HAA Europe

Promoting sustainable living, art mediation and mobility of artists

The HAA Europe project combines sustainability, partnership building, knowledge sharing, art mediation and artists’ mobility. The project responds to changes in the operating environment and promotes more sustainable and low-carbon ways of working in visual art field.


HAA Europe 2022 is FINEST  

The partner for the third and final year of the HAA Europe project is the Estonian Painters’ Association. Our project is called FINEST. 

Cooperation has been developed with Estonian visual arts actors. Active contact and planning was launched in autumn 2021 with the Estonian Painters’ Association (EPA, Estonian Painters’ Association, https://www.maal.ee/). This is also a natural neighbouring activity, but the cultural relationship is also strong between our countries. Various events are also planned alongside the exhibitions, such as discussion events and participatory workshops. The curators during the year are Satu Kalliokuusi and Mika Vesalahti from the Helsinki Artists’ Association, as well as Tiiu Rebane, Jaan Elken, Mall Nukke and Vilen Künnapu from the Estonian Painters’ Association.

Basis for collaboration 2022 and future objectives 

The resulting collaboration between the Estonian Painters’ Association and the Helsinki Artists’ Association is based on an identified need to promote communication between countries in the field of visual arts. The aim is to broaden the awareness of contemporary art in both countries, but also to promote collegiate co-operation and communication. The agreement is still designed as a continuous and permanent practice for organising joint exhibitions and developing other possible forms of co-operation. The aim is also to extend the art partnership beyond the borders of our countries. In 202325, we are planning an exhibition exchange in co-operation with the Artists’ Federations of Latvia and Lithuania, with which the Estonian Painters’ Association already has existing links.

Exhibition at the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki 

The Estonian Embassy made it possible for the first FINEST exhibition of the year Estonian elements in its own premises. Eleven works by artists are still on display. The curators are Tiiu Rebane and Mall Nukke. The theme of the selected works is man’s relationship with nature on both an emotional and analytical level.  The exhibition ends on 30 June.


Spring and autumn 2022 | Estonian Painters’ Association exhibitions in Helsinki 

In March, two exhibitions of the Estonian Painters’ Association were opened in the gallery premises of the Helsinki Artists’ Association. The HAA Gallery in Suomenlinna saw a group exhibition Neonaïvism (9 March to 2 April) curated by architect and visual artist Vilen Künnapu. Paintings by 25 artists were exhibited. Personal Freedom by painter Karl-Kristjan Nagel was on display at Galleria Katariina from 10 March to 27 March. Nagel had brought paintings from several years. They highlighted the world’s cultures, music, film and experience of freedom. 

In September, the exhibition of visual artist Mall Nukke in Galleria Katariina will be opened. The exhibition is scheduled for

Joint exhibition | The Sea, Suomenlinna HAA Gallery and Malmitalo Gallery 

 At the autumn 2021 meetings, the sea theme in its simplicity felt good on both sides. The sea creates images from the situation in the Baltic Sea to the layers of the subconscious. The sea is also a connecting and distinguishing element between Finland and Estonia. 

The Sea exhibition will be held in two galleries in Helsinki in the summer: HAA Gallery and Malmitalo Gallery Curators Satu Kalliokuusi and Mika Vesalahti chose the works of Estonian artists. Similarly, Estonian curators Tiiu Rebane and Jaan Elken selected the work from Finnish artists, who must be members of the Helsinki Artists’ Association.

Autumn 2022 | Finnish exhibitions in Tallinn and Pärnu 

The Helsinki Artists’ Association has two exhibitions during the autumn in Estonia. The exhibitions were named Art Tube I and Art Tube II. The names were already created in the autumn 2021 discussions on the themes. Art Tube describes the metro tunnel between Finland and Estonia, through which art passes quickly and imaginatively between countries.  The first stop is the Kadrioru Plaza Gallery in Tallinn, where the Art Tube I exhibition will be held from 3 September to 29 October 2022. Approximately 50 individual works from artists will be displayed in the large office lobby of a new and significant office building. The final stop is the historic Pärnu Linna Galerii, which will feature Art Tube II from 28 September to 22 October 2022. Seven Finnish artists can be displayed in the gallery’s seven rooms, either alone or as a pair or group of artists.

Muhu’s residence 

As part of the HAA Europe project 2022, the Estonian Painters’ Association offers three artists from the Helsinki Artists’ Association the opportunity to work on the island of Muhu for a month in an idyllic rural district in the middle of nature in Nõmmküla. 

Estonian Painters’ Association exhibitions in Helsinki:
  • Galleria Katariina Karl-Kristjan Nagel
  • HAA Galleria, Suomenlinna Neonaivism, group exhibition, curator Vilen Künnapu
  • Galleria Katariina Mall Nukke
  • Joint exhibition: HAA Galleria, Suomenlinna and Malmitalo Gallery . The theme of the exhibition is the sea, freely interpreted.
Helsinki Artists’ Association’s exhibitions in Estonia:
  • Kadrioru Plaza Galerii, Tallinn
  • Pärnu Linnagalerii, Pärnu


In autumn 2021 was launched the cooperation project Synthesis between the Helsinki Artists’ Association and the Polish WRO Center for Media Art Foundation. Artists Anna Nykyri and Kaisu Koivisto were selected to represent the Helsinki Artists’ Association through an open call for the project. The project included two exhibitions and a performance lecture.

In the project, Nykyri and Koivisto were given the opportunity to explore and develop new ways to create art in the MaxMSP programming environment. MaxMSP is a media art tool that can be used to create installations that combine interactive video and audio art, for example. During the project, Nykyri and Koivisto used artist Paweł Janick’s algorithmic Synthesis structure by combining visual components and audio components with a living movement and forming an audiovisual installation or performance that can be experienced locally and remotely.

In May 2021, Nykyri and Koivisto were able to share their work and thoughts on their new graduating work in Poland as part of the International Media Art Biennial Biennale WRO 2021: Reverso. The result of the cooperation was media work, Defrost, which was performed in Helsinki in November 2021 at the Central Library Oodi.


HAA Europe 20202022

International activities are relevant and everyday life for many individual members of the Helsinki Artists’ Association. However, the Helsinki Artists’ Association has not previously carried out long-term international activities. This project designs and pilots a sustainable model of international activities, how the Association can support artists and what kind of international content projects it can produce itself.

The activities of the HAA Europe project are divided into three work packages:
1. Building a sustainable operating model for international activities of Helsinki-based visual arts
2. Sustainable export, exchange and intermediary activities of visual arts
3. Developing sustainable art services for international and domestic tourists

The HAA Europe project was started together with the WRO Art Center in Poland. The TRACES media art exhibition brought an interactive playground for children and young people to HAA Galleria from 29 October to 21 November 2020. The works in the exhibition showed us traces that we leave in the environment and increase the presence of nature in our everyday lives. The work is part of the WRO Media Art Center’s evolving Interactive Playground exhibition. The exhibition consisted of interactive works and installations designed by Paweł Janicki and Tomasz Mirt . Małgorzata Sikorska was responsible for the conceptualisation and coordination of the exhibition. The visual identity for the exhibition was created by Malwina Hajduk.

In 2021, the HAA Europe project continued to develop sustainable art tourism services. The brainstorming and design phase was transferred to the pilot phase in connection with the Island of Empathy and Synthesis exhibition productions.

During the Helsinki Biennial, the ISLAND OF EMPATHY exhibition was held at HAA galleria from 5 June to 21 August 2021 and at Malmitalo Gallery from 10 June to 20 August 2021, in collaboration with the Arts Territory (London, UK). The exhibition explored the relationship between man and nature and the concepts of empathy and healing. The Island of Empathy exhibition was part of the Helsinki Biennial’s accompanying programme. The exhibition created a piloting platform for sustainable art tourism services to be developed in the framework of the project in 2021. A video documentary was made about the exhibition, which can be seen below.

Click here to watch video,
Island of Empathy (eng. text)

The Cooperation with the WRO Art Center (Poland) continued in the SYNTHESIS media art project in 2021. The media artists of the Helsinki Artists’ Association selected for the project carried out the media work, Defrost, which was shown WRO Media Art Biennial in Poland. In addition, the work was on display at the Helsinki Central Library Oodi in autumn 2021.

The cooperation in the exhibition exchange started with the Estonian Painters’ Association. Active communication and planning started in September 2021. The exhibitions will take place in 2022. 

Cooperation projects with international art actors create new opportunities for the Helsinki Artists’ Association’s member artists. In the future, 2–3 exhibition times will be reserved annually for the needs of the international exhibition exchange from the Association’s main exhibition premises Galleria Katariina and Suomenlinna’s HAA Galleria.

The HAA Europe project will be implemented in 2020–2022. The project is carried out by the Helsinki Artists’ Association. The project is funded by the City of Helsinki and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.