The Finnish visual arts scene is vibrant and diverse. Finland is home to roughly 3300 professional visual artists, 116 art galleries and 67 art museums, and each year it hosts about 40 visual arts events. Approximately 4.8 million visits are made to visual arts events and galleries each year.
Visual arts means art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, media art, environmental art, conceptual art and light art. Also sonic art and performance art is often included in the visual arts. Many visual artists work combing different forms and techniques.
In Finland visual artist’s income often comes from several sources, such as artistic activities (salary and remuneration, grants, sales profits), other art-related activities (e.g. teaching) and non-art related activities, which are usually practised to fund artistic work. Other revenues, such as copyright royalties and social security benefits, are also considered sources of income. There are only a few institutions or organisations that directly employ visual artists in Finland, which is why most artists are self-employed.
Visual arts education is offered at all educational levels, and visual artists are, on average, highly educated. University-level education in fine art is offered by the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture of Aalto University. The Faculty of Art and Design of the University of Lapland offers a degree in Applied Visual Arts. Visual artist degree (Kuvataiteilija AMK) is offered also at LAB University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, SAMK University of Applied Sciences, Novia University of Applied Sciences and Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
Visual arts are supported by the public sector, such as the government and municipalities, as well as the private sector, such as foundations and associations. Funds are provided in different forms, such as grants awarded directly to artists, benefits allocated for associations and organisations and indirect benefits, such as tax breaks. Public funds for visual arts and artists are mostly generated through lottery (Veikkaus) profits.
Professional visual artists are represented by national and regional artists’ associations. You can find more information about Artists' Association of Finland's member organisations here (link). Significant associations include also Frame Contemporary Art Finland, the advocate for Finnish contemporary art; Kuvasto ry, the copyright society for artists working in the field of visual arts; The Finnish Artists’ Studio Foundation, which secures and offers reasonably rated working facilities and studio apartments for visual artists; AV-arkki, the Centre for Finnish Media Art, and Globe Art Point; the advocate and representative of foreign-born artists and cultural workers in Finland.