Percent for Art – one mountain of a molehill

Arabianranta_kotikaupunkipolku_12061222Because of The Spirit of Artova project I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the local dimensions of Percent for Art scheme.


Even though I’ve moved a lot in the Arabianranta area and theoretically known the concept, it wasn’t until Tuula Isohanni’s guide (a pdf in English), all these recent visits to numerous houses and the guided tour by Kotikaupunkipolku that I realised how massive this thing really is. There is art everywhere, for anyone to see! There must be countless of different interpretations of these works in the minds of the area residents.


The Percent for Art scheme is being tested or planned in many sites. It will feature in the Housing Fair neighbourhood in Jyväskylä, Penttilänranta in Joensuu, Vuores… Co-ordinating the concept on a local level is a handful but the list showcases several pioneers who have developed the process and the operational principle. The art co-ordinator for Arabianranta, Tuula Isohanni; the regional artist for Pohjois-Karjala, Hannu Aaltonen; and a Kuohu reporter Viivi Kuohula, who documents the methods of producing community spirit utilised in the shared courts of Arabianranta houses, are veritable experts of the Percent for Art scheme.


In my ideal world, art is part of our everyday life, like in the old days when residential buildings were constructed by hand. It signals that this building and its residents are considered worthy of the art. And that art, it isn’t humbug, it’s a carefully evaluated thing.


I believe art will foster wellbeing better than any probiotic yogurt. We need to have someone’s handmade work greet us at our front door every day regardless of whether or not everything is coming up roses in your life. That’s what we need – along with neighbours who greet you.


Satu Onnela



Translation by Pigasus Translations.

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