XXIV Mänttä Art Festival  16.6.-1.9.2019

Exhibition 2019

Exhibition 2019

The Mänttä Art Festival is the largest summer exhibition of Finnish contemporary art. It takes place from June 16 to September 1, 2019 in Mänttä, Finland.

The Theme

The theme for the XXIV Mänttä Art Festival is The Human Era. With more than 50 artists, the exhibition discusses what happens when humans control the land and natural resources. We all know how painfully current this theme is.

Many of the artists selected for the XXIV Mänttä Art Festival are concerned with ecology and the state of the natural environment. Some of the artists are connected by Lapland and the Northern dimension. However, the exhibition won't be strictly about the environment, and Pekilo won't be turned into a Doomsday Temple. The artists study the impact of humans on their environment in many ways: from the perspective of religion, politics, relationships or even animals. After all, we humans are just another species among the others.


The Mänttä Art Festival has selected Marja Helander (b. 1965) as the curator for the 2019 exhibition. Helander is a Sámi photographer, video artist and film-maker with roots both in Helsinki and Utsjoki. In her work, she has studied various themes including her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Since 1992, Helander's work has been exhibited in two dozen solo exhibitions and over 50 group exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

When selecting the artists for the XXIV Mänttä Art Festival, Helander has several criteria. The most important theme she wants to discuss at the exhibition set in Pekilo next summer, is environmental issues: What happens, when humans rule the land and natural resources? – At the moment, many artists are creating artworks about global warming and nature, as it is such a hot topic, Helander says.

– However, this approach won't be shared by all the contributors, so it won't be strictly an exhibition about the environment. Some of the artists share the Northern dimension, Lapland and Northern themes. I aim to make this summer's Mänttä Art Festival an experience that leaves the guests with a strong emotional impact and food for thought. Read more about Marja!

Featured artists

Curator Marja Helander has selected more than 50 artists to contribute to the exhibition with artworks commenting on the manifold themes surrounding The Human Era. See the artists!