Taiteen talo will be hatched this year from Rettig's old tobacco factory. The City of Turku bought the property to secure the conditions for the arts and creative industries and to provide permanent facilities for cultural operators.

County artist Annika Dahlsten is delighted with the city's decision to bring a sustainable solution to the art field´s need of proper space. 

- Art needs space, otherwise, it has no chance to exist or to grow. Artists and entrepreneurs in the creative industries have already developed - inspired by Taiteen talo - new ideas related to revenue generation models. A stable platform enables new innovations to be implemented, Dahlsten says. 

Wild, free, open 

Dahlsten has been involved in the team that plans facilities for artists' and they come up with ideas as to what Taiteen talo is as an entity. One goal is to make the house a home of art and culture for both artists and citizens. It is also important to get the participation of the townspeople in the planning and implementation of the house's activities. 

Taiteen talo will be open to visitors and invest in public activities. 

–  Taiteen talo will be open to visitors and invest in public activities. Performances, gigs, exhibitions, events and workshops keep the house active. My dream is that Taiteen talo would always be open. 

Wild, free, open – that is what the cultural players say Taiteen talo should be at its best. Dahlsten emphasizes that Turku is now emerging into a unique entity in a historic milieu. 

– I expect that Turku will allow Taiteen talo to develop boldly in its own direction without locked-in expectations or conservative practices. It will produce something much bigger and more unique, Dahlsten says. 

Annika Dahlsten ran a seminar at the House of Art in November 2021. 

Facilities in Taiteen talo – each to their own  

In February, the visual artists of the The Finnish Artists' Studio Foundation will be the first to move into Taiteen talo on the two floors reserved for their use. Other facilities will be designed and implemented according to the needs of future users. It was planned, in the preliminary preparations, that 61% of the premises will be space for assisted art and 39% will be commercial and market-priced space. 

Two companies are responsible for the practical functions of the house. Turku Taiteen talo Oy promotes and supports cultural activities in the city, the employment and livelihood of art and culture professionals, and develops and organizes Taiteen talo concept. Mutual real estate company Kiinteistö Oy Rettig's tobacco factory, on the other hand, owns the property and takes care of its long-term planning. 

Text: Tuija Alihaanperä 
Photos: Heikki Räisänen and Jussi Virkkumaa 

The article has been published in Turkuposti 1/2022.