The Nelimarkka Museum, named after its founder, painter and professor Eero Nelimarkka, was first opened in 1964. The Museum is the Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia (since 1995). Its main focus is on art education: workshops and other events are organized for the public regularly.
Hartaushetki Alaviitalassa (1924), öljy pellavakankaalle, 145 x 210 cmThe Museum is also responsible for researching Ostrobothnian art and hosting an artist-in-residence program. The Museum building, designed by Nelimarkka’s friend, architect Hilding Ekelund, has characteristics of classical and Mediterranean architecture. The multi-storey building is wheelchair accessible. The Museum’s permanent exhibition displays Nelimarkka’s art with varying emphases.
The changing exhibitions present mainly contemporary art. The former atelier of Eero Nelimarkka is located at the basement. The adjoining halls are designed to exhibit drawings and prints. Other Museum amenities include Café de Nelimarkka (open in the summer and for groups in the winter) and Museum Shop Neljän markan putiikki. Both are located at the museum building. Villa Nelimarkka, the former atelier and summer house of Eero Nelimarkka, is located 500 meters from the museum. The Nelimarkka Residence operates in the building. Restored in 2013, Villa Nelimarkka also functions as an exhibition space and event venue. The Museum also administers Villa Väinölä, a building by architect Alvar Aalto at the town centre.
Alaviitalan piha (1922), öljy pellavakankaalle 79,5 x 114 cm
Talo Ranskassa (1920), öljy pahville, 47 x 62 cm
Maisema Seinäjoelta (1962), öljy kankaalle, 149,5 x 230,5 cm
The Nelimarkka Residency carries out Eero Nelimarkka’s long-term dream of having fine art also in the countryside. The residency is located in a rural setting, four kilometres from the small Alajärvi Centre, close to a lake and natural surroundings. Circa 10 artists live and work at the residency annually.
Nelimarkka Residency is looking for artists on all fields of visual arts.Deadlines for 2020-2021 residencies:
A residency includes the use of a studio, common areas, and a private bedroom. The Villa can accommodate two artist at a time.
There are two options: a separate bedroom with open studio space or a studio combined with bedroom. Both of the studios and bedrooms are upstairs.
The artist pays for their own material, living and travel expenses. The museum usually offers a workshop to the museum’s customers together with the artist-in-residence. The museum provides the material for the workshop.
The residency building, Villa Nelimarkka, is located 500 meters from the museum and 4 km from Alajärvi town center. The gambrel roof villa was designed and built by Eero Nelimarkka as a summer house for his family in 1933. It was completely restored to its old looks in 2013. The Villa has a large yard and the upstairs was designed specifically as a studio space. The rent for a private bedroom with a shared kitchen and bathroom is 400 euros/month (incl. taxes) or 200 euros and a workshop for the museum. The bedrooms and studios are located upstairs. During the summer, the downstairs is open to the public Tue-Fri 13-17 and there are occasional events at other times.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A RESIDENCY
Please fill out and print the Application Form (remember to sign it) and send it via mail or email. Please attach your work plan, previous work examples and a CV/resume. Please include the preferred date(s) and length of your stay on your application.
Send your application to:
or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you cannot fill out the application document in word, you can also print out the PDF Form.
Villa Nelimarkka was designed and built by Eero Nelimarkka as a summer house for his family in 1933. It was completely restored to its old looks in 2013. The Villa has a gambrel roof and the upstairs with large windows was designed specifically as a studio space. There is a smoke sauna in the large yard. The Villa serves as an event venue, exhibition space and a residency building. It is open for public in the summer and can be rented for private events. Address: Pekkolantie 67, Alajärvi
Vaasassa syntynyt taidemaalari Eero Nelimarkka oli asunut vakituisesti Helsingissä jo parinkymmenen vuoden ajan, kun mieli rupesi tekemään takaisin synnyinseudulle. Vaasa ei enää miellyttänyt vaan Nelimarkka halusi muualta sellaisen sopukan, ”missä voi kaikessa rauhallisuudessa syventyä itseensä ja työhönsä”. Mieluisa tontti löytyi isän kotikylästä Alajärven Pekkolasta. Nelimarkka teki huvilansa kaikki piirustukset itse. Kivijalkaa alettiin muurata kesällä 1928, pärekatto saatiin laitettua kesällä 1932 ja ”Kivikko” nimisen huvilan perusosa oli valmis.
Huvilan valmistuttua Nelimarkka vietti paljon aikaa Alajärvellä maalaten maisemia ja laatukuvia. Tupakuviinsa hän maalasi henkilösommitelmia ja käytti malleinaan sukulaisia tai naapureita Pekkolan kylästä ja Hoiskosta. Nelimarkan pääasiallinen elanto tuli vielä 1930 -luvulla muotokuvamaalauksesta.
Sotavuosina perhe vietti paljon aikaa Alajärvellä. Nelimarkka maalasi pelkistettyjä, tunneherkkiä maisemia ja käytti lähes läpikuultavia värejä. Sotien jälkeen ”[…]oli tapahtunut ihme, sillä ihmiset ostivat kilvan taidetta!” Kaupaksi kävivät etenkin eteläpohjalaiset maisema- ja tupakuvat. Nelimarkalla oli nyt varaa tehdä pitkiä, kuukausien mittaisia matkoja yhdessä Saima-vaimonsa kanssa ja käynnit Alajärvellä vähenivät. Hän vuokrasi huvilan vuosiksi 1947 – 1952, koska oli päättänyt matkustaa myös kesäisin sekä Lapissa että ulkomailla ”rikastuttaakseen aihepiiriään”.
Saima-vaimon kuoleman jälkeen 1953, suunnitteli Nelimarkka jopa huvilan myymistä Pekkolan kyläkouluksi, mutta alkoi kuitenkin itse viihtyä taas Alajärvellä. Myös lapset perheineen pitivät Nelimarkan huvilaa mieluisana kesänviettopaikkana. Huvilalla olon myötä nousi pitkäaikainen haave taidekoulun perustamisesta pintaan.
Nelimarkka pyysi Opetusministeriöltä suositusta Yhdysvaltain opintomatkaa varten: ”Vuosikymmeniä on mielessäni ollut koulun perustamis aije maalaustaiteen opetuksen antamista varten.” Puoli vuotta kestänyt opintomatka lujitti Nelimarkan taidekouluajatusta. Hän teki huvilaansa laajennuksen 1962. Tarkoituksena oli sijoittaa sinne sekä Nelimarkka-Rahasto säätiön kokoelma että taidekoulu. Rakennus osoittautui kuitenkin liian pieneksi. Nelimarkka osti sukulaisiltaan isänsä maatilan, sijoitti kokoelman tilan asuinrakennukseen ja alkoi pitää kursseja siellä 1962. Uusi museorakennus Nelimarkka-museo, asuinrakennuksen vieressä, avattiin 1964. Nelimarkka-museon valmistumisen jälkeen Eero Nelimarkka majoittautui museon viereiseen asuinrakennukseen ja huvila jäi lasten kesänviettopaikaksi.
Nelimarkan kuoleman jälkeen huvila oli vuokralla useita vuosia ja sen jälkeen pitkään tyhjillään, kunnes se ensin siirtyi Osakeyhtiö Pekkola Oy:n ja myöhemmin Alajärven kaupungin omistukseen. Nelimarkan huvilaa ryhtyi kunnostamaan pienin varoin vuonna 1993 perustettu Eero Nelimarkan huvilaseura ry. Alajärven kaupunki vei kunnostuksen päätökseen ja kesällä 2013 huvila vihittiin käyttöön nimellä Villa Nelimarkka. Huvilassa on järjestetty kyläjuhlat, näyttelyitä, konsertteja ja monenlaisia tapahtumia. Residenssitoiminta laajeni huvilalle 2014 ja siirtyi sinne kokonaan, Nelimarkka-akatemian tiloista 2015.
Villa Väinölä, built in 1926, was designed by Alvar Aalto as a home and office for his brother, geodetic engineer, Väinö Aalto. The staircase leading to the second floor is decorated with ionic columns, whereas the arcade that faces the garden is supported by doric columns. The attached outbuilding with altered concept or architectural form was designed by Aalto in 1938.
In 1952, the ownership of Villa Väinölä was transferred to the city of Alajärvi. The building has served as the local doctor's office as well as a municipal office building. In 2015, the building was added to the domain of Nelimarkka Museum. Väinölä is currently being renovated and will be used for various cultural events in the future. Address: Väinöntie 4, Alajärvi
Eero Nelimarkka was born October 1891 in Vaasa. He was the youngest child of tailor Erkki Nelimarkka and his wife Maria. The family had moved to Vaasa to find work, but their roots were in Alajärvi already since 1700’s. At the age of 12, Eero completed primary school, and was trained as a confectioner trough an apprenticeship. He received a scholarship by Vaasa Union of Craftsmen to study further in Stockholm and Lübeck.
Back in Finland, Nelimarkka moved to Helsinki in 1909. To ensure his living, he worked at the Löfström Bakery during the day. At night he studied drawing at the Society of Applied Arts. He wanted to attend the Ateneum drawing school, but lacking a secondary school diploma, he was refused. Artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela advised him to travel straight to Paris, which he did in 1912. After returning home from Paris, Eero Nelimarkka studied at the Art Faculty of Helsinki University in 1912-1914. His teacher was artist Eero Järnefelt.
Nelimarkka got married in 1918 with Saima Alaviitala from Alahärmä, and had four children: Eero Jaakko (1919 -1941), Katri Helena (1921-1983), Juha Antti Elias (1923-1990) and Esko Tuomas (1925-1997). As Eero Nelimarkka began his artist career in the 1910’s he belonged to a group called Marraskuu (November). Nelimarkka’s artistic style includes several experiments with colours and shapes, and contains cubistic and impressionist influences until the 1920’s.
Nelimarkka’s art has always been grand. He is known for landscape paintings of Ostrobothnia: the plains and open skies. The paintings depicting farm buildings and cabin interiors convey a true Ostrobothnian atmosphere. Yet he did not only depict the Ostrobothnian nature, but painted also portraits, still lifes and urban scenery. His work portrays people from different fields of life: artists, soldiers, professors and politicians, as well as ordinary men and women. Nelimarkka did not paint without a model – therefore portraits of his wife Saima and himself cover his whole artistic career.
Nelimarkka was a true Cosmopolitan. He travelled a lot throughout the years. No lack of money, even in the time of war, could stop him from experiencing new places, and learning more about art. His works were exhibited in museums and galleries in Finland as well as abroad: from Moscow in 1917 to China in 1958, and Scandinavia, Kiel, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Milan, Rome, Brussels, The Haag, Prague, Warsaw, Zürich, Florence, Paris, Lübeck, Leningrad and New York in between.
Eero Nelimarkka was a founding and honorary member of the Ostrobothnian Artists Association. In 1945 he established the Nelimarkka Foundation which is still the main owner of the Nelimarkka Museum’s collections. Eero Nelimarkka was given the title of professor in 1966. As an idealist, he wanted to establish an art school and a museum in Alajärvi, because he believed that art belonged equally to everyone. He especially felt that the people living far away from Helsinki, particularly the people in the region of Southern Ostrobothnia, had been left without a chance to discover art.
Eero Nelimarkka returned to his parents’ birthplace at the end of the 1920’s. He bought property from Pekkola, where he had his summer house (known today as Villa Nelimarkka) built.
Already during the 1930’s, Nelimarkka had a dream of establishing his own art school. During the 1960’s, his financial situation allowed him to fulfill the dream. Professor Aune Lindström gave him the idea of connecting a museum to the art school.
Eero Nelimarkka asked his friend, architect Hilding Ekelund, to draw plans for the combined art school/museum building. The exterior of the building, first opened in 1964, is influenced by classical architecture. To the basement Ekelund designed studios for painting and sculpting purposes, though they were never used for the original purpose.
Soon, the building was considered too small, and since Ekelund was not in good enough health to make any adjustments, Nelimarkka designed the extension building himself. The museum was extended twice during 1972-73. During the years 1996-97, the building was once again extended according to the plans made by architects Simo and Käpy Paavilainen, who had also planned the primary repairs to the building in 1980’s.
In 2013, a new extension, including a modern art storage was added to the building. Nelimarkka Museum was purchased by Alajärvi Municipality at 1981. In 1995 it became a Regional Art Museum.