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Awards and Grants 2022

The Finnish Art Society awards nearly 300,000 euros to support the visual arts

The Finnish Art Society awards thirteen major art prizes annually (the Ducat Prize for young artists, the Lifetime Achievement Award for mature artists, ten William Thuring Prizes for artists aged 35-45, and the Edvard Richter Award for art writers). Grants are additionally distributed to young artists and art writers. The total sum awarded in prizes and grants this year was 298,500 euros.

ROMA AUSKALNYTE Titled, 2017, C-print, 150 x 90 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Ducat Prize to Roma Auskalnyte

The Ducat Prize for young artists went to interdisciplinary artist Roma Auskalnyte. The prize is valued at 16,000 euros. Established in 1858, the Ducat Prize is Finland’s oldest art award and the most lucrative of the Finnish Art Society’s prizes.

Roma Auskalnyte (b. 1988, Šilutė, Lithuania) has a strong background in printmaking, which finds reflection in how she uses bodily imprints and corporeal traces in her performative pieces. Her works unfold in dialogue with written, pictorial or material references, where traces of personal physical gestures invoke traces of cultural memory.

Auskalnyte graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts from the Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki in 2016. She lives and works in Helsinki.

ROMA AUSKALNYTE Seer and the death of seer, 2021, video installation, 1:30 min loop. Courtesy of the artist.

Lifetime Achievement Award to Jan Kenneth Weckman

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to visual artist Jan Kenneth Weckman. The prize is valued at 10,000 euros.

Jan Kenneth Weckman (b. 1946, Helsinki) is known for his long, distinctive career as a graphic artist, painter, writer, discourser and art teacher. Among the recurring features of his oeuvre is the interweaving of drawing, writing, texture and spatiality. His art exudes an enigmatic quality hinting at the multilayeredness of meaning formation. Weckman builds maps of the mind, charting arcane knowledge that can only be expressed in the language of visual art. Focusing on the journey, not the destination, his art is forever moving and changing in search of exuberant new discoveries.

Weckman studied at the Free Art School in 1969 and at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1969 to 1973, graduating with a doctoral degree in fine arts in 2005. He taught for many years at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. He received the Finnish Art Society’s Ducat Prize in 1978. Weckman lives and works in Turku.

JAN KENNETH WECKMAN Perfect statement, 2022, oil on canvas, 140 x 105 cm. PHOTO: Jussi Tiainen.

William Thuring Prizes

The William Thuring Foundation is the main supporter of the Finnish Art Society. The William Thuring Prizes consist of a main prize and nine other designated prizes awarded to visual artists aged between 35 and 45. The main prize is valued at 14,000 euros, the others at 6,500 euros.

William Thuring main prize to Kholod Hawash

Kholod Hawash has lived and worked in Finland, currently in Espoo, since 2018. She was born in 1977 in Basra, Iraq and has also lived in Jordan.

Hawash is a textile artist whose original medium was drawing, but she later began experimenting with embroidery techniques she learned from her mother in childhood. She sews everything by hand, often seated on the floor. Working at least 3-4 hours daily, it takes her two months to finish a piece. Her art draws from her homeland’s cultural heritage, landscapes, dreams and memories while also expressing a strong subtextual message of pride in being a woman. Hawash has said that one of her most important sources of inspiration is her mother, who used to sew quilts for the family from recycled materials. Hawash also uses recycled materials in her art.

In her solo exhibition at Galleria Huuto in summer 2022, Hawash described her work as exploring a woman’s relationship with her world, her environment and her homeland through floral symbolism. Hawash has participated in many group exhibitions in her former homeland and recently also in Finland. In autumn 2022 she participated in a group exhibition at the Museum of Technology.

Handcrafting is an integral element of Hawash’s art. Blending tradition and modernity in an engagingly original style, she creates a unique world of colour-drenched narrative.

KHOLOD HAWASH Wild Song, 2022, hand-sewn fabric, 300 x 200 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

William Thuring prizes

The nine other designated prizes went to the following visual artists:

Ville Andersson (b. 1986, Pernaja), Helsinki / painting, ink drawing, photography

Sami Havia (b. 1982, Säkylä), Helsinki / painting, drawing

Viljami Heinonen (b. 1986, Tampere), Vesilahti / oil painting

Jonna Kina (b. 1984, Lappeenranta), Helsinki / video, sound art, installation, writing, photography

Saija Kivikangas (b. 1984, Mikkeli), Lahti / painting

Ville Löppönen (b. 1980, Savonlinna), Helsinki / painting

Raisa Raekallio (b. 1978, Kittilä) and Misha del Val (b. 1979, Bilbao, Spain), Sirkka, Kittilä / maalaus yhteistyössä

Anna Rokka (b. 1986, Delsbo, Sweden), Helsinki / installation

Niina Villanueva (b. 1984, Tampere), Helsinki / painting, sculpture

VILLE LÖPPÖNEN Study for Guernica, 2022, acrylic, oil and oil pastel on linen, 270 x 600 cm, private collection

VILJAMI HEINONEN Homeland, 2022, oil on canvas, 180 x 150 cm

Edvard Richter Prize to Sofia Lahti and Jane Vuorinen

The Finnish Art Society presents the Edvard Richter Award annually in recognition of an outstanding art book or essay published during the year. The prize is valued at 10,000 euros.

This year’s award went to Sofia Lahti and Jane Vuorinen for their editorial work on Piktorialismi – valokuvataiteen synty (Pictorialism – The Birth of Photographic Art) published by Parvs Publishing and the Finnish Museum of Photography. The Finnish Art Society’s literary committee hopes to use the award to draw attention to the importance of editorial professionalism in art book publishing.

The book vividly brings to life many complex facets of Pictorialism, an aesthetic movement that brought new artistic currents to photography over a century ago. The book is a compilation of essays by thirteen authors. Despite the large number of contributors, the thoughtfully selected texts are edited cohesively while allowing each author to bring their unique voice to the fore. The editors deserve recognition for upholding a high standard of polished expression in every passage of text right down to the picture captions.

PHOTO: Sanna Peurakoski

The Finnish Art Society’s literary committee reviewed an extensive body of literature during 2022. This year’s noteworthy titles included an interesting selection of catalogues and other art books published in conjunction with exhibitions. The finest among them make for excellent reading also as independent literary works. These include Käännekohta: kansitaiteen nousu 1950–60-luvuilla (Turning Point: The Rise of Cover Art in the 1950s and 60s), a nonfiction title by Ville Hänninen published in conjunction with the eponymous exhibition at Hämeenlinna Art Museum. Another title commendable for creative flair and excellent writing is Jälki – kirjoituksia valokuvasta (Trace – Writings about Photography) edited by Hanna Weselius and published by S&S.

This year’s books highlighted the importance of editorial professionalism, which is evinced by qualities such as complex treatment of theme and consistently polished linguistic style, even in a book authored by numerous writers.

A good editor offers invaluable support to the writer. When resources are limited, however, intensive editorial work is not always possible. Small budgets rarely even cover the cost of hiring a specialized publisher’s editor, who, along with the copyeditor, are the most qualified experts to guide the author towards the best possible result.

It feels safe to write under the guidance of a professional editor. The writer can feel confident that mistakes will be caught, linguistic knots will be unravelled, and ideas that are struggling to get off the ground will eventually fly.

Rushed schedules and poor information flow are the main challenges of publishing these days. Sometimes writers may not even be aware of other essays to be published in the same book. Feedback may also be lacking during the writing process. A further common problem is that authors are given too little time to write, and they may not be informed of the book’s goals or editorial strategy.

A good editor ensures that the author has time and peace to write. Instead of being pressured for a quick turnaround, writers need time to think. With sufficiently clear instructions, the writer can occasionally stray off track without completely losing their way. Careful editorial work – from feedback and fact-checking to linguistic polishing – is the sine qua non of quality writing.

To publish a high-quality text, ambitious goals must be set for the entire publication and for every passage of writing, be it a caption, a brief exhibition introduction, or a longer essay.

PHOTO: Sanna Peurakoski

Young artist grants

Thirty young artists received a grant of 6,000 euros each. A total of 331 applications were received. Eligibility for a young artist grant is limited to professionally qualified artists no older than 35 years of age.

  1. Aho Miina (b. 1990, Helsinki), Helsinki / drawing, serigraphy

  2. Blomberg Lotta (b. 1990, Kuopio), Helsinki / photography, video, ryijy rug art

  3. Bruel Océane (b. 1991, Montpellier, France), Helsinki / sculpture, installation

  4. Fleischmann Dominik (b. 1989, Würzburg, Germany), Helsinki / photography

  5. Fox Maija (b. 1998, UK), Helsinki / sculpture

  6. Heikkinen Joa (b. 1992, Jyväskylä), Turku / video, photography

  7. Heinonen Toûa (b. 1990, Jyväskylä), Tampere / installation, performance

  8. Pauliina Heinänen (b. 1992, Helsinki), Helsinki / photography

  9. Helenius Venla (b. 1989, Turku), Helsinki / video art

  10. Hemmilä Heidi / Hemuloordi (b. 1989, Tampere), Helsinki / ceramics, video art

  11. Itälinna Roope (b. 1990, Pori), Turku / painting

  12. Jasu Appu (b. 1987, Tammela), Helsinki / video, photography, sound art

  13. Jula Henna (b. 1990, Turku), Helsinki / painting

  14. Kevarinmäki Eetu (b. 1993, Seinäjoki), Helsinki / conceptual art

  15. Kiviniemi Ville (b. 1986, Vantaa), Turku / drawing

  16. Kojonen Maria (b. 1989, Alahärmä), Helsinki / photography, video, writing

  17. Krage Annaliisa (b. 1993, Kiel, Germany), Espoo / painting

  18. Kuokkanen Essi (b. 1991, Pieksämäki), Helsinki / painting

  19. Leinonen Ari-Pekka (b. 1988, Paltamo), Helsinki / sound art

  20. Leskinen Kira (b. 1987, Helsinki), Helsinki / scanner-based photography and tufted textiles

  21. Murphy Aaro (b. 1991, Jyväskylä), Amsterdam / sculpture, installation, sound art

  22. Niskala Jenni (b. 1990, Lahti), Helsinki / printmaking (roller, woodcut, block lithography)

  23. Paananen Rainer (b. 1990, Vantaa), Vantaa / photography, sound art, installation

  24. Reuter Oliver (b. 1994, Parainen), Helsinki / drawing, painting

  25. Räinä Harriina (b. 1989, Kemi), Helsinki / graphic arts, photography, sculpture

  26. Sarpaniemi Emma (b. 1993 Helsinki), Helsinki / photography

  27. Tanttu Ananya (b. 1994, Helsinki), Helsinki / photography, moving image, installation

  28. Toivonen Jenni (b. 1993, Tampere), Lisbon and Helsinki / photography, moving image, installation

  29. Zhiyu Xiao (b. 1995, Hu Nan, China), Helsinki / painting, installation

  30. One grant recipient did not give permission for their name to be published.

RAINER PAANANEN Playing A Round, 2021, framed pigment print, 70 x 51 cm

Signe Tandefelt grants

Signe Tandelfelt grants are awarded to art critics and other art writers for projects that facilitate their writing work and enliven Finland’s overall writing culture. There were 22 applications this year. A total sum of 10,000 euros was awarded to eight applicants.

  1. Ahokas Kukka-Maria (b. 1987, Vantaa), Vantaa / €1,000 / for a collection of articles targeted at young readers featuring interviews with visual artists who deal with the climate crisis in their work

  2. Hagman Henri (b. 1974, Oulu), Rovaniemi / €1,000 / for finalization of an anthology of essays about art policy and art theory

  3. Helenius Elisa (b. 1981, Helsinki), Helsinki / €1,500 / for travel to attend the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea

  4. Hänninen Ville (b. 1976, Jyväskylä), Helsinki / €1,690 / for writing for a book of essays about comic art

  5. Kangasvuo Jenny (b. 1975, Helsinki), Oulu / 1,000 € / for four reviews in Kulttuurilehti Kaltio covering art events in North Ostrobothnia

  6. Kihlman Asta (b. 1977, Turku), Turku / €1,500 / for travel to study the New York art scene and attend Frieze New York

  7. Mustekala ry / €1,560 / for art reviews and essays, editing costs and writers’ fees

  8. Uoti Jaakko (b. 1987, Helsinki), Helsinki / €750 / for travel to attend the RIBOCA3 triennial and explore the contemporary art scene and galleries in Latvia and Lithuania

Henri Hagman writing. PHOTO: Päivi Kallio

About the Finnish Art Society

Founded in 1846, the Finnish Art Society supports Finnish art and the public’s enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts. Its annual prizes and grants are decided by the Board based on proposals submitted for its consideration by specialized committees.

The Ducat Prize and Lifetime Achievement Award, young artist grants

The awards and grants committee consisted of artist Antti Tanttu (chair), artist Heini Aho, artist Susanne Gottberg, Pessi Rautio, MA and lecturer Riikka Stewen, PhD.

Edvard Richter Award, Signe Tandefelt grants

The literary committee consisted of art critic Asko Mäkelä, Ph. Lic, art critic Helen Korpak, MA fine arts, and art critic Sini Mononen, PhD.

William Thuring Prizes

The prize committee consisted of art critic Asko Mäkelä, Ph. Lic. (Board chair), and Päivi Karttunen, BA (Board member).


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