The Tampere Artists’ Association celebrates the 100th anniversary in 2020. To mark the occasion, Kunsthalle Helsinki presents an exhibition with an overview of works by the association’s members. The Budding Centenarianfeatures paintings, sculptures, graphic art, installations and one video piece in a show curated by art critic Pessi Rautio and sculptor Matti Kalkamo.
The jubilee exhibition will highlight 24 of the association’s 284 members, whose work represents a variety of emergent contemporary strands that contrast intriguingly against the backdrop of the association’s venerable history. Certain elements of their art also reflect their local identity as Tampere-based artists from the region of Pirkanmaa. The selected works show that one of the main thematic concerns preoccupying artists today is the challenge of accepting the raw, painful side of human existence and physicality. Many also offer fresh perspectives in their interpretations of nature. Even the abstract works in the exhibition are highly original in their approach, some even laced with delicious humour. In addition to presenting established names, the exhibitions also introduces lesser-known Tampere artists and rare gems of contemporary art that are bound to surprise even the most worldly-wise art aficionados.
The featured artists are: Terhi Asumaniemi, Liisa Hietanen, Lars Holmström, Anssi Jääskeläinen, Juha-Pekka Köykkä, Heta Laitakari, Marko Lampisuo, Tiina Lehikoinen, Riikka Lenkkeri, Virve Lilja, Karkki Mäkelä, Pasi Niininen, Paula Ollikainen, Tuukka Peltonen, Tomas Regan, Hannu Riikonen, Elina Ruohonen, SA Salmela, Markku Salo, Kristiina Sario, Tuija Suutari, Kirsti Tuokko, Jarno Vesala and Viggo Wallensköld.
Representing nearly 300 artists from the region of Pirkanmaa, the Tampere Artists’ Association is Finland’s second oldest functioning art association. It is based at the Mältinranta Art Centre, which serves the local community by regularly hosting high-quality exhibitions and offering art loan services. It also hosts workshops, art courses, recreational events and lectures both for professional artists and the community at large. The association additionally rents out studio space to artists, offering both an artist residency and workshop space for projects.
Founded in 1920, the association narrowed its role to purely representing artists’ interests in 1944. Its next major milestone was securing an exhibition venue in the heart of Tampere, on the top floor of the city library built in 1925. The association continued exhibiting there until 1972, when Tampere Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art began taking turns hosting the association’s annual exhibitions. The Mältinranta Art Centre was founded in 1983 when the City of Tampere repurposed an old water treatment plant to serve as a dedicated exhibition space.
The Tampere Artists’ Association will host numerous exhibitions to mark its centenary, starting with The Budding Centenarianat Kunsthalle Helsinki. On its home turf, it will exhibit at Tampere Art Museum, the Sara Hildén Art Museum, the Mältinranta Art Centre, Galleria Saskia, the Laikku Culture Centre and in the winter garden at Tampere Hall. An outdoor exhibition is also planned.