AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line


The printed version is available now and can be ordered directly by AREFS,
Price of the book:
30€ + shipping
20€ + shipping for members of AREFS
28€/per copy when ordered minimum of 10 books
26€/per copy when ordered minimum of 25 books

It can also be bought/ordered at:
Mikkeli Art Museum, Mikkeli
Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, Mikkeli
Räihän Kirjakauppa, Mikkeli
GalleriAri, Mikkeli
Kenkävero, Mikkeli
Wanha Osula, Haukivuori
AllaprimA Foundation - NL
NViF - Nederlandse Vereniging in Finland

Price of the book 30€

ISBN 978-952-93-1278-8

The BLURB internet version is also available:

Scroll down to see some pages and a complete overview of the book.

AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry is producing the book TÄMÄ ON MEIDÄN LUONTOMME - THIS IS OUR NATURE, a book about regional rural landscape north of Mikkeli through the eye of young children, youth and international artists.
The book brings original points of view and interesting perspectives about nature and landscape in rural region of Etelä-Savo and it will be a valuable document for all living in and related to the region. The book will be a unique source for authorities, but also visitors from other regions and abroad as a new way to explore the landscape and to be touched by authentic nature.

From the past the landscape is the base of human civilization. It is the landscape that offers conditions to develop community life. The diversity in nature, climate and geology is the source of diversity in cultures. Every environment has its own conditions and by soiling it, the land gets its more specific characteristics. The environment changes all the time, positive and negative, and the landscape influences the roots of the community. The landscape is source of life, history, stories, reality and coherence. In the arts landscape has been visualized in many ways, depending on the cultural meaning of it.

The book will contribute to nature awareness and its meaning for children growing up in isolated rural regions. It will increase awareness of historical and cultural knowledge as well as the emergence of new traditions and contemporary cultural heritage and strengthen the cultural awareness of the youth in small rural societies.

AREFS will use the surplus of the book to continue with the art workshops in different schools in rural Mikkeli and also wants to create a printed manual about the developed method. Besides the pleasure this book offers, you contribute to the development and success of our plans with the purchase of it.

- CHILD ART from the art education program THIS IS OUR NATURE.
Art works of schools in Haukivuori and Hiirola produced during the project period 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.
- ART WORKS by (international) artists produced during art symposiums, art projects and artist-in-residence.
Photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and environmental art works by international artists participating in the artist-in-residence program and symposiums in art centre Saksala ArtRadius 2005-2011.
- LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY by artists and children
Images produced during the program THIS IS OUR NATURE and as part of art projects in Mikkeli region.
- SHORT ARTICLES history, nature, landscape, art, culture and art education concerning by persons involved in these subjects.
Contributions by: Matti Viialainen, Etelä-Savon maakuntajohtaja ja aikaisempi SAK:n apulaisjohtaja; Soile Kuitunen, Mikkelin kaupungin kehitysjohtaja; Matti Karttunen, museotoimenjohtaja Mikkelin kaupungin museot; FM, historiantutkija Pia Puntanen; Maisa Häkkinen, markkinointi- ja kehittämispäällikkö Miset; Lucien den Arend, sculptor and curator; Marja de Jong, artist and art educator.

In 2010 AREFS has started the project THIS IS OUR NATURE in the school in Haukivuori and it has become a follow-up in Hiirola in 2011 and will continue later on other rural locations. It has the aim to vitalize and renew the characteristics of small rural villages to prepare their youth on a European directed future based on local qualities.

The artistic subject in the project THIS IS OUR NATURE is the way children of different ages visualize their view on nature and landscape. Children have registered, documented and produced by photographing, painting, drawing and printing a wide range of art works in which they reflect on their own environment. They also have used the photographs of artists to translate this information into an own image.
Different artists have given workshops in which they crossed their view with the view of children.

During project, symposiums and artist-in-residence artists from different origin have been contributing with their impressions, views and visual remarks on the rural landscape, which has been activating new points of view and reflecting on the own view too.
Artists have been exploring landscape values and their cultural heritage to create an authentic image of the rural environment and/or to add an art work to it.

Children and artists have been registering the landscape during different periods. The results are personal reflections on nature and landscape and part of the final documentation.

Regional history, geology and geography
Characteristics of nature and landscape
Rural communities and social cohesion
Rural and urban
Process and result of the art education project THIS IS OUR NATURE
Art projects executed in and related to rural environment

regional people, children, parents, teachers, visitors, authorities, politicians, art and culture organizations

ISBN 978-952-93-1278-8
Size: 20x25 cm oblong
hard cover
224 pages
340 images
full color
text Finnish and English
1000 copies
Selling price: 30€/piece + any shipping

Volume deduction
10-24 28€/piece
from 25 copies: 26€/piece

AREFS will use the surplus of the book to continue with the art workshops in different schools in rural Mikkeli and also wants to create a printed manual about the developed method. Besides the pleasure this book offers, you contribute to the development and success of our plans with the purchase of it.

Order the book on beforehand or more information, email


front side of the book

back side of the book

article in Länsi-Savo 9.6.2012
by Carmen Runonen
photo Antero Teittinen


Some pages of the book, click on the image to enlarge the page.

page 16-17
rock paintings Astuvansalmi Ristiina

page 26-27
printing 3rd and 7th class Haukivuori

page 46-47
painting pre-school Haukivuori

page 66-67
painting 5th and 6th class Hiirola

page 76-77
paintings pre-school Haukivuori
panorama 3rd class Haukivuori

page 110-111
LABYRINTH Haukivuori
art by Marc Walter Canada and Varol Topaç Turkey

page 128-129
drawings Cully Renwick USA

page 146-147
sculpture Saksalanharju
Mari Shields Netherlands/USA

page 174-175
photography and painting Ilse van den Berk NL
painting pre school Haukivuori

page 188-189
traditional and contemporary haying

page 190-191
painting pre-school Haukivuori
poem 3rd class Haukivuori
Finnish light in winter time, Saksalanharju

page 206-207
about the used method during art lessons


The translation of the English and Finnish text is supported by Haukivuoren Aluejohtokunta.

project funding 2011-2012:




©2009 AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry, Finland. All rights reserved.
No reproduction by any means or in any language without prior permission of the author.