AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line


The board of AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry in 2015
Matti Karttunen - chairman
Jukka Tikka - vice chairman
Juhani Palonen - secretary
Lucien den Arend - vice-secretary
Marja de Jong - treasurer

During 2015 AREFS was operating at the old railway station of Hiirola.

In 2015 AREFS has been active in the field of art education (Hiirola, Rämälä), the SAVON-RADAN päivä of the SAVO rail and involved in the local community of Hiirola. These activities are important for strengthening the cultural awareness of the rural habitat in the region of Mikkeli.
AREFS cooperates with Hiirolan kylätoimikunta, SAVON-RADAN ryhmä, Vehmaskylä Wanha Koulu, Rämälä school, AllaprimA Foundation (NL) and other organizations in the field of art and culture.
This report is an overview of the activities which were organized by AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry in 2015.
To read more about the different items click on the images and see more information and images.

Activities and programs

a. New Year Meeting

On January 17 there was a celebration of the 2015 program at Hiirola Railway station.

new year celebration at Hiirola

New Year celebration at Hiirola

b. renovation railway station

The railway station in Hiirola is an old building which is still under construction.
To work properly it is important to organize tools and material in a way that several persons can find them easily.  In 2015 it was possible to replace the tools room to a new constructed part of the 'cold' area. This part of the building is now in an open connection with the rest of the building.
The part behind the new constructed wall is now in use as an archive.
The former tools room is transformed into a gallery.

new tools room

the new tools room is efficient and organized.

c. gallery STUDIO 23

As the old railway station is a remarkable building and loved by the villagers and railway lovers, it is a pleasure to transform one of the rooms into a small gallery. The gallery has the intention to invite people to visit the place and to contact them with the activities of AREFS, artists who exhibit their art and to initiate performances for different audiences.
The former tools room is also the entrance room of the building and even it is small it can be used as a gallery. It is connected with the library and with the atelier. These three rooms are suitable for art activities, research and presentations.
In 2015 three exhibitions have been organized in this new gallery.

2015 try-out exhibition

the first exhibition "try-out"  with art from the collection of the AllaprimA Foundation has taken place in September

 2015 exhibition premiere

second exhibition 'premiere' with art by the artists: Luis Blanchard, Sami Funke, Harri Heinonen, Margreet Huisman, Marja de Jong, Tiina Kyliäinen, Conny Minnema, Alexander Nikitin, Susanna Pälviä, Janina Rudnicka, Paula Ruuttunen, Birgitte Sasshofer, Julio Tobal, Kirsimaria E. Törönen-Ripatti, Hanna Vahvaselkä, Marjaana Valve os Leppänen, Seppo Väänänen, Nadia Zubareva

2015 christmas exhibition

during Christmas time 'Christmas at Studio 23' with arts and craft from different origine

In 2016 new exhibitions are planned.

d. art education symposium NATURALLY ART

As part of the Erasmus + program teachers from Portugal have participated in the art education symposium NATTURALLY ART which took place in May 2015.
During the symposium the participants were participating in a series of art lessons with children in the age of 7-8 years, a theoretical background of art education, practical art activities, excursions to different art institutions in the region.
Contributors to this symposium: AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry, Rämälä school, Taidelukio Savonlinna, Gallery Arts Nova Savonlinna, Riitta Moisander expert in the field of art education and previous secretary general of the regional arts council, Marja de Jong artist and art teacher.
It was a great experience to work together with these Portuguese teachers and to exchange experiences from different countries.
In this program have participated: 24 children and 12 adults

art education symposium naturally art


Blog by Portuguese teachers (in Portuguese) with many images of the activities.

e. international youth art camp

AREFS has participated in the international youth art camp in Vehmaskylä. A group of young people were studying English and art in a nature environment.  This combination is very successful and attractive for young people of this age. The magic of nature experiences create a natural attitude to develop their language skills, the art activities support an intensive way of observation and offers new ways to express their experiences.
In this program participated: 18 young people and 4 adults

2015 international youth art camp Vehmaskylä

different program parts during the international youth art camp, the final results of the painting sessions show the fallen trunk

f. art activity Rämälä school

In September children of the 1-2 and 3-4 class have transformed a piece of plywood into a train wagon. One side the outside of the wagon and the other side the interior of it.
Finally the wagon get buttons as wheels and all the wagons were connected together and presented in the yard of Hiirola railway station during SAVON-RADAN päivä on October 3rd 2015.
In this program participated: 40 children and 4 adults

2015 train wagons painted at Rämälä school

children at Rämälä school (class 1-2 and 3-4) were painting train wagons and when finished playing in the sport hall

g. SAVON-RADAN ryhmä

Savon-Radan ryhmä logo yellow

In 2013 AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry has started to participate in the annual celebration of the SAVON-RATA by having open doors at the railway station in Hiirola.
In 2014 AREFS started cooperation with SAVON-RADAN ryhmä. This is a collaboration group of railway stations along the railway in Etelä-Savo. The group has started their collaboration in 2013 to give attention to the heritage of old railway stations and to use its meaning as a source for innovative cultural and economic development in the field of art, technology, design and tourism and all what is related to these fields.

The SAVON-RADAN ryhmä is looking for local, regional and international collaboration to share their knowledge and experiences, and to exchange their expertise. This will contribute to challenge new conditions for living and working in the countryside.

The group is working together in different compositions, depending on the goal and the needed expertise.

SAVON_RADAN ryhmä has the intention to inform a wide audience about the status and development of the railway stations along the Savo-rail through publication on the internet.
On the website of AREFS a special part is created for this initiative.
- See more at:

h. Hiirola community program SAVON RADAN päivä

On Saturday October 3rd the SAVON-RADAN päivä has taken place. This annual event takes place in Haukivuori, Kalvitsa, Hiirola, Mikkeli and Otava. People can visit the stations and go by train from one station to the others. During the year the old train is the only train that stops on these stations. Many people are interested in the old stations and their activities.
In Hiirola the building was open for public and the first exhibition with art works from artists living in the region was free to enter.
In the library two musicians had a performance with traditional Finnish songs.
In the atelier people were offered the knitting works of a Dutch artisan.
The local Hiirolan kylätoimikunta has their coffee and snack stand and there was a fair.
Around 200 people have attended this event. A part of them came from the south.

2105 Savon-Rada päivä

Impressions of the annual SAVON-RADAN paivä in Hiirola, the train wagons are painted by children of Rämälä school

i. international cooperation


With the Swedish organization ART&TECHNOLOGY AREFS is building on a Finnish contribution for international artists to participate in this program.


With the Wanha Koulu Vehmaskylä AREFS is working on a program for art, culture and nature in rural Finland.


From the beginning AREFS collaborates with the Dutch AllaprimA Foundation in the field of art education and publications in this field.
Both organizations are interested in developing new ways in embedding art and culture in the school curriculum. Through an exchange of expertise and views they are able to offer interesting and inviting programs for artists, art teachers and teachers of elementary school and free time programs.


The international museum of child art in Oslo has selected some art works from the collection to use in their publication about "Daddy World Wide". The images were published in the book Daddy World Wide

j. planning publications

1. It is the intention to edit and publish a publication about the art education THIS IS MY BACKYARD.
2. The results of the different art education programs are valuable for a larger audience, it is the intention to set up a digital database which will be open for (art) teachers.
Both plans are under construction and need funding to be able to finish them.

k. promotion

During 2015 the following promotion has been printed:
1. invitation SAVON-RASAN päivä
2. time table old timer train on SAVON-RADAN päivä
3. invitation exhibition CHRISTMAS at STUDIO 23

l. meetings

During 2015 the board has had a meeting 1 time.

m. financial review:

A financial report about 2015 will be ready in spring 2016.

AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry has 48 members
170 persons are following AREFS on Facebook

During 2015, about 11 copies of the book THIS OUR NATURE are sold.

The special contribution promotion in combination with a piece of art of the series "Hiirola-Homage to Knut Nylander " has been used 9 times. The promotion will continue in 2016.

In 2015 AREFS has not received any grants.

At the end of 2015 1 application is still running.

Financial support in 2015:
Annual contribution of AREFS members
Donations through the action "Hiirola-Homage to Knut Nylander"

n. PLANNING 2016

Related to the goals of AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry and its activities in the past we are developing a various program in the field of art, art education, cultural heritage and rural development. It is our intention to involve local communities in participating in the program parts.

In 2016 AREFS is planning the following activities and programs:

1. Exhibitions with art works from artists in the region of Etelä Savo in STUDIO 23
2. Art workshops ART STEPS FROM THE PAST TO THE FUTURE at the school in Rämälä
3. Cooperation with Wanha Koulu Vehmaskylä in the field of art and culture activities
4. Cooperation with the the regional railway group SAVON-RADAN ryhmä
6. International cooperation in the field of art education and artist-in-residence
7. Art lessons on the internet based on the programs of last years

AREFS is applying for grants at different locations to be able to finance the planned activities.

See more about membership and membership fee on the contribution page of AREFS

REPORT 2015 PDF file


©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.