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Visiting artists’ studios as part of the SHIFT mentoring program

Finnish Art Agency had a great opportunity to visit all the artists’ studios who are taking part in this year’s SHIFT mentoring program. Our studio tour started with painter Anu Kauhaniemi‘s studio in Vallila, Helsinki, where she is currently working on her latest series of paintings. In the series Carousel she depicts the movement of this joyful ride, its rotation, lavishness and some elements of the disappearing world. Visually she is especially interested in the different shades of lights and shadows, how they create and break the illusion of space.

In the first mentoring meeting we went through the past exhibition and project experiences, and examined the artist’s social media and website presence. Painter and sculptor Päivi Allonen‘s studio is located in Korso, Vantaa. She is interested in belongingness and the desire to be important part of something greater. Currently Allonen is doing a Serlachius residency at Mänttä and getting ready for this year’s upcoming solo exhibitions.

For the next studio visit we travelled to Hämeenlinna to meet ceramic and glass artist Elina Salonen. Her artworks usually comprise of several pieces where she visualizes something that she haven’t yet seen, processing things by giving them forms. In late March Salonen will be travelling to Tasmania to familiarize herself with the latest glass art developments and techniques.

We had a chance to meet painter Tamara Piilola at her solo exhibition at tm galleria, Helsinki, before it closed on February 19th. The exhibition comprised of large-scale landscape paintings depicting tropical abundance with its rich detail, colour and shape. Her stagnant landscapes are creations of countless memories stored over time as photographs and sketches. Together we started making plans for the current year: who to contact and where to exhibit next.

This week we took a train to Turku to visit painter Silja Selonen‘s studio in Yliskulma. Her working space is located in a lovely old farm building. Selonen is especially interested in combining different forms of art and science, and is currently searching for suitable researchers to collaborate with.

SHIFT mentoring program continues with a group meeting with arts professional Katja Räisänen, who has over 15 years of experience in art education and art business. Most recently, she worked at the leading Finnish contemporary art gallery, Galerie Forsblom, where she was responsible for sales, marketing, PR as well as events and international art fairs. The workshop dives straight into the world of art marketing, art business and how to approach different galleries.