12.10.2019 - 23.2.2020, Nelimarkka Museum
Integrated Landscapes presents photos by photographer Kristian Kaarna, photographed in the footsteps of artist Eero Nelimarkka. Kaarna's exhibition aims to stimulate discussion about the beauty of our own area, nature and its observation and consideration in the hurry of everyday life.

"Beauty is found in our everyday environment. Sometimes it's hard to see the wonderful nature in places that we know too well. Too much familiarity makes the landscape boring, and we don't pay enough attention to it. This is what I want to communicate like Eero Nelimarkka," says Kaarna.

Kristian Kaarna sees his landscape photography as one long journey that evolves and changes direction. Like Eero Nelimarkka, he observes nature and his artist personality. Moving from the commercial world to landscape photography, Kaarna has noticed that images do not always have to strive for diversity. The power of the images can be found in sophisticated detailing, collecting and displaying.

Kristian Kaarna has found his own style over the last decade, fueled by painful introspection. The photographer sees the similarities between himself and Eero Nelimarkka as an artist. Poor modesty, coping with life, advancing on one's own merits, and expanding the world through travel are these junctions of artist paths. Traveling has taught Kaarna to find his Finnishness and to value her own starting points.

Kristian Kaarna's passion for landscape photography ignited in Argentina. A stress-free time, a break from everyday life, and stunning and strong scenery created a new kind of scenery for the Photographer. At the Integrated Landscapes exhibition, Kaarna is looking for a strong unity of a second-century artist and asks why did the Nelimarkka era begin in the Alajärvi landscape?
Minna Tuohisto-Kokko - Piece of Life
29.6. - 29.9.2019 Nelimarkka Museum
Glass artist Minna Tuohisto-Kokko’s 30th anniversary exhibition presents modern glass mosaic. For years,Tuohisto-Kokko has reflected life and the theme of letting go in her work. The works in her anniversary exhibition are based on wondering and feeling life. Tuohisto-Kokko is fascinated by the human mind with its joys and sorrows. How is our personality formed, how do we become we? How much our behavior is affected by the environment and our heritage? Our whole life is eventually consisted of small bits and pieces.

Besides reflecting life itself, nature has always been a big source of inspiration for Tuohisto-Kokko. Working on the Wave series (2018) has helped the artist to think about the healing power of nature in the middle of contradictions and renunciation. Nature empowers and cleanses the mind. As in the work Swell, sorrow slowly washes away to the ocean with the waves. The works are also inspired by the poet Henry Flinkman.

Cutting glass and experimenting with different glass techniques have given Tuohisto-Kokko the possibility to make art from glass painting to vases. Lately glass mosaic has taken a bigger role in her work. The working process is very slow. The artist finds handling hundreds and hundreds pieces of glass very meditating.

Glass artist Minna Tuohisto-Kokko (1967 Kannus) lives and works in Koskenkorva, Ilmajoki. Besides her artistic work she has acted in several positions of trust in the field of art and design. She has exhibited her work in several museums and galleries in Finland and abroad. The town of Ilmajoki has granted her Pro Ilmajoki Award as a recognition of her extensive work as an artist.

Image - Minna Tuohisto-Kokko: Swell (2018)
和 WA Japanese Today’s Visual Arts Exhibition in Alajärvi 29.5. - 12.6.2019
Nelimarkka Museum
Free entrance

The diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan are turning 100 this year. Due to the centennial celebration, Alajärvi has the honor to serve as the venue for WA – Kansainvälisen Japanilaisen taiteen näyttely (Japanese Today’s Visual Arts Exhibition in Alajärvi) exhibition. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Japan International Artist Society (JIAS) and Club des Amis de l'Europe et des Arts (CAEA). This is the 53th annual exhibition and first time the exhibition is held in Finland.

CAEA’s aim is to connect people through art and their goal is to spread positive message through art and make international connections. The exhibition presents over 250 artworks in Nelimarkka Museum, Alajärvi Library Exhibition hall and Villa Väinölä. The works depict the Japanese culture with its harmony, peacefulness, and the respect for nature.

The works of art being presented follow the time honored themes of spirit and nature that are so closely linked to Japanese culture and utilize both modern and traditional styles: Oil painting, Acrylic, Water color, Nihonga (Traditional Japanese painting), Indian ink drawing, Engraving, Dyeing, Textile, Origami paper cutting, Three-dimension art, Ceramic, Handicraft, Kimono, Embroidery as well as Calligraphy.

Since 1973, The CAEA (Club des Amis de l’Europe et des Arts) and JIAS (Japan International Artists Society) have organized numerous international exhibitions in various locations around the world that have showcased a variety of Japanese artists. These events have enabled Japanese artists to promote themselves on an international scale and to help deepen the continuing cultural exchange within the arts community.

Japanese Today's Visual Arts Exhibiton

Since the first exhibit in Paris in 1975, this event has been held in over 100 cities and over 25 countries. So far, it has been held in the United States, Canada, Chili, Cuba, Mexico, China, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland plus several others. The number of works that are presented are approximately 250 every year. In 2019, the exhibition will be held in Finland for the first time to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Finland.
Working until Dusk – Arvi Mäenpää’s Miniature Paintings from the Collection of Juhani Aho
At Nelimarkka Museum 23.2.2019 - 19.5.2019
Töysä-born artist Arvi Mäenpää (1899 -1976) was a talented drawer and aquarelle painter. However, he is best known for his tiny miniature paintings, with humorous subjects portraying the life of ordinary people in the South Ostrobothnia region. He depicted the everyday life at the countryside with a gentle irony. Mäenpää’s miniature paintings can also be seen as ethnological studies of the past.

The tiny images introduce scenes from the doctors office, grocery store, drying barn the traditional Ostrobothnian house and activities such as farming, boating, and celebration.

Mäenpää begun his artistic career in the 1910’s by making caricatures and illustrations for living. In the 1920’s Mäenpää became interested in the aquarelle technique and painted for example landscapes from his trips to Southern France. In the 1930’s Mäenpää chose the humorous folk depiction as his subject and it was the turning point of his career.
Mäenpääs’s paintings are barely bigger than a matchbox. ”The work requires temper and sometimes you need a magnifying glass. There is only one hair in my paintbrush and that too, is sharpened.” (Mäenpää 1934). After Mäenpää found his technique, he worked with miniature painting until the end of his career.

The collection has been gathered by Doctor and Businessman Juhani Aho (1930 - 2018), also born in Töysä. Aho is known as the founder of Ruka Ski Resort and Aava Medical Center. Arvi Mäenpää’s wife was Aho’s teacher at the elementary school. Aho was only a young medical student when he bought his first painting by Arvi Mäenpää. After that, collecting Mäenpää’s work became a lifelong passion for Aho.

The collection is the largest private collection of Mäenpää’s work featuring 122 works. Most of the works are miniatures form the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, but works from the 70’s, an early portrait from 1918, aquarelles from Cannes and drawings are also presented at the exhibition.

Image: Arvi Mäenpää Puhdetöissä (1962)
Permanent Exhibition - Masters Together
Nelimarkka Museum
Key elements of the Masters Together exhibition have been turned into a permanent exhibition until the end of 2017. The exhibition is part of the Programme on the centenary of Finland’s independence. The exhibition depicts the life and work of architect Alvar Aalto and painter Eero Nelimarkka, focusing on their connections to Alajärvi. The small town played a part in both master’s lives –in their childhood, in the beginning of Finland’s independence, during the war years and their elderliness.

In many ways Eero Nelimarkka (b. 1891 Vaasa – d. 1977 Helsinki) and Alvar Aalto (b. 1898 Kuortane – d. 1976 Helsinki) were opposites in their character and ideology. However, they were contemporaries and faced similar challenges in creative matters and the society around them.

Alajarvi was a significant part of both Nelimarkka and Aalto’s lives. Both were cultured and traveled the world to gain influences, learn new and make contacts. Alajärvi was the counterbalancing force with its calm atmosphere close to nature and ordinary people.

Masters Together exhibition introduces the Master’s connection to Alajärvi with mutual themes: Paris, Alajärvi Church, the Beginning of Finland’s Independence, Italy, the National Architect and Painter of the National Landscape, the War Years and their Dreams. The exhibition features a timeline throughout the Master’s lives, focusing on images of Aalto’s buildings in Alajärvi and Nelimarkka’s paintings from different decades and styles.

Eero Nelimarkka was born in Vaasa and lived most of his life in Helsinki, but his parents were originally from Alajärvi. In 1933 Nelimarkka built a villa in Alajärvi and started painting the Ostrobothnian flatlands with a new perspective. The so called Nelimarkka Landscape was born. In 1964 the artist fulfilled a long term dream and built a museum on his ancestor’s grounds.

Alvar Aalto was born in Kuortane, spent his school years in Jyväskylä and summers in Alajärvi. Aalto’s work in Alajärvi can be divided in three periods: works of the young architecture student, such as Alajärvi Youth Association Building in 1920, the classical period with Alajärvi Hospital (1925)and Villa Väinölä (1926) and famous maestro’s Alajärvi Center (1967-1991).
The Polari’s – Father and Daughter
At Nelimarkka Museum 15.12.2018 - 10.2.2019
The exhibition presents works from two artists, father Oiva (1912 – 1996) and daughter Tarja (s. 1943) Polari side by side. Various styles, colors and thoughts about life throughout several decades can be seen in the artworks.

Oiva Polari is known for his vast landscapes with different shades of blue, but the versatile artist experimented with many styles and subjects throughout his career. With their simple and plain appearance, his works strive to seek the truth and answer questions about humanity.

Polari’s art speaks out. Questions about war and peace as well as religious subjects are typical for him. He also addresses themes such as nature and the circus. During his long career, Polari experimented with different art movements like cubism and worked with both realistic and abstract painting.

Polari studied at the University of arts in Helsinki and had his first exhibition in 1937 and showcased his work regularly until the 1990’s. Besides an artist, Polari was an inspiring art teacher and active writer. He enhanced the profile of visual arts in the area by founding the Seinäjoki Artist Association and being a founding member of the Ostrobothnian Artist Association.

For Oiva Polari’s daughter, Tarja, her father was a mentor. The daughter modeled for his father from an early age and was taught as an artist by her father. She sees resemblances in their work, especially in their subjects. As a school kid, she took part in drawing competitions and won many prices. As a teenager Tarja Polari started painting diligently under her father’s supervision. Her first group exhibition was in Seinäjoki 1963 and solo exhibition in Helsinki 1970.

Throughout decades, Polari’s subject matters have been people, animals, plants, masks, wings, the sun and moon. Her works are bright colored and strong, playful, humorous and little bit erotic. The artist is inspired by ancient cultures. With her paintings, Polari wants to bring joy, imagination and humor to people’s lives. Tarja Polari was granted an artist retirement allowance by the Finnish government in 2008 as a recognition for her artistic work.

The works at the exhibition are gathered from the donations to Nelimarkka Museum by Oiva Polari and his heirs and Tarja Polari. Some of the works are loaned from Tarja Polari and the Provincial Museum of South Ostrobothnia (donated by Oiva Polari and his heirs).
50 Years of Suomenselkä Artists Assosiation
At Nelimarkka Museum 15.9. - 2.12.2018
“Today, it is important to find one’s own voice. Creativity, life and career are lost if they only repeat someone else’s messages and thoughts. Everyone has to find their own path. Everyone must find their own line. When it is found, and you believe in it, other people will listen. We too often go forward by repeating each other’s thoughts, and speak with their mouths.”

Recently deceased artist professor Eero Hiironen worked as a principal of a local folk high school when he noticed the increased interest in visual arts around Suomenselkä region. He had an idea of connecting people interested in arts to discuss the idea of founding an art association for the Suomenselkä region. In the invitation letter he wrote: “Because the interest in visual arts has remarkably increased in the nearby municipalities lately, the time has come to establish an association that connects and gathers people interested in the visual arts.” The association was founded in 1968 and named Suomenselkä Art Association. The purpose of the association is to organize meetings, art exhibitions, contests and classes, take initiative, give statements, and present their opinion in matters within their field.

There are between 75-100 members in the association, both professional an d amateur artists. The member artists represent almost all techniques: oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, tempera, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and glass. The president of the association is printmaker Marita Erkkola-Järvinen. The exhibition at Nelimarkka Museum celebrates the association’s 50 years of activity. The participation at the exhibition is open only to the members of the association and the selections are made by a jury.
Tiina Laasonen: Engram
9.6. - 2.9.2018, Nelimarkka Museum
The artwork of Tiina Laasonen is her language by which she reflects and considers humanity and her relationship with the environment. The important part of her work is the feeling of the material and the respect for its essence. The sensation and the visual perception are her instruments. The materials for installations and sculptures are selected depending on the idea and the location of the artwork. The working process is slow, silent and repeating the same work phase. Working with three-dimensional forms is an interaction of subject, material and space that she encounters. For her, sculpting is place for self-examination and introspection. The exhibition of Tiina Laasonen’s artwork in Nelimarkka Museum presents her latest wooden sculptures as well as her spatial and environmental works of art. The exhibition consists of three different series with the thematic of humanity. The series create a lifecycle from childhood memories trough finding a happiness to the importance of the memory in keeping and retaining own identity.

Sense Presence without Words series (2013-2014) intertwine around the thematic of silence experienced in the childhood. The artwork tells a story about tenderness, nursery and care - about those everyday moments when the presence can be felt without words. The pieces were made for an exhibition held at Galleria G in Helsinki in 2014.

The human need for happiness is the theme for the series Cascading Goodness (2015–2018). The inspiration of these works is derived from the Renaissance Hortus Conclusus, ”enclosed space”, where everything good falls down. The works of this series have been shown for example in Galleria Becker in Jyväskylä and in Rytmitaju 2017 art event in Hyvinkää.

The wooden sculptures of Shade of Memory series depict the meaning of memory, its nuances and its loss. The works of this series are previously unpublished.

A publication of Tiina Laasonen’s wooden sculptures will be published alongside the exhibition.

Tiina Laasonen (born in 1968, Kauhava) is a sculptor, environmental artist and an art teacher. During her artistic career she has actively worked in positions of responsibility in different art organizations. Laasonen lives and works in Seinäjoki, Finland. Her artwork has been showcased in several museums and galleries, both in Finland and abroad, and they can be found in public collections as well as in private collections. The Art Council of Ostrobothnia awarded Tiina Laasonen in 2017 for her extensive work as an artist.

Photo: Tiina Laasonen Nauha (detail), photographer Hannu Pettinen
Meri Pauniaho Prints
9.6. - 2.9.2018, Nelimarkka Museum
The printmaker Meri Pauniaho depicts in her work different kind of spaces, rooms and landscapes where the human presence can be sensed but the human is absent in the picture. The inspiration for these silent works striving for beauty is coming from important places of childhood, grandma’s place and the past homes. Trough her works Pauniaho deals with the human existence, the formation of identity and the justification of memory and memories.

The works of the exhibition can be roughly divided into three types: interiors, landscapes and descriptions of nature. All of these works are combined with the fusion of experienced and imagined, many different perspectives, multi-colored appearance and the richness of the surface structure. However, they all continue to deal with the same thematic – the remembrance, memories and places of memory.

The works lean starkly on the events of Pauniaho’s personal life. Yet at the same time they can also be viewed as a general depictions, for example as a small ethnological studies of strangely familiar objects or trough the panda character – a kind of an alter-ego for the artist – as reference to the current topics about pandas in the zoos, for example in Ähtäri Wildlife or to the Finnish nature and its future.

Pauniaho makes small series that consist of 4 to 6 prints. The works are printed from a pvc-board either by using one or several different techniques. Pauniaho works with one board technique, and in one print there are usually four to six color layers, sometimes even from nine to ten.

Meri Pauniaho (b. 1972) is a printmaker that works and lives in Rauma but she has roots in South Ostrobotnia. She is a member of The Association of Finnish Printmakers and the Association of the printmakers in Rauma. She graduated as visual artist from the Institution of Design of Lahti University of Applied Sciences in 2014. Pauniaho has also a degree in textile art.
Pearls and Rarities
3.3.2018 - 27.5.2018, Nelimarkka Museum
Art prints, drawings and sculptures from Nelimarkka Foundation collections, Nelimarkka Museum

The Pearls and Rarities exhibition presents small sculptures, graphic art prints and sketches from the Nelimarkka Foundation’s collections. The Foundation was established 1945 by Eero Nelimarkka. During that time Nelimarkka noticed that buying art was becoming popular among the people recovering from the wartimes.

The purpose of Nelimarkka Foundation was to support the Christian culture and take care of and broaden an art collection that can be shown to public. About half of the art works in the collection are painted by Eero Nelimarkka himself. Especially the graphics and drawings of the collections are remarkable. Part of the collection is now framed and will be shown to the audience for the first time. In the exhibition you can find drawings from wellknown artists such as Hugo Simberg, Albert Edelfelt, Magnus Enckell, Magnus von Wright and Juho Rissanen. There are also small sculptures from Essi Renvall, Wäinö Aaltonen and Viktor Jansson.
Heidi Katajamäki, Restless Ground
16.12.2017 - 18.2.2018, Nelimarkka Museum
Restless Ground, the exhibition by the winner of the Young Artist of the Year in Southern Ostrobothnia 2017 competition, Heidi Katajamäki is in a way a review of her previous work and installations. The exhibition features works completed after Katajamäki’s graduation. Besides individual works, the exhibition expands literally to the Nelimarkka museum space.

Katajamäki’s artistic work is based on her mind and feelings. By painting and drawing she describes what happens in her head and how she feels on the inside. “I chop my thoughts and feelings in pieces. Then I take a scoop and add one piece of feeling into one work, on one surface or canvas. My art is serial, and as a whole, the series reflects my inner period. From these compositions, I create site-specific installations for different spaces. The installation depicts the past through a single work and the present as I gather and install everything together in that particular space. Time moves on, ages evolve, feelings change. As follows, my installations disappear after an exhibition ends. Only pieces, the series of works and photographs of the whole installation remain.”

As a medium, Katajamäki mostly uses charcoal and gesso. Charcoal is versatile and gives many alternatives for expression. Together with white gesso, it provides possibilities for different shades of grey. The line is the language of the work. Sometimes the line is figurative and sometimes it purely expresses feelings through abstraction. The line even spans the canvas: “My mind does not fit into one locker or between strict boundaries, but it takes over the whole space in my mind or in the installation.”

Restless Ground is about being a young artist. “It is a story about me, how the life carries on, the always overflowing mind and time eternally going forward. Whatever life brings you, there will always, always be a better time.”

Heidi Katajamäki (1990) was born in Seinäjoki and is currently based in Lahti. She graduated from Lahti Art Institute in 2016. She has taken part in several solo and group exhibitions and has made work for public spaces.

Image: Heidi Katajamäki, Arkihiki ja hetken hilse, 2016.
Ritva Lindberg: A Hundred Skies
7.10. – 3.12.2017, Nelimarkka Museum
Ritva Lindberg is Alajärvi-born painter and art teacher. She graduated from Turku Art Academy in 1977. Back then, the teaching focused mostly on oil painting, and not even sketches were made with water colors. Despite that, aquarelle gradually became Lindberg’s favorite technique. It enables gentle, yet powerful expression at the same time.

”With aquarelle I have been able to create those feelings and atmospheres that I have been aiming for. My art has always been figurative in spite of prevailing movements and trends. The only way for me is to paint the feelings, events and perceptions that are important to me at the time.”

For a long time Lindberg’s paintings based on observations of nature and its small, quickly changing details. In 2002, a turn in Lindberg’s personal life changed the topic of her paintings completely. For ten years, starting from 2004, she painted the moments when emotion and consciousness come together. A series of over 30 works with the title Long Journey originated. The works are centered on a human figure that represents feelings, incidents and atmospheres. Some of the works are on display in the exhibition.

Combining teaching and other jobs takes time from painting. “As I drive from work place to other and finally back home, I see a diversity of skies depending on the seasons and time of the day. Clear, foggy, red, yellow, blue, gray, fierce and serene. I watch the darkness give way to light that brings forth colors. In winter afternoons the light diminishes and the dusk starts to crawl in. Each sky is different, and as the light changes the scenery, the colors of night fill up my mind. The skies I have seen in the past two years have gathered up in my mind and started gradually break away.”

Due to the thought process, Lindberg’s first sky paintings originated in 2016. The first one was called A Hundred Skies, which is also the title of the exhibition. Lindberg decided to use gouache along with water colors. Like aquarelle, gouache is water-soluble, but whereas aquarelle is translucent, gouache enables opaque layers, which enhances different impressions.

Ritva Lindberg was born 1957 in Möksy, Alajärvi. She lives and works in Lappajärvi. Besides her artistic work, she teaches art classes for children and adults. This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation South Ostrobothnia Regional Fund.

Image: Ritva Lindberg, A Hundred Skies, 2016.
Collection from the Cache
4.3. – 4.6.2017 – Nelimarkka Museum
The Art Collection of Ostrobothnian Artist Association at the Nelimarkka Museum 4.3. – 4.6.2017

One of the first regional artist associations, The Ostrobothnian Artist Association was founded in 1943. The Association has been supporting and promoting Ostrobothnian art ever since by arranging exhibitions, offering advisory services and maintaining an art collection.

In the beginning the membership fee was paid by donating an artwork to the collection. The collection has around 80 artworks with different techniques and materials. There are works, for example, from artists Matti Annala, Oscar Bengts, Eva Bremer, Yngve Bäck, Frans Hiivanainen, Iivari Honkola, Lea Ignatius, Einari Junttila, Kaarlo Lamminheimo, Aini Lähdesmäki, Tanu Manninen, Nandor Mikola, Arvi Mäenpää, Eero Nelimarkka, Oiva Polari, Tellervo Töyry, Einari Uusikylä, Pentti Uusikylä and Veikko Vionoja.

Over the course of time, the collection has been stored first in Vaasa, then in Seinäjoki and Lapua. In 2016, the collection was deposited at the Nelimarkka Museum, where the archives of the The Ostrobothnian Artist Association are also kept. Previously, the collection has been on display in Vaasa, Seinäjoki and Alajärvi but never in this magnitude. The exhibition has been curated by the vice president of the association, Markku-Tapani Hakala.

The Ostrobothnian Artist Association was founded in 1943. The first chairman of the board was Professor Eero Nelimarkka. Today, there are 111 members at the Association.

Image: Frans Hiivanainen, Istuva nainen, 1910's.
Permanent exhibition - Paris is Sesam
Nelimarkka Museum’s permanent exhibition shows Eero Nelimarkka’s work, inspired by his travels to Paris, from 1912 to 1974.

Artist professor Eero Nelimarkka (1891-1977) is widely known for his landscapes portraying the vastness of Southern Ostrobothnia. Besides the landscapes, his life and art have plenty of other influences.
Verónica Gómez - Water Statues
23.2. – 16.4.2017 – Nelimarkka Museum
"Places I do not know become for me a kind of property; there's one up there at the top of the cliff, where the calcareous humps decrease ceremonious and lethargic towards the water; and it almost seems to me that a dark reminiscence tells me that I lived up there, or in the water, in distant times, whose exact imprint has been erased.”
- Fleur Jaeggy, The water statues.

In February 2017, Verónica Gómez, an argentinian artist worked in Nelimarkka Residency. She develops her work in diverse media: painting, drawing and installation. The exhibition contains both older drawings and the work made in Alajärvi during her residency time. In the Water Statues exhibition there are portraits of imaginary people and abstract landscapes.

“I see each piece I produce as chapters of a large imaginary book that is spread out in space. The information that goes into my work is often complex and with a rather artisanal character; I imagine a baroque mise en scène is the best environment for it to be expressed in order to appeal to the recipients’ cathartic emotions: humor, drama, empathy and recognition. Several clues are intertwined on stage in each of my installations, suggesting a narrative around a latent protagonist. Of all the literary forms, Fable—in which animals and spectrums are always the main characters—is a frequent tool for fiction. I am currently interested in exploring the psychic content of atmospheric states through portraits and abstract landscapes.”

Gómez currently lives and works in Buenos Aires.

Image: Verónica Gómez, 2016.
Katri Yli-Erkkilä – Young Artist of the Year in Southern Ostrobothnia 2016
10.12.2016 – 19.2.2017
Visual artist Katri Yli-Erkkilä works mainly with staged photography. Staging enables the combination of real and unreal. Temporary becomes permanent in Yli-Erkkilä’s photographs. Yli-Erkkilä assembles the setups by modifying everyday objects or constructing something completely new.

Yli-Erkkilä’s work is serial. Lately she has worked with two parallel series. Her subject matter is social alienation, separation from nature and the respect of all living, along with the restrictions and constrains that affect our minds.

Yli-Erkkilä’s work process is closely tied to collecting. She uses recycling material, dolls, garnishes, fur etc. The artist modifies her objects by sewing and painting or by creating a whole new setup with different pulps and craft material.

In the images examining alienation, the artist depicts urban dwelling, growth of cities, social indifference within communities, separation from nature and animals, as well as harshness of human nature. In her images people and animals present themselves in unexpected ways.

Apartment buildings can be compared to communities. Communities evolve into cities. Cities grow, borders relocate. Rootlessness is ever present. As cities grow, nature retreats. When people no longer consider themselves as part of nature, the nature is left distant and lifeless. A person estranged from nature lacks respect of it and, ultimately, does not respect life.

The second series depicts factors that influence and inhibit our minds, mental states. Yli-Erkkilä approaches the subject matter through a fashion doll. Dolls intrigue the artist not only as an object but also as depiction of a human. A doll is sufficiently close but yet far enough. With dolls Yli-Erkkilä mirrors the world around. She considers her works as portraits of the psyche. The plastic and artificial in the images interests the artist; there is liveliness in the still images.

The winner of the second Young Artist of the Year in Southern Ostrobothnia competition, Katri Yli-Erkkilä was born in Oravainen 1981. She lives and works in Seinäjoki.

Image: Katri Yli-Erkkilä, Keltainen lanka, 2014.
Italian Contemporary Art - exhibition
At Nelimarkka Museum 17.9.-27.11.2016
Nelimarkka Museum is exhibiting contemporary Italian art this fall. The exhibition is curated by Italian, Viitasaari-based artist Alberto Ferretti (b. 1962).

The exhibition features works by 18 artists: Fiorenzo Barindelli, Manuela Biagini, Gabriele Buratti, Annalisa Campailla, Olga Casa, Marisa Cortese, Michele de Luca, Alberto Ferretti, Margherita Levo-Rosenberg, Grazia Mazzarello, Emanuela Mezzadri, Marcello Mogni, Virginia Monteverde, Maurizio Morandi, Luigi Maria Rigon, Alberto Terrile, Guido Ziveri and Roberto Zizzo. They all use different media and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, photography and installation. The exhibition lacks a common theme, but is comprised of works chosen by the curator from his personal standpoint.

The roots of Italian art can be found in the antiquity and during renaissance it prospered. Traits of the tradition are still detectable in the Nelimarkka Museum’s exhibition. Italy is known for creative design and architecture, yet contemporary art has only recently started to gain ground. The exhibition also bears references to modern art such as Italian Futurism.

Image: Annalisa Campailla, Kupoli, 2010.
Mari Hallapuro: Underworld - exhibition
After completing her Master’s in printmaking, visual artist Mari Hallapuro (b. 1985 in Alajärvi, Finland) returns to her roots with an exhibition of detailed prints. Hallapuro’s work is on display at the Exhibition Space for Prints and Drawings at the Nelimarkka Museum through the summer.

Hallapuro describes her work: “Drawing has always been important to me. Being preoccupied with my own intimate, withdrawn activities has always been a good break for me, and still is. Printmaking adds slowness and indirectness to the process, which grants me a space for further contemplation. The serial aspect of printmaking, implemented by the printing process, molds and regenerates the original pictorial motifs further. The series becomes like an animation in too slow motion.”

In her work, Hallapuro contemplates time – its continuum and temporality. Her prints depict what is seen and experienced. One of the central starting points for Hallapuro is perception: “Sometimes I like that, in my thoughts, I can take a dip in the darker and deeper waters and make pictures of it.” Ordinary notions and playful jokes lighten up the tone: in Hallapuro’s work humor and melancholia usually go hand in hand.

Mari Hallapuro lives and works in Kerava. She graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2012 with a Master's Degree in printmaking. Hallapuro has taken part in several solo and group exhibitions in Finland. Her works are featured in, for example, the collections of the Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki Art Museum and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Kaarina Heikinheimo: LUMOUS - exhibition
ENCHANTMENT exhibition at Nelimarkka Museum 11.6.-4.9.2016
Kaarina Heikinheimo, born in Alajärvi, is an artist who works with fabric as a medium. She uses materials such as linen, copper, steel and glass in her artwork. Her fabric sculptures are large in size and the process of making them takes time and effort. The artist completes all phases of the work herself. The exhibition at Nelimarkka Museum consists of a magical forest that has two themes: enchantment and coronation. Large fabric wreaths lead the spectator to the latter.

Heikinheimo has been interested in the world of fairytales all her life. The concept of fairytale adds to the artists creativity, which is part of Heikinheimo’s working method. The ideas behind Heikinheimo’s work vary. The artist describes the process of building an exhibition as a dive into unknown, and leaves room for different interpretations.

Moving from exhibition to another is a sequence for Heikinheimo. She has exhibited her work in several solo and group shows in various museums. Additionally, Heikinheimo’s sculptures can be found in public places such as Vaasa Airport, swimming hall, hospital and Univesity. Heikinheimo is currently based in Vaasa, but has roots in Alajärvi, where she has maintained a connection throughout her life.

Photographer: Erkki Salminen.
The Landscape of Ruovesi - exhibition
The Landscape of Ruovesi exhibition illustrates the art history of Ruovesi region through three artists and their work: Sigrid Aminoff (1904–1994), Elga Seseman (1922–2007) and Aira Niemi-Pynttäri (1926–2011).

NBesides the three, the exhibition features six contemporary artists: Simone Braitinger (1966), Elina Försti (1971), Tiina Lamminen (1963), Anna Makovecz (1962), Kathrina Rudolph (1961) and Angela Stauber (1977). They have all participated in The Landscape of Ruovesi painting symposium in Pekkala mansion in 2014 and 2015. The artists are from Finland, Germany and Hungary. The German artists are members of the Gedok München artist association and while working in Finland, they experienced a residency period at the Nelimarkka Residency.
Photographer: Jari Kuusenaho, Tampere art museum.
Ville Vuorenmaa - exhibition
The Young Artist of the Year in Southern Ostrobothnia

Currently Turku-based Ville Vuorenmaa’s exhibition consists of aquarelles and a 50-minute long soundscape. He completed the body of work during 2015 in Turku. The most recent paintings were made in Alajärvi at the Villa Nelimarkka residency.

Besides the paintings, the exhibition features a soundscape Tuhatvuotias vauva älä itke (A thousand-year old baby, please don’t cry). It looks back to Vuorenmaa’s childhood by using musical and textual elements. The recording was made within one session at an attic in Tampere. It is performed by duo Pelkkä Väliviiva (Ville Vuorenmaa – vocals and guitar, Jarno Alho – percussion, special effects and mixing).

Some of the works in Nelimarkka Museum’s exhibition have been featured in Vuorenmaa’s exhibition En muista vauva-ajasta mitään (I can’t remember anything about being a baby), that has toured different venues in Finland in 2015.
Nina Nahkala – exhibition
The Journey – 3.10.-29.11.2015
Nina G. Nahkala’s artistic vision is an amalgamation of the influences of her multi-cultural upbringing; she visually devoured her surroundings and assimilated them into her own unique way of portraying life and the mysterious magic of eternal beauty. Nina G. Nahkala paints the inevitable transformation of all matter into the abstract, through the use of figurative subject matter.
Mariya Marinova - exhibition
Listen to Trees 3.10.-1.11.2015
“Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky, we fell them down and turn into paper that we may record our emptiness.” Khalil Gibran

Maybe it is exactly that what I wanted to record on a dead tree (paper): our emptiness – my emptiness. In the past, I have been painting more abstract, the abstraction as a rejection of the “world going wrong” around me. I painted abstract to escape from the reality that I neighter wanted to see nor to accept it. But here in the middle of the forest there is nothing to escape from. Here you do not need to be abstract , you need only to observe and to listen… Listen to trees!” Mariya Marinova
Etienne Hacquin – exhibition
Ordinary and Extraordinary Run of Things
The exhibition “Ordinary and Extraordinary run of things” is a selection of the art produced by French artist Etienne Hacquin during his residency at the Nelimarkka Museum in August 2015. In continuity with its previous works, Etienne Hacquin wonders about the commonness of our everyday life – its repetitions, its constraints. The observation and the discovery of the Finnish lifestyle, the architecture, the nature, the legends, also inspired the exhibition.
Mille Guldbeck – exhibition
Conversations with Eero 5.8.-27.9.2015
Visual artist, professor, Mille Guldbeck stayed at Villa Nelimarkka in July 2015. Over the month-long artist-in-residency, Guldebeck began to notice not only the natural surroundings, but the house of Eero Nelimarkka as well. She started to speculate about what he might have seen at the time he lived there and what things may have remained the same. Guldbeck created single portraits of birch trees that are located at 8 points around the house. She recorded 25 colors observed in the tree itself and the ground below it.
Anja Tchepets – exhibition
Kimonokabukisushi 23.5.-25.7.2015
ANJA TCHEPETS was born 1970 in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg), Russia. She started drawing and painting in her parents studio as a small child and from the age of ten went to study in a specialized art school. Upon her graduation she imigrated to Montreal, Canada where she studied graphic design and illustration in Dawson College. From 1998-2002 she lived in New York City, working on various artisitic projects. Now she is based in Berlin where she completed her art education at the Berlin Art Academy (Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee). She is working as a painter and graphic artist in her Berlin studio.
Jan-Erik Andersson – exhibition
Building dwelling thinking 6.6.-20.9.2015
The title of the invitational exhibition refers to an essay by philosopher Martin Heidegger. The essay studies the essence of place and space as well as the human will to be at a specific place. The exhibition presents works that take a stand on more playful architectural design and offer an artistic view of urban planning.

The central work of the exhibition, a multi-channel video installation Life on a Leaf Video Kiosk, presents the building process of Anderssons’s Life on a Leaf house, and the life inside this total work of art. The roof and walls of the kiosk are made of leftover material from the construction.

Picture: Jan-Erik Andersson: Life on a Leaf Video Kiosk. Video-installation, 2010-2012
Veli Ekroos, Eero Murtomäki, Göran Torrkulla – exhibition
“The BIG in the small the small in the BIG” 28.3.-31.5.2015
The BIG in the small the small in the BIG is the theme that brings together three different artists, Veli Ekroos, Eero Murtomäki and Göran Torrkulla, and their artistic expression.

Veli Ekroos is known for his drawings and paintings. He uses delicious tones and textures in his sizeable acrylic and petite aquarelle paintings. The 44 small, abstract aquarelles, hung on a clothes line, have been made spontaneously during a residency period in Florence, Italy.

Awarded nature photographer and writer, Eero Murtomäki is usually known for photographing large birds. In this exhibition, he has captured the activities of little birds in the forests near him, instead. A concern for deforestation acts behind his work.

Conceptual artist, philosopher and essayist Göran Torrkulla is interested in the artists ability to interact with the audience. Torrkulla’s works are usually serial, conceptual and detailed. For Nelimarkka Museum’s exhibition he has created a room occupied by the vastness of land, sky and water – a wholeness made up of small individual works.
Varaston aarreaitta – exhibition
Donations and Discoveries from the Storage
The regional art museum of Southern Ostrobothnia, Nelimarkka Museum has a solid year of interesting exhibitions ahead, after a lenghty series of renovations. In 2013, the restoraton of Villa Nelimarkka, Eero Nelimarkka’s summer home, built in 1933, was completed, and the Villa was opened to the public. During the same year, the building of a new art storage with the latest technology was finished, offering the museum a safe and up-to-date place to store the artworks. In 2014, the museum got a new heating system, and an elevator that enables a wheelchair access to all floors of the museum.

The upgradings have brought a prominent value to the premises. Nelimarkka Museum will start its year with an art collection exhibition, titled Varaston aarteita, treasures from the storage. In the process of relocating the artworks to the new storage unit, some previously unseen works were found. These substantial oil paintings by Eero Nelimarkka had been rolled up for decades. The exhibition concentrates around four of them: a sketch for an altarpiece implemented in Skibotni, Norway; a big cabin interior with many variations; a beautiful winter landscape, and a sizeable self-portrait as a painter. The exhibition opens up a new perspective to the work methods and subject matters of Eero Nelimarkka.

Additionally, the exhibition introduces donations to the museum in 2014: four paintings by Eero Nelimarkka and five kinetic sculptures by Antti Maasalo, owned by Nelimarkka-Rahasto säätiö Foundation.
DUE NELIMARKKA - exhibition
In 2014 Nelimarkka Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary by inviting artist and professor Riitta Nelimarkka, the granddaughter of Eero Nelimarkka, to exhibit her work side by side with her grandfather. The entire museum was assigned for the exhibition from 17.5. to 28.9.2014.

Their artistic visions were juxtaposed, brought into discussion and even conflicted at the exhibition.
Petra Korte - exhibition
KALEVATAR 10.1.-15.2.2015
Petra Korte, a former Artist-in-Residence at Villa Nelimarkka will show her work, produced during the residency, at the ground floor of the Museum from January 10 to February 15, 2015. Korte’s works are inspired by the culture and landscape of Finland.

The artist is inspired by traces of daily life, such as the simple but important Finnish coffee culture, as well as Kalevala and Kanteletar.