AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line


VIA•ARS•NATURA, the way to art and nature

The working group – MIKKELIPUISTO and SAKSALANHARJU - is planning an art plan in the region of Mikkeli as a part of the main project VIA.ARS.NATURA. The project part MIKKELIPUISTO-SAKSALANHARJU is based on nature and art in Mikkelipuisto and Saksalanharju. The purpose of this sub-project is to develop on the two locations in Mikkeli and Haukivuori an attractive environment through art and nature for different target groups. The project will give added value to the area of the new gardens and the forest-LABYRINTH with temporary and permanent nature and site specific art. The project is based on the need to integrate art in landscape and in the personal living environment and to involve people with new forms of landscape design and the added value of art in it. Environmental art has no barriers like art in museums, people don't have to open to art, but art opens to people. This project will contribute to the cultural diversity of the region and increase the number of (international) visitors.
Through this project Mikkeli can distinguish itself – not only through its nature – but also by way of art and design.

The program VIA.ARS.NATURA is an overall and wide-range program of nationally and internationally significant artworks along special (old) routes and paths through Etelä-Savo. These art works will be grown or made from the ingredients/elements of, or specifically related to the landscape and geology of the area. The use of these different ingredients like forests, plants, peat, earth, rocks and water will visualize the characteristics of nature and authentic roads in East Finland. A commission program will ensure that the artworks link up to form a complete and coordinated idea and project. The program will help to improve bio-diversity and to create new habitats and utilize green and sustainable processes for procurement and methods of working wherever possible. The plan is based on the strategy to strengthen the cultural and natural image of Etelä-Savo. The plan will be executed in different parts during large number of years.

The first project in the VIA.ARS.NATURA program will take place in MIKKELIPUISTO and SAKSALANHARJU. The new model gardens and their surroundings in Mikkelipuisto are interesting places to show how art can be integrated in an existing design, or can be the design itself. It can also show how art and design can add a specific value to an existing landscape. The forest-LABYRINTH and the fields around Saksala ArtRadius are interesting to install trials and also make small scaled works. Both areas have good opportunities to work with different media and to use different characteristics of the landscape.

Both locations have national and international intention and the number of visitors is increasing. MIKKELIPUISTO is active in summer, but it is open for public the year round. The forest-LABYRINTH and FOAM sculpture park on Saksala ArtRadius are open the year round. During the summer there are events and activities on both locations.

Involving local people in the program activities through community participation, education and access will increase the coherence between local societies and their environment. VIA.ARS.NATURA will stimulate increased outdoor activity, encouraging people to walk, run, cycle or horse-ride to view the artworks and to travel along the different locations.

The whole program will introduce new visions on landscape design and contribute to a sustainable use of the environment and activate the participation in cultural and art related activities. It will make the region more attractive for different target groups to stay for a longer period during holidays.

The pilot-project MIKKELIPUISTO and SAKSALANHARJU will invite 3-4 artists to start with the first artworks on both locations during spring-summer 2009.

next pages (2), (3), (4), (5)

lucien den arend - dordrecht - nl


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