers Zwijndrecht NL)

    The concept of art is broad and hard to define. It can symbolize creativity and a personal way to express oneself. To me, art is also synonymous to freedom because today more than ever, there are no limits to what an artist wishes to depict. There are no longer cannons to confine her or his inspiration, nor indeed where to exhibit, like this nature-friendly and unique open air museum Lucien den Arend has contrived.

    What is furthermore important is that I, the spectator, am also free to look at a painting or in this instance, at a sculpture. Why this feeling of liberty you may ask: ‘because a particular figure can intrigue me, revolt me, appeal to my sensitivity, or come to the worst, leave me indifferent. To use a trendy idiom, art has become ‘interactive’. An object – since the theme here is plastic arts – may be an attempt by its author to produce something sublime, another piece may convey the artist’s anger to social injustice. Occasionally we come across an obscene piece, its author probably having a good reason to shock us, spectators.

    Art, with a capital A, is an important common denominator in our society, a link to share and enjoy, no matter what our innermost esthetic or political beliefs may be. If I mention politics, which is so far removed from art (yet an art to me!), I do so because in Bulgaria’s revival since the fall of the Berlin wall, our numerous highly gifted sculptors, painters or musicians, have played a significant spiritual part, thus contributing to a better balanced and tolerant society in the third millennium.

    Bulgarian King Simeon II R
    (opening exhibition Black Sea - North Sea 1999 by Bulgarian sculptors in Open Air Museum Beeldenpark Drechtoevers Zwijndrecht)

    PDF file with the catalogue of Bulgarian Art -Bulgaarse Kunst langs de Drechtoevers 1999

    JAN SIERHUIS – Dutch painter
    Without art, without architecture, without music, without literature the society is a barbarian wilderness. Without culture there is nothing. It is in every day life. There is no product without a designer. All what is around like cars, furniture, buildings or fashion has been influenced by art and culture. Without that the society is faceless.

    Landworks is creating a program of nationally and internationally significant artworks along the route of the Southern Upland Way. These will be grown or made from the woodlands, plants, earth, rocks and water along the route, or specifically relate to the landscape and geology.
    Strategically development to ensure that the artworks link up to form a complete and co-ordinated idea and project,  which supports the Southern Upland Way as a total entity, famous for its ‘Landworks’.

    Involvement of local people in its program activities through community participation, education and access. Support that will increase outdoor activity, encouraging people to walk, run, cycle or horse-ride to view the artworks and to travel along the Southern Upland Way in its entirety, in sections or in circular walks.

    Creating an integrated new visionary landscape across the Southern Upland Way corridor without taking away from its existing beauty and give added meaning and interest to the more utilitarian parts of the long distance path. Utilizing green and sustainable processes for procurement and methods of
    working wherever possible.

    Using the commissions program to help improve bio-diversity and create new habitats.

    Read more about the interesting LANDMARKS program in the PDF file

    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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