Helsinki Urban Art

Helsinki Urban Art is a non-governmental organisation specialised in urban art that I was founding in the beginning of 2017. The purpose of the association is to make art that enlivens urban environments in Helsinki as well as in other cities in Finland and abroad. We introduce new ways of using urban space, create participatory urban culture and solve problems by means of art and activism.

Helsinki Urban Art was created on the basis of the More Street Art in Helsinki -project that created several street art pieces in 2016 which enlivened the urban environment. Helsinki Urban Art expands this activity and brings even more art and more versatile forms of art into the urban space.

Helsinki Urban Art is formed by a group of professionals in visual arts, community arts and urban activism. Involving the communities and respecting the special characteristics of the places is important to us: we want the art that we create to really work in its environment and to suit the needs of the locals. Our team has a lot of experience in producing large murals, different sized street art pieces as well as coordinating large participatory art projects and different urban events. We also collaborate with many people working in the field of urban art both in Finland and abroad.





More Street Art in Helsinki

More Street Art in Helsinki is a project that I started with the street art group G-REX that uses street art to eliven the streets of Helsinki. The main goal of the project is to make large murals wherever in the city there is the biggest need for them. The project aims to raise the profile of legal, high-quality and world class mural art in Finland and offer alternatives for the commercial imagery in the urban space.

In the years 1998-2008 the city of Helsinki had zero tolerance policy for graffitis, which is why there hasn’t been a very strong street art culture in the city. In recent years the policies about street art have become more positive. We want to be a part of making progress with street art in Finland and show how many positive influences it can have.

In the summer of 2016 the project ran a contest called More Street Art For Your Hoods, where people could suggest places in Helsinki for new street art. Three winning locations were chosen, two of which are located in the neighbourhood of Kannelmäki and one in Roihuvuori. In September Maikki Rantala painted a participatory street art piece in Kannelmäki, on the wall of a building located at Trumpettitie 2. To Roihuvuori, at the address Prinssintie 4 we received a piece from the polish street artist Otecki. The third mural by Milu Correch will be painted on the wall of an elderly care home in the summer of 2017.

Through More Street Art In Helsinki anyone can now order street art to their own wall. The project will find the right artist for the location, deal with all the practical arrangements and take care of the necessary bureaucracy. We currently working on a model together with the city of Helsinki, which aims to make the acquiring of street art easier and decrease the unnecessary bureaucracy related to it.

In 2017 we created on the basis of the More Street Art in Helsinki -project a new association Helsinki Urban Art, which expands this activity and brings even more art and more versatile forms of art into the urban space.



Home Theatre Festival

After we changed homes into galleries in the Living Room Exhibition, I got the idea of developing the concept a bit further. If you can bring art exhibitions into your home, then why not theatre? And so a home theatre received a new – or old – meaning as the Home Theatre Festival changed homes into theatre stages for one week in February 2015 and November 2016. During the week, you could experience intimate or relaxed theatre in different places in Helsinki. The programme consisted of monologues performed by the students of the Theatre Academy and other actors. The performances were free, but you had to book a place beforehand. Every show was full, and the actors, inhabitants, guests and organisers were very satisfied.


Helsinki Sauna Day

Helsinki is full of saunas that are often empty and seldom seen by most. What if we did something about this for just one day and invited everyone over for a sauna? This idea turned into Helsinki Sauna Day, which is an event that opens the doors to the city’s saunas for everyone to enjoy. 

Helsinki has experienced an increase of new, communal activity in recent years. Majority of the saunas in the city, however, are still in private use, although traditionally going to the sauna has been a very communal action. Even though there are currently about three million saunas in Finland, most of them are very rarely used. At the same time there are many who would like to go to the sauna more often. This was the starting point to organising this wacky, communal event in Helsinki. The summer in Finland might be short, but that’s no reason not to have a lively urban culture. The event is organised together with Helsinki Marketing.

Helsinki Sauna Day was organised for the first time on March 12, 2016, and was a great success. People opened up saunas (altogether more than 50) in their apartments, hotel rooms and even tents and got to enjoy one of the first sunny days of the spring. The event was also loved by the visitors, who filled all the saunas as full as possible. The next Helsinki Sauna Day will be held on March 10, 2016.