On display

On display


Kaarina Heikinheimo: 5+ rooms



Visual artist Kaarina Heikinheimo (b. 1946) is known as a textile artist whose career spans over five decades. Already in the beginning of her artistic work, she created experimental works, often on a large scale. She studied in Helsinki from 1965 to 1968 as a student of Kreeta Pohjanheimo and made her debut at Strindberg’s art salon in Helsinki in 1968. The artist lives and works in Vaasa. 

The exhibition 5+ rooms presents a long artistic career as an aesthetic whole, which extends from the first copper wire work made in 1967 to the newest summer textile reliefs from 2023. Kaarina Heikinheimo paints with thread, which, along with traditional linen, means copper wire or surprising glass wire. The artist’s colorfully pleasing textile works have been assembled as spatial installations in five rooms.  

As an artist, she represents independent and spontaneous hands-on work. Heikinheimo designs and manufactures everything herself, and according to her words, she loves her work. Her early works include examples of picturesque tapestries referring to neoclassicism, in which the human figure can still be seen. In the later works, natural forms dominate the expression. The column-like textile works, which are standing on their own, tell about the management of the space along with the color and shape. Linen is the artist’s main material. The subjects range from the sea and forest to everyday objects such as a princess cake and candies. Imaginative shapes also fit into the artist’s colorful expression. 

The artist’s works have been seen in hundreds of exhibitions in Finland. The list of works that ended up in public collections is impressive and its characteristic feature is numerous commissioned works. The large production extends to hundreds of works, of which this exhibition presents a selection of around 80 pieces, curated by exhibition manager Maaria Salo in collaboration with the artist. The exhibition was produced by Vaasa City Museums.  


Kaarina Heikinheimo: Spring (2020). Photo: Olli Pokela



Uppermost image:

Kaarina Heikinheimo: 5+ rooms. Photo: Vaasa City Museums.



Nuances of the 1920s Palette – Works from the Tikanoja Art Collection



The exhibition Nuances of the 1920s Palette is on the first floor of the Tikanoja Art Museum. The selected works are from the museum’s own collection and they represent the color expression of the period.

The use of earthy colors gained popularity in Finnish visual arts during the 1910s and it continued in the 1920s. Broken colors were considered “Finnish”. Frithjof Tikanoja’s collection included many works, which were representative of the period, but also exceptional in terms of their color expression. The international influences seen in the colors of Eemu Myntti’s works spoke to his contemporaries. William Lönnberg’s Ironing Woman, was considered by the critic Edvard Richter to represent a rare “true color culture”. The painting also serves as an example of the exhibition’s brighter color palette.

The decade was characterized by urbanization, but the connection to the countryside remained strong. After the civil war, efforts were made to create national unity, which in turn strengthened the interest in the peasantry, home and folk culture. The artists captured glimpses of the period in their works: the city and the countryside, the everyday life and Sundays. From Tyko Sallinen’s rhythmic Saturday Evening cadence, we move on to Werner Åström’s and Alvar Cawén’s works that depict the peace of a Sunday. Other artists in the exhibition are e.g. Wäinö Aaltonen, Matti Annala, Arvi Mäenpää, Jalmari Ruokokoski and Ilmari Vuori.


Tyko Sallinen: Saturday Night,1920, oil on canvas, photo: Vaasa City Museums / Mikko Lehtimäki.



The new exhibition opens on April 22!

Johanna Pisto & team: Science and art in an interactive exhibition



Johanna Pisto and a multi-disciplinary work team will implement an interactive exhibition in Vaasa City Art Gallery. The exhibition combines visual art, music, video, design and technology. On the basis of a research project at the University of Jyväskylä, the sensors developed by Kaikuteam are applied to visual art for the first time. The works react to touch, producing sound and moving images at the same time.

The interactive exhibition offers visitors functional art, experimental experiences, varying surfaces, colors and sound worlds. Digital technology has been used in the works, e.g. laser engraving, plane cutting, UV and sublimation printing. The exhibition is created from the interweaving of different participants, materials, perspectives and digital technologies, offering interest to the experiencer.

”Feel the chair, listen to the sound and see how it produces a changing image.”


Visual Artist Johanna Pisto & team

Musicology professor emeritus Jukka Louhivuori (sensor technology)

Musician Antti Peltomaa (soundscape, composition)

Programmer Joel Kivelä (audio and video application, Cathodemer)

Director Sini Riipinen (Cathodemer application operation)

Designer Jonas Hakaniemi (ball and chair, design)

Videographer Sebastian Trzaska (videography, editing)

Gradia / Jyväskylä (media sector)


The exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.


Photo: Sebastian Trzaska

Swanljung Collection – Follow Your Heart



Dentist Lars Swanljung (1944–2022) acquired a large collection of contemporary art, which he donated to his hometown Vaasa in 2018.

Swanljung’s passion for visual arts ignited in the late 1980s. The first acquisitions were American pop art, which was followed by works from contemporary Nordic artists. The collection focuses mostly on Finnish art.

As an art collector, Lars Swanljung is characterized by systematicity and open-mindedness. He was particularly attracted by discreet, minimalistic and conceptual art, but the works in the collection also contain humor, sensitivity and edginess. Swanljung was not satisfied with acquiring only what he liked, but challenged himself. In addition to established artists and artists from his own generation, he also looked towards young talents. In the end, purchases were guided by a strong intuition. Swanljung’s frequently asked piece of advice for buying art was: listen to your heart.

The collection Swanljung contains more than 900 works by around 400 artists. On display is a selection of well-known gems from the collection, less exhibited works and the latest acquisitions, which have never been seen before. The exhibition focuses on Finnish art from the 1980s, but there are also a few selections from foreign artists.

The exhibition includes works from the following artists: Josef Albers, Kari Cavén, Carolus Enckell, Kristaps Gelzis, Jorma Hautala, Aaron Heino, Pasi Karjula, Pertti Kekarainen, Tiina Ketara, Jukka Korkeila, Lauri Laine, Marika Mäkelä, Jussi Niva, Paula Ollikainen, Jyrki Parantainen, Mari Rantanen, Silja Rantanen, Anne Tompuri, Marianna Uutinen, Marko Vuokola, Hannu Väisänen.

Image: Silja Rantanen: Sans souci, 1987, oil on canvas. Photo: Seppo Hilpo.

KONTAKTi – The Memory of a Landscape



The exhibition KONTAKTi – The Memory of a Landscape – open at the Ostrobothnian Museum from 28th April to 10th September 2023 – celebrates the combined 150-year history of the Ostrobothnian Artist Union and the Vaasa Artists Guild. Through an open call ten member artists have been invited to take part in the exhibition. In terms of content, it links together ideas of merging interior and exterior landscapes. The landscape forms an internally and externally layered continuum. The surrounding environment becomes part of our inner landscape. The local landscape is connected to the ever-changing environment and memory. It lives and actively continues to become a part of new landscapes, and yet it brings us back to our roots.

The exhibition comprises of paintings, sculpture, prints, photography, and video art. An event and interdisciplinary approach is also represented in the exhibition.

In his works Björn Aho examines communication structures between people. He sheds light on the thin interface between understanding and misunderstanding. Svetlana Bogatchevaon the other hand, is interested in the changes of the individual and of the community. The statements of her works confront the viewer with the current state of society. Author and artist Alexandra Sandbäck’s subtle works handle difficult themes like body image and chronic illness with openness and playfulness. They are a tribute to the artist and humanity.

The artist Mia Damberg and painters Petri Hildén and Seppo Kari unfold the many layers of the human mind and memory. Damberg’s works convey longing and the meaning of memories and their various individual traces. Hildén’s works emerge from a connection with the subconscious. The artist characterizes figures and situations from the past and the future. Kari’s paintings take place in nocturnal spaces. They combine references from surrealism and renaissance into new visual content. In media artist Markus Lerviks’ video work, the personal landscape tells a shared story about the past. The work goes through the cycle of the year as an endless loop.

Elina Försti paints the local landscape by choosing her subjects intuitively. In her colorful works, barns gain both abstract and representational elements. In Sylvia Javén‘s installation, the elements create an illusion of constant motion. The work is layered like the variety of experienced landscapes. Tiina Laasonen carves different types of wood as her main material. For Laasonen, working with three-dimensional forms is a dialogue between the artist, the materials and the theme.

The exhibition has been produced by the Vaasa City Museums in cooperation with the the Ostrobothnian Artist Union and the Vaasa Artists Guild and is curated by Aura Seikkula.



Petri Hildén. Metamorphosis and the Chalice, 2021. Photo: Petri Hildén



The uppermost picture: Elina Försti: Gable, 2022. Oil on canvas. Photo: Pasi Puskala.


Permanent exhibitions



Hedman Floor

Vaasa 400

The Silver Room, the Coin Cabinet ( both closed for renovation at the moment) and the Civil War Memorial Hall