female museum director looking at Reidar Särestöniemi Museum gallery inside with paintings.
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper
female artists standing in art studio surrounded by paintings
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper
korundi
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper
art curator standing in the archives of korundii showing artwork in storage
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Art of Lapland

Lapland is home to a wide spectrum of creative work. The artists and creators who live here thrive on the enthusiasm and passion each person has for their profession. In a region with more reindeer than people, the land and its history are reflected back into their work and influence their art. This is a small cross section of places and people that share a passion for the arts of Lapland. 

courtyard entrance to Korundi Art Museum, gallery space, evening or night.
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Gallery

Situated in the city of Rovaniemi, two minutes walk from the city centre, Korundi is host to a comprehensive collection of contemporary art in Lapland. The building is constructed from beautiful raw materials with a blend of modern and pre-war architecture. The four Gallery spaces in the museum display national and international artwork from collaborating artists and curators. Regular events and new exhibitions mean there is always something fresh for you to absorb and inspire your own creativity. The building itself is a work of art. Pieces of the original bus depot, built in 1933, can also be see in the walls inside the gallery. 

art curator standing in the archives of korundii showing artwork in storage
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Curator

Aira Huovinen 

The biggest challenge we face with being situated in Lapland is getting people to realise there is some amazing stuff here.

A passionate art curator, orchestrating private and international exhibitions. She moved North to work at Korundi to collaborate with local artists and curators from around the world to help display the extraordinary artwork on offer in the capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi. Her efforts, along with her colleagues, ensure the artwork is protected and available for everyone to view for generations to come. 

female artists standing in art studio surrounded by paintings
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Studio

A perfect place to paint a picture. A studio is an invaluable resource for artists to focus on creating their vision. Located in one of the few buildings to survive the wartime devastation of Rovaniemi, Kauppayhtiö houses the Arctic Design Shop, Pure Burger and Pure Pizza, seconds away from the high street. If you consider street food an artform, they create some of the city’s best. The top floor of this building is share by a collection of artists working on sculpture, jewellery, photography and painting. By working together, they can influence and inspire one another, and create a platform for reflecting on their work. 

female artists looking through artwork in art studio
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Artist

Saara Sarparanta 

Everything I create is influenced by living here. My colours, the light, my subject matter.

Known for painting portraits of reindeer, each with an intimate and unique personality, Sarparanta’s subjects have changed from female portraits to the natural inhabitants of Lapland’s landscape. But she times her subject carefully, because the antlers of the reindeer are constantly changing with the seasons. She sells her artwork at local shops in Rovaniemi, such as Korundi and the Arctic Design Shop below her art studio. 

gallery at Reidar Särestöniemi Museum, inside with paintings.
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Museum

Affectionately calledPicasso of the North by locals, Reidar Särestöniemi’s family home, the gallery, studio, and home that he built for himself has been created into a museum dedicated to his work, his history and the culture of life in Lapland. The museum sits, surrounded by forests, 30km South of Kittilä. The exhibitions there display the original paintings, and drawings by Särestöniemi in the studio he created many of them in. The wooden logs and swimming pool inside the gallery combine to make a unique viewing experience that could only be found in Lapland. 

female museum director standing outside reidar särestöniemi gallery in winter
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Director

Tuija Alariesto 

Most people who come here don’t even know that we change the exhibitions around, and that’s something that we want to change.

She is managing the Reidar Särestöniemi Museum for one year. Her focus is on directing engaging and informative exhibitions or work and safeguarding historic buildings the archives for people to enjoy. Winter brings lighting to the forefront of her efforts to improve the museum, focusing on details such as colour temperature so the artwork can be enjoyed how the artists had intended. 

Lapland Chamber Orchestra concert hall stage.
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Chamber

Constructed specifically for the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the concert halls sits nestled by the buildings of Korundi. The two combines to form the epicentre for music and art for Lapland. 340 seats are designed to create an intimate listening experience and carefully considered acoustics within a perfect rectangle footprint. The exterior of the cuboidal concert hall is clad in rusted orange steel, adding to the encompassing building’s industrial aesthetic. The bold colour palette inside the hall reflects the antique materials of the instruments the orchestra use in their symphony. 

female violinist playing violin in lapland chamber orchestra hall
Photo by: Adam Eronen Piper

The Musician

Reetta Kataja 

The changing hours of daylight this far North influences the way I play. You can also feel it from the audience. I didn’t think that I would be living in Lapland, playing violin. That’s quite something.

Lapland Chamber Orchestra’s concertmaster influences the mood and tone of the orchestra. She leads the best musical talent Lapland has to offer. The limited number of seats means she gets to know her audience well, but If you’ve never heard an orchestra play she encourages you to come with an open mind, close your eyes and try the experience.