AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line


After the closing of the art center in Haukivuori the art and culture association AREF will start with an experimental artist-in-residence program THE NEXT STATION in the rural environment of eastern Finland.
The new residency is located in Hiirola, 15 kilometers north of Mikkeli. In the old railway station one artist or a couple at the time will be invited to stay, work and contribute with their work to the community of Hiirola.

The railway station is situated on 5300 m² along the track. At the backside is the main road of the village.
The village Hiirola has under 500 inhabitants. There is a primary school at about 3 kilometers. The church is at 3 kilometers from the station.
On the road at the street side of the building is a bus stop (bus Mikkeli-Pieksämäki vv) and in Mikkeli is a railway station were the trains are stopping.

The new program starts in 2014 and the first series will take place in May, June, July and August. Artist can apply until January 31th.

main building - railway side

main building - road side

Artistic Mission:
AiR-THE NEXT STATION AiR is the artist-in-residence program of AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry in Hiirola, Finland. It is a small, independent and experimental art residency, organized by artists for artists. It is based on the AiR experiences in the past at art centre Saksala ArtRadius.
Their mission is to create an artistic inviting environment which contents conditions for new artistic processes by nourishing art and providing space for artistic experiments, encouraging cross–cultural dialogue, and collaborating with regional and international arts networks.
AiR-THE NEXT STATION is a small–residency type and is planning various artistic projects, programs and events.

Residency Program Objectives:
– To provide artists with developing conditions for inspiring art productions.
– To introduce visiting artists to Hiirola society, cultures and landscapes.
– To provide the Hiirola community with exposure and access to a diverse range of contemporary international arts practices and theories.
– To provide outreach activities like art education project at local schools and ART & TECHNOLOGY programs in cooperation with regional industry and organizations.

AiR-THE NEXT STATION initiates and organizes art projects and stimulates intercultural exchange between artists of all nationalities.
There fore, an environment of concentration and inspiration is created to enable art to be made. An artist needs to be able to work independently.

AiR-THE NEXT STATION is managed by professional artists with a more then 10–year working experience in Finland and stimulates a colleague atmosphere. An attitude of independency in project development is expected, besides an open mind towards the intercultural aspects of the stay. AiR-THE NEXT STATION provides any support to create this independency and the cooperation of the artists with local inhabitants and handicraftsmen to share practical wisdom.
AiR-THE NEXT STATION acknowledges that some of the most creative strategies live in the intersections of disciplines, cultures and generations.

Target groups:
The target groups for the residencies are International and Finnish artists interested in fine art, contemporary art, environmental, exploratory site–specific and community based arts. An artist should have an adventurous attitude and be open to research within new experiences and meeting.

Disciplines & Media:
– Visual arts
– Installation
– Environmental art
– Educational & awareness projects / programs

Selection of artists:
The presented projects are evaluated on a non–competitive basis through an internal methodology that weights several variables such as dimension and relevance of past work, the project's adequacy to the place and potential for experience and know–how interchange with other artists.
The quality of the art works has priority, but there is room for research and experimental projects.
Residents are invited by a jury composed of practicing artists and arts professionals.

Applications & Deadlines:
The deadline for a residency is every year on March 31st.











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