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Petri Ala-Maunus. Photo: Jefunne Gimpel.

Article categories: Museums of Vaasa News

Kickstarting Visual Arts Initiative in Vaasa

Published: 17.5.2024

The Finnish Cultural Fund initiates a visual arts project called "Vauhdittamo," aimed at sparring local artists to broaden their horizons. This project shines a spotlight on visual arts across three regions: South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, and Ostrobothnia. The kickoff for ” Vauhdittamo” is set in Vaasa on May 23.

Vauhdittamo organises public art events, and in collaboration with the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, it offers a lecture on art curation at the museum on Thursday, May 23, from 14:00 to 16:00. Speakers of the event will be visual artist Petri Ala-Maunus and exhibition director Maaria Salo. The discussions shed light on the collaboration between artists and curators, the significance of curation, and its possibilities.

Originally from Kuortane and now residing in Helsinki, Petri Ala-Maunus is renowned for his apocalyptic paradise paintings, whose sweeping landscapes evoke a profound sense of nature. Ala-Maunus’s exhibition, curated by Maaria Salo, was showcased at the Ostrobothnia Museum in 2020. Currently, his works are on display in collection exhibitions at Ateneum, Kiasma, and Amox Rex. Ala-Maunus, together with his visual artist spouse Minna Suoniemi, curated last year’s exhibition Puun Takaa at the Mänttä Art Festival.

Maaria Salo is an art historian, curator, and art critic, currently working as the exhibition director for Vaasa Museums. With years of experience in international exhibition production and curation, Salo’s tenure as the exhibition director at the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art saw the Finnish Premiere of the Nordic exhibition “Weather Report: forecasting Future,” originally created for the Venice Biennale in 2020, in collaboration with Kiasma.


Vauhdittamo organises a Masterclass for artists, providing support for skill development, enhancing livelihoods, and maintaining well-being in work. Twenty regional artists have been selected for this intensive course, running from May to January next year. Visual artists selected for the Masterclass will gain new professional capital and competencies to refine the productivity and impact of their artistic work.

The kick-off event for the Masterclass will convene participants in Vaasa on May 23. Vauhdittamo, along with the Vaasa Artists Guild, invites Masterclass participants and visual arts communities from across the region to explore the Vaasa City Art Gallery, which transitioned from the City of Vaasa to the Vaasa Artists’ Association in March this year.

In June, Vauhdittamo heads to Kokkola, collaborating with Kokkola Museums on the theme of networks, featuring an exhibition presentation by visual artist Elina Försti. In August, as part of the Wasa Future Festival, Vauhdittamo hosts an open lecture on AI art, with visual artist Jukka Hautamäki as the speaker.