Turku Artists’ Association

The Turku Artists’ Association is an association for professional visual artists in the Turku region. At the beginning of 2020, the Association had 235 members. The Association works to advance Finnish visual art, to promote it to a wide audience and to supervise the professional interests of its members. Membership applications are accepted year round.

The Turku Artists’ Association is a member of the Union of Finnish Art Associations. Furthermore, a large part of its members also belong to other local or national artists’ associations such as the Artists’ Association Arte, the Artists’ Association MUU or the Finnish Painters’ Union.


Professional artists living in the Turku Area can apply for Turku Artists’ Association membership by sending a filled application form, a CV and a portfolio either by MAIL or ON LINE. The membership fee is 35 €.

The portfolio should include varied excerpts of the artist’s work over the years with an emphasis on the most recent work. It is important to include all the information about the works (title, year, technique). The CV must include information about the artist’s education, artistic activity, exhibitions and grants.

The downloaded application, portfolio and CV should be sent to the following address:
Turun Taiteilijaseura ry / Jäsenhakemus

Turun Taidehalli
Vanha Suurtori 5
20500 TURKU

All applicants will be informed of the decision by e-mail.

For more information please contact:
Executive Director
Marjaana Valvee
045 8962918

A brief history of the Turku Artists’ Association

2019 –

In 2019 the Turku Kunsthalle opened on the Old Market Square, and it was run jointly by the Turku Artists’ Association and Photographic Center Peri. The Kunsthalle offers free entrance to the public and charges no rent from the artists. The exhibitions are curated mainly through open calls and invitations.

The Association celebrated its 95th anniversary with exhibitions in the Turku Kunsthalle as well as Ars Nova Museum. The same year the Association took over the management of the Turku Artoteque. The Artoteque moved to the first floor of the Turku Kunsthalle, and showed artworks from over a hundred artists.

The Kunsthalle and Artoteque stayed open through the covid-19 pandemic, and the Association continued to work for its members. In 2022 the cooperation between the Turku Artists’ Association and Photographic Center Peri came to an end, and the Association opened a new gallery, Iso Galleria, on the second floor of the Kunsthalle. The first exhibition in Iso Galleria was the 99th annual exhibition of the Association.

2011- 2018

Turku was the Culture Capital of Europe in 2011, and the Turku Artists’ Association curated a large international environmental art event Flux Aura 2011 in connection to that. Thematically the artworks were connected to the River Aura which flows through the city of Turku, as well as to the urban life and nature around the river. In addition to temporary artworks there were some that remained in the cityscape permanently, like the huge wooden sculpture Päivänkakkara by Jani Rättyä and Antti Stöckell. The environmental art event was continued with Fluxations, a site specific art event in Turku in 2012 and 2014.

The Association continued to run exhibitions in Gallery Å, and organized exhibitions for its members in various museums around Finland. The TurkuArt webpage was launched in 2012, which was also the 10th and last year of the Taf Taf residency project in Senegal.

1990s – 2010

In the 1990s the Turku Artists’ Association worked together with the Turku employment office in a project called Pysäkki and succeeded in employing over 20 long-term unemployed visual artists. The Association’s 70-year anniversary exhibition was held in Turku Art Museum in 1994. The same year, the Turku Artoteque opened its doors in the Old Town Centre of Turku. The Association’s new art gallery, Gallery Just, moved to the Vanha Raatihuone in the Old Town Centre of Turku in 1995. The gallery Majakka was closed in 1997. At the end of the 1990s the Association found new premises in an old factory on Jokikatu.

The Jokikatu art complex attracted a lot of attention in the beginning of the 2000s when there was disagreement between the artists and the City of Turku about whether to keep the building or pull it down. In the spring 2007 the City of Turku discharged the artists and artists’ associations from the Jokikatu building and the Turku Artists’ Association was left without premises. In the new millennium the Association has taken part in the Kulkulupa events in Turku, organized exhibitions in Finland, coordinated two international environmental art exhibitions Fluxations and Flux Aura and developed a new residency programme Taf Taf in Senegal. The Association moved to a new exhibition space, and Gallery Å opened in 2010.

1950s – 1980s

In the 1950s the Turku Artists’ Association was very active and at its best it had over 700 members. Its activities were more diverse than today and it had members from every field of art. The Association held different groups such as the Literary Group, the Theatre Group and the Film Group. In the year 1959, the Association underwent radical reformations. Visual artists resigned from the Association and formed an association of their own – the Turku Visual Artists’ Association. Because of the changes, an additional 14 artists resigned from this new group and formed the Arte Association in the year 1960.

The period of 1964-65 was one of the most important in the history of the Association. The Turku Visual Artists’ Association changed its name back to the original Turku Artists’ Association. Moreover, the Association opened its first own exhibition space in Uudenmaankatu and the new gallery turned out to be a success. In the 1960s a much-discussed issue was the social standing of the artist: the pension, the taxation and the general position of the artist in society. On the Association’s initiative, the Visual Arts Committee was established in Turku at the end of the 1960s. Furthermore, the Association was given a new exhibition space in the centre of Turku, in Kauppiaskatu 1. The exhibition space was expanded in 1968 and it became known as Taidehalli. Because of its central location it was an immediate success.

In the 1970s the Turku Artists’ Association launched a new activity. It wanted to bring art directly to the people and did this by setting up exhibitions in workplaces. The Association was forced to give up the exhibition space Taidehalli in 1985 and following this the Association’s activities and exhibitions moved to a new gallery in Käsityöläiskatu 20. The Association also held exhibitions in the restaurant Pinella and in a small gallery called Majakka on the east side of the river Aura.

1920s – 1940’s

The Turku Artists’ Association was established in 1924. It was set up to build a closer relationship between artists from different fields, between artists and the public and to promote Finnish art. Initially the Association was open to artists from every field of art but consisted mainly of visual artists. From the outset the aims of the Association have been the following: to organise art exhibitions, to build relationships between the artists and the public, between the Association and other artists’ associations in Finland and abroad and to develop the artistic scene in Turku.

From the 1920s onwards the Association regularly organised art exhibitions in Finland and abroad. The yearly exhibitions were held in the Turku Art Museum. The Association also organized international art camps and visual art competitions for its members. In 1933 the planning of the Association’s ten-year anniversary exhibition caused disagreements between the older and younger members of the Association. As a result, the older members resigned to form a new group: the Pro Arte Association.

Contact information

Turku Artists’ Association
Turku Kunsthalle
Vanha Suurtori 5
20500 TURKU
Wed-Fri 12–18, Sat-Sun 12–16
Office tel. +358 505475176

Executive Director
Marjaana Valvee
045 8962918

Exhibition coordinator

Merina Vellonen

Membership coordinator
Ohto Lankila

Turku Artoteque
Turku Kunsthalle
Vanha Suurtori 5
20500 TURKU
045 132 4743

Turku Artoteque director
Anna Hellén
050 355 3266

Turku Artoteque store manager
Minna Poikonen

Turku Artoteque assistants
Arto Tuomola
Merit Mikkonen (trainee)

Board 2024
Milla Hannula, chairwoman
Lena Kuivisto, vice chairwoman
Ilkka Aho
Jaana Saario
Jessica Koivistoinen
Jussi Haro
Mikko Paakkola
Arja Valkonen-Golblatt, deputy member
Saija Hairo, deputy member