18.11.2017 – 25.2.2018 The People’s Cause

For some 150 years, the relationship between art and the art world and ordinary people has spurred debate. The common people have been admired and bemoaned, there has been yearning for its authentic way of life in the world of nature and folk poetry, and the rise to power of the coarse, rebellious and racially dangerous masses has been feared. The common people have worked piously and contentedly in the fields and read their catechisms, suffered from hunger and poverty, dragged themselves home from factories at dusk, and marched behind red flags to demand their rights. The colourful traditional costumes of the people have been museum pieces for artists and original folk characters have aroused benignly condescending amusement. The people fought in wars and rebuilt the nation. In the 1970s, heroic workers and the depopulating countryside with its problems came to be depicted by many artists who were awakening to take a political stand. The people are also present in contemporary art, in all their diversity and claiming their own voice.

18.11.2017 – 25.2.2018 Mindscapes – ITE Art and Kindred Spirits

ITE is a Finnish acronym meaning ‘a life of one’s own making’ (Itse Tehty Elämä), with ITE art defined accordingly. ITE is a concept of both art and the human condition, referring to a lifestyle of independent activity, creativity and self-expression.

This exhibition asks what the basis of ITE art is. Does it stem from folk culture and craftsmanship or the individual’s depths of the mind? What distinguishes ITE artists from their professional colleagues and what do they have in common?

Finland’s Union for Rural Culture and Education has been searching for and displaying ITE art for almost twenty years. It has now surveyed ITE in the Pirkanmaa region, and the new discoveries are on display in the exhibition along with works from ITE collections and contemporary art. The curators of the exhibition are Minna Haveri, Dr. of Arts, Project Coordinator, Union for Rural Culture and Education and Elina Vuorimies, Curator of ITE art of the Renlund Museum.