4/7/2011 - From Leena Vuotovesi

Artist in residency programs are all about encounter. Taking a step into the unknown, the artist is lead by a curiosity and a need for new experiences and knowledge. This step may dramatically change one’s world-view and is essential for the development of creative process. The artist’s encounter with the local artists, citizens or townsmen and the local art scene is a moment of possibility to share knowledge and ideas.

For the local communities, the artist residency offers a variety of chances for regional development. Especially in the case of residencies located in rural areas, the impact of these activities is strong, be it for the art scene of the region, the know-how of its inhabitants or by creating an atmosphere of creativity and openness. The image of the place and vitality of the town are boosted in a surprising way. Like in the case of the residency that keeps me busy, the KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre in a small town of Ii, in the north of Finland. In addition to creating a network of professional artists and encouraging locals to participate in the creative processes, the image of the town has changed. The two-year publicity survey (Iilaakso Ltd, 2009-2010) revealed that about seventy percent of the positive representation of the town, in newspapers, radio and tv programs, is focused around the art centre. It also means that regional development can offer possibilities for the publicity of the guest artists.

The encounter between the residency guest and the local environment also shapes the residency program. A program for emerging young artists might work out well in one place, whereas a community art program is more suitable in another place. To reach proactivity within the program, the content and structure is important for the curators of these programs. As the curator Hanneke Frühauf from Switzerland says, the curator is responsible for the encounter between the artist and the locals.

At the core of Res Artis, since the very beginning, lies the same concept: the encounter. Res Artis wants to offer its members a unique network of colleagues, which is reinforced in every face-to-face meeting, be it the Regional Conferences, biannual General Meetings or any other encounter. During these moments we build true co-operations – and later the hospitality becomes real, as you send a young talented artist to the other side of the world, knowing that she will be taken care of.

As organisations grow, restructure and become more complex – just like the societies around us – the simple encounter is more valuable than ever.

I look forward to seeing you all in 2012 at the Res Artis Tokyo General Meeting!

From Leena Vuotovesi
Secretary, Res Artis
Executive Director, KulttuuriKauppila Art Center, Finland


Letters from the Board

4/7/2011 - Leena Vuotovesi
25/4/2011 - Tatsuhiko Murata
1/11/2010 - Mario Caro
6/10/2010 - Mario Caro
4/1/2010 - Mario Caro
18/12/2010 - Maro Caro
5/3/2008 - Maria Tuerlings
7/4/2008 - Rudolf Brünger
4/11/2006 - Clayton Campbell