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HELSINKI INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS' ASSOCIATION
WHAT IS HIAA?
Helsinki International Artists Association is a dynamic artist-run community dedicated to promoting equality, equity and inclusion within the artistic community in Finland. Established in 2008, HIAA serves as a vibrant hub for artists from diverse backgrounds, fostering cultural diversity and empowering creative individuals residing in Finland.
HIAA organizes events, art festivals, art and craft markets and workshops to enrich the Finnish art scene while fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation for the contributions of international artists. HIAA has been a member of the Union of Finnish Art Associations (www.skjl.fi) since August 18th, 2016.
MISSION. VISION. VALUES.
At HIAA we believe that art community should be more inclusive and that foreign born artists residing in Finland deserve equal representation with local artists. HIAA strives to foster connections between Finnish and international artists. HIAA's board is dedicated to displaying its members' work to the public and fostering a community that supports and expands international culture in Finland. The association strives to create an environment where artists can connect, collaborate, and receive support in their creative endeavors. HIAA believes in active participation. We encourage our members to be active and get involved in the community.
HIAA prioritizes accessibility in its events, planning them with careful consideration for
site-specific accessibility to ensure that a wide audience can engage with and enjoy the
HIAA values diversity and actively works towards creating an environment that celebrates
and represents a broad range of artistic perspectives and cultural backgrounds
HIAA is committed to sustainability, acknowledging the importance of responsible
practices in the arts to contribute positively to the environment and community. Check our
artists that work with sustainable art: View our sustainability page
HIAA operates entirely on a volunteer basis, with its dedicated members contributing their time and expertise to advance the association's mission. The association hopes for
recognition and respect for the hard work put forth by its volunteers, as they strive to
enhance the artistic landscape in Finland through their collective efforts.
At Helsinki International Artists Association (HIAA), our commitment to inclusivity extends
to welcoming artisans and crafters into our creative community. We believe that the
boundaries between fine art and craftsmanship are fluid, and the fusion of diverse artistic
expressions enriches our collective experience. Artisans and crafters bring unique skills, perspectives, and craftsmanship to the table, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of creativity within HIAA. By embracing a diverse range of artistic practices, we aim to break down traditional distinctions and create a dynamic space where artists of all disciplines can collaborate, learn from one another, and collectively elevate the artistic landscape in Finland. In essence, our decision to include artisans and crafters aligns with our belief in the value of a broad spectrum of artistic expressions, fostering an environment where creativity knows no bounds.
Founded in 2008 by Susan Wilander, the Helsinki International Artists Association (HIAA) emerged as a registered artists' association dedicated to inclusivity for residents of Finland. Starting with over 100 members, the association was comprised of artists from diverse backgrounds and cultures, creating a collaborative space for artistic expression.
• Susan Wilander, returning to Finland after a decade abroad, sought an international artist
community in gloomy November 2006.
• Inspired by her experience with Art Perspective International in Brussels, Susan, along with
Canal Jägerroos, initiated HIAA to facilitate discussions, shared experiences, and
FORMATION AND GROWTH
• The first meeting in January 2007 garnered significant interest, with about 40 attendees
expressing a desire for group exhibitions and social connections.
• The founding meeting in September 2007 established the first board, with Susan Wilander
as the chairman.
• Officially registered in 2008, HIAA became a thriving association, hosting regular meetings,
board sessions, and exhibitions across various venues in Helsinki.
• In 2022 HIAA celebrated reaching 100 members at HIAA Fest in Lapinlahden Lähde
• In 2023 HIAA received 37% more members after a rebranding campaign by new board
members: Alysia Mentula and Polina Laamanen.
COLLABORATION AND EXPANSION
• Early collaborations with cultural organizations, including Catalysti and Helsinki cultural
centres, contributed to HIAA's growth.
• Open to cooperation, the association has engaged with regional artists, gallery owners, and
diverse actors in the international arts field in Helsinki.
• Helsinki International Artists Association (HIAA) is proud to maintain a robust and mutually
beneficial partnership with Globe Art Point. This collaboration extends beyond shared
values, as Globe Art Point generously provides HIAA with access to their office space,
fostering a collaborative environment. Globe Art Point's support goes beyond physical
space, as they actively promote HIAA events, contributing to the visibility and success of
our artistic endeavours. This collaborative alliance exemplifies the spirit of shared goals and
community support within the vibrant arts landscape of Helsinki.
Throughout its history, HIAA has upheld its commitment to providing a platform for artists to
exhibit, collaborate, and foster social connections within the vibrant Finnish arts community.
WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER?
Currently HIAA accepts applications throughout the year, with 4 processing periods spaced out over the course of 2024. Please feel free to leave an application, the next processing period will be announced in the Spring.
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