Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Some fresh paintings

Here are a few paintings that I finished up (and also managed to sell) a few weeks back. Lately I've been working on paper rather than on canvas or wood.


kapparot (this is my atonement)
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection




creation bear
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection



vigilance
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection



grinning lion
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection



growling lion
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection



hungry bear
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection



mother coyote laughs
acrylic and marker on paper
2011
private collection

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Linnut - Birds

I've got a show up at Vakiopaine for the next 3 weeks.


Cygnus cygnus (1)
akryyli ja tussi kankaalle
acrylic and marker on canvas
2011



Cygnus cygnus (2)
akryyli ja tussi kankaalle
acrylic and marker on canvas
2011



Grus grus
akryyli ja tussi vaneerille
acrylic and marker on plywood
2011



Cuculus canorus (1)
akryyli ja tussi kankaalle
acrylic and marker on canvas
2011



Cuculus canorus (2)
akryyli ja tussi kankaalle
acrylic and marker on canvas
2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tourulan kuvataiteilijoiden avoimet ovet 2011 -Artists of Tourula Open House



Here's a chance for the public to check out the artist's hallway in the old Rifle Factory (Kivääritehdas). We'll be having an open house on Saturday, the 12th of November. Our studios will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Latest New World Finn essay - On the Edge of a Slippery Slope

I write for the New World Finn - a Finnish-American quarterly that I suggest you subscribe to.

Here is an essay that they published recently under the title "On the Edge of a Slippery Slope".


I found the remains of two old kick sleds today. We recently bought a house, and with the house came a yard. There is an old root cellar out back and my curiosity got the best of me. The exposed brick wall was crumbling. The hopeless door was held almost shut by a damp length of tree branch and two bricks which had lost the battle with gravity. With the crumbling mortar and dropping bricks keeping me on my toes I wrenched the door open. I made a mental note to knock this thing down sometime soon. Tree roots were pushing through the ceiling, which at one time had been reinforced with a piece of metal sheeting.

I took a step back and peered into the creepy dark. I knew there was no way I was going in there. Visions of being knocked out by a brick and buried alive were more than obvious. Since a good buddy of mine just overcame a bout with the Hanta virus there was no way I was about to go wading around in that pile of mouse turds that controlled the floor.

My eyes started to make out the outlines of rusting objects. I could reach them without actually putting my entire body into that rotting tomb. I held my breath, stuck my arms in and pulled that metal from the earth back into the sunlight.

With most of the wood rotten away, the kick sleds were otherwise intact. Made from the good steel of the way things used to be, the runners were only rusty on the surface. A little wire brushing and a bit of oiling and they’d be glowing.

I find myself on the edge of a slippery slope. The first bits of junk are all it takes to accumulate a pile. These sled parts can be filed in the potentially useful category. I could easily rebuild their wooden parts and have two quality kick sleds. Two sleds not at all like the junk that the mega-markets sell these days. But will I ever actually embark on such a project and, if I do, will I actually ever work it to completion?

I’m tempted to put those sled irons back into the root cellar right before I take the walls down with a hammer and a bar. Return them to the earth; cover them with crumbing mortar and a jumble of red brick. Then some dirt and hacked up tree roots, a wheelbarrow or two of compost and an apple tree. That oxidizing metal would never get out of there; my junk pile would fail to accumulate.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Free football for mamu

Are you an immigrant/of immigrant background? Do you like football(soccer)? Do you live in Jyväskylä? If so, JJK (Jyväskylä's football/soccer team) would like to invite you to watch the match for free on Sunday,the 25th of September at Harju stadium, if you attend the game with a person who has purchased a ticket. They will also provide coffee and pulla. This is not a joke.

This stunt was inspired by former President Martti Ahtisaari's challenge to all Finns to invite an immigrant out for coffee in order to promote understanding between cultures and to help immigrants feel welcome in Finnish society.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Muuan Mies - Live at Vakiopaine

Muuan Mies , a great band featuring songs written by one of Finland's most relevant lyricists, recently performed a show at Vakiopaine. Here are a few photos and some video from the event:





Muuan Mies is:
Ismo Puhakka: vocals and guitar
Petri Alanko: guitar
Jaakko Eino Kalevi: bass
Pekka Huttunen: acordian
Arwi Lind: drums



Muuan Mies cuts records with the Helmi Levyt label, one of the finest Finnish indie record companies. Check out my interview with Arwi Lind of Helmi Levyt.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Article in Jylkkäri - Five things you should do in Jyväskylä

Jylkkäri, the student newspaper of the University of Jyväskylä has published another one of my articles. This time the subject is "five things you should do in Jyväskylä. This article is targeted for foreign students at the university, but I guess it could apply to anyone who is living in or visiting Jyväskylä.

Read the article here (pages 14-15).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The newly remodeled sauna at Tuomiojärvi

Operated by Meloiloa ry (the local canoeing and kayaking association) this sauna has undergone an interior remodel recently.

Still unassuming on the outside, the inside is sporting newly configured benches and a brand new Harvia stove.

Located on the shore of Lake Tuomiojärvi, just minutes from downtown Jyväskylä, a 3 hour rental will set you back 90 euros.






Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kuokkalan kartano - the Kuokkala mansion

A repost from last summer - still a great place for an afternoon coffee.



A great place to have a coffee and cake. The selection of cakes and pastries was almost too much to handle. We each had coffee and a slice of cake and the bill came to 11 €. Not bad considering that table service is included and you get to enjoy a pretty swanky atmosphere as you sip your coffee.


Chocolate cake and Tosca cake along with some pretty decent coffee.



We enjoyed our coffee on the porch, but we could have also been in this elegant little salon.

Kuokkalan Kartano
was designed by Wiwi Lönn and built in 1904. The cafe and upstairs art display are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m and weekends from noon until 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays.




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Article recently published in New World Finn - Proud to be a mamu

This column of mine was recently published in the New World Finn
- an Finnish-American quarterly that I recommend you subscribe to if you are interested in the Finnish diaspora. Hopefully they make online subscription a reality soon so folks outside of the U.S. and Canada can also subscribe to this fine paper.

(Click on text to enlarge. Finnish translation can be found below.)



Mamu on suhteellisen uusi sana suomen kielessä. Sitä käytettiin alun perin maahanmuuttaja-sanan byrokraattisena lyhenteenä, mutta se sai pian negatiivisia mielleyhtymiä, kun suvaitsemattomat ksenofobit alkoivat käyttää sitä internetin keskustelupalstoilla. Näiden onnettomien yksilöiden suurimmat huolenaiheet olivat (ja ovat edelleen), että mamut olivat täällä varastamassa työpaikkoja, hyväksikäyttämässä sosiaalietuuksia ja muutenkin pilaamassa "puhdasta" suomalaista kulttuuria. Viime vuosina muutamat meistä maahanmuuttajista ovat alkaneet vaatia mamu-sanaa itsellemme, jotta voisimme ylpeinä tunnustautua mamuiksi. Sanoissa on voimaa ja haluamme mamu-sanan voiman itsellemme.

Joskus vitsailen, että olen tuplamamu – maahanmuuttajien jälkeläinen, joka on päättänyt seurata perheen perinteitä ja tulla itse siirtolaiseksi. Olisin voinut hiihtää helpompaakin latua tässä maailmassa, ja joinakin päivinä minulla on heikkoja hetkiä, jolloin kaipaan innottomasti vanhaa kotimaatani, maata, jossa olen syntynyt. Sekä yhteiskunnalliset että kulttuurilliset erot vaikuttavat mamun jokapäiväiseen elämään, ja ne vain korostuvat, kun maahanmuuttajien vastustajat pääsevät ääneen.

Nykyinen poliittinen tilanne ei tee mamun elämää yhtään helpommaksi. Kevään eduskuntavaalien tulokset osoittavat, että noin 19 % suomalaisista ei halua meitä Suomeen. Nämä ovat pääosin samoja ihmisiä, jotka äänestivät populistista Perussuomalaiset-puoluetta. Perussuomalaisten epävirallinen linja on ”En ole rasisti, mutta…”. He peittävät rasismiaan semiälykkään populistisella retoriikalla, mutta viesti on selkeä: Suomi vain suomalaisille. Persut voivat jongleerata sanojaan ja iskulauseitaan niin paljon kun he jaksavat, mutta he eivät voi kätkeä tietämättömyyttään eivätkä muutoksen pelkoaan. Heidän on myös otettava vastuu maahanmuuttajien ja maahanmuuttajataustaisten suomalaisten kokemasta lisääntyneestä vihamielisyydestä ja väkivallasta. Perussuomalaisten ansiosta vähemmän valaistuneiden mielessä on ok olla kiihkoilija.

Olen ylpeä maahanmuuttajaesivanhemmistani, miehistä ja naisista, jotka olivat tarpeeksi rohkeita jättämään kaiken tutun siinä toivossa, että he löytäisivät onnen ja turvallisuuden jossain tuolla suuressa isossa maailmassa, kaukana kotoa. Olen myös ylpeä ollessani maahanmuuttaja Suomessa, ja pitivät Persut siitä tai ei, olemme täällä mamuveljieni ja -sisarteni kanssa pysyvästi. Olemme osa tulevaisuuden Suomea: Suomea, jolla on paljon potentiaalia, Suomea, jolla on mahdollisuuksia, unelmien Suomea, ja toivomme että jonakin päivänä lapsemme ovat ylpeitä siitä mitä olemme saavuttaneet käsillämme, selillämme, aivoillamme.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

concrete birdhouse/betonilinnunpönttö



Not sure who created this great little piece, but I like it. Part of the concrete approach to our new concrete harbor and concrete beach, this not-so-random object makes a statement that is open for interpretation.

Jyväskylä, a city that at times seems to have (almost) no vision. Green and leafy parks with perfectly functional bandshells are closed during neighborhood festivals, but lets build a concrete field in the the middle of a concrete world so we can host the occasional megafest. Trust me, I'll be writing more about this topic later.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

kalamarkkinat/fish market



The Jyväskylä fish market is taking place at the city harbor (Lutakko neighborhood) this weekend. Plenty of (you guessed it) fish for sale - fresh, fried, grilled, broiled, smoked, canned, pickled. There are also vendors selling the usual baked goods, marinated garlic cloves, mustards, jams, handicrafts etc. If you can't make it today, it will also be open tomorrow (Sunday, May 22).




loimulohta /"blazed salmon" - a fillet nailed to a plank and flame-broiled



Our purchases - a mini berry basket, a toy perch, and lasten ensipuukko - a child's first belt knife.  Razor sharp, just like the grown-up version, but the tip is blunted to avoid stabbings and  eye pokes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Alkoholin ilot/The joys of alcohol

Here are the digital prints that I am showing in the current Äkkigalleria show. Stop by Kauppakatu 13 in Jyväskylä this week to check out the art. The show up until Sunday.


The joys of alcohol/Alkoholin ilot
digital prints
2011
for sale

thoughts on The joys of alcohol

I am an observer by nature. I am a bartender by trade. Before I left the corner bars of Minneapolis I thought that I knew all about the joys of alcohol, but I had to come to Finland to truly understand what it means to get real drunk.

As an immigrant I have to wonder about the role that alcohol plays in the Finnish national identity. Have the overprotective rules and regulations of the state created the culture of alcohol abuse or has the culture of drunkenness made the laws a social necessity?

Olen luonteeltani tarkkailija ja ammatiltani baarimestari. Ennen kuin lähdin Minneapolisin kulmakuppiloista luulin tietäväni kaiken alkoholin iloista. Minun piti kuitenkin tulla Suomeen ymmärtääkseni kunnolla, mitä ”vetää kännit” tarkoittaa.

Täytyy sanoa, että maahanmuutajana ihmettelen alkoholin roolia suomalaisten kansallisessa identiteetissä. Ovatko valtion ylisuojelevat säännöt ja lait luoneet alkoholin väärinkäytön kulttuurin vai onko juopottelun kulttuuri tehnyt alkoholilain yhteiskunnalliseksi välttämättömyydeksi?

self portrait, minneapolis, 2001

The internet is pretty cool. I was thinking about this painting about a year ago and regretting that I hadn't taken a photo of it before I sold it. The current owner of the painting happened to do a search the other day, found this blog, and sent me an email, thanking me for doing what I do. I am grateful that he attached this photo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

some of the art that I've done over the past 5 years

Here is a sampling of some of the things that I have done over the past few years. Quite a bit of it has been sold, some of it is still for sale. If you are interested in buying art, get a hold of me and make an offer. Overseas shipping is not a problem.

Kun esi-isät saapui Meerikaan, kojootti oli odottamassa

Kun esi-isät saapui Meerikaan,
kojootti oli odottamassa/When my
ancestors got to America, coyote
was waiting.
2005
acrylic on canvasboard
Private Collection




Tarja Halonen
2005
acrylic and paper on canvas
Private Collection


Photobucket

Natural Selection
2007
Acrylic/Wooden Cabinet Panel
Private Collection


Photobucket

Foxy Lady
2007
Acrylic/Marker/Paper/Hardboard
private collection


Photobucket

Setting Hen
2007
Acrylic/Canvas
Private Collection

infatuation/indifference

Infatuation/Indifference
Acrylic/Paper/Hardboard
2007
Private Collection


hen and weasels

Hen and Weasels
Acrylic/Paper/Hardboard
2007
Private Collection


fox in the henhouse

Fox in the Henhouse
Acrylic/Paper/Hardboard
2007
Private Collection


palaveri

Palaveri/Conversation
acrylic/canvas-set of 2
2007
Private Collection



a better way to fish

A Better Way to Fish
acrylic/newspaper/canvas-set of 2
2007
Private Collection



grandpa turtle

Grandpa Turtle
acrylic/paper/hardboard
2007
Private Collection



uncle rabbit

Uncle Rabbit
acrylic/paper/hardboard
2007
Private Collection


Photobucket

red rooster
2007
acrylic on canvasboard
For sale


crayon on coconuts
installation on mexican beach
2007



circus lion
acrylic on canvas
2008
Sold


big girls dancing
acrylic and paper on canvas
2008
For Sale (as a set or indivually)



caution! children at play
green/red/blue
acrylic and newsprint on canvas
2008
blue sold,red sold, green sold


untitled
acrylic on plywood
2008
central panel sold, side panels still for sale


green lions
acrylic on plywood
2008
For Sale (lion on the right-hand side has been sold already)



duunari/working man
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
private collection


death eye dog and his mongrel pup
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
private collection




motivation
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
private collection



boss man and union rep
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
for sale



death eye dog brings working man a gift
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
private collection



death eye dog and his mongrel pup
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
private collection



boss man and union rep
acrylic and photograph on canvas
2010
private collection




Red Dog
Acrylic on old cupboard door
2011
for sale



Bear tries his luck
Acrylic on plywood
2011
for sale



Coyote notices everything
Acrylic on masonite
2011
for sale



Raven
Acrylic and paper on plywood
2011
for sale



Two weasels
Acrylic and paper on plywood
2011
for sale




Monkey with banjo
acrylic on plywood
2011
sale pending