Vantaa Artist Association grounded in 1994 is an Association of professional artists of Vantaa. The aim of the Association is to awake interest towards visual arts and to enchance the professional and economical benefits of Vantaa based visual artists.
Primary focus of the association is in art exhibition- and art rental operation. Together and with the support of Vantaa city the conditions of Vantaa visual arts has been developed and made more known.
The roots of the Vantaa Artist Association derive back to 1960’s, when artists actively participated in the discourse concerning artist salary, grants and art purchases. By improving the prerequisite of operation for visual artists the purpose was to expand and diversify the art field of Vantaa. The lack of atelier- and exhibition spaces was already back then one of the main problems. In the 1970’s artists were allowed to operate in Hiekkaharju’s old barrack school. During the years, school ballrooms, city hall lobby and main library acted as an exhibition space.
Entering the 1990’s the lack of space was still a current problem. For example exhibitions space attached to libraries did not persuade professional artists to hold exhibitions this leading also the collaborations between artists to dry up for couple of years.
Gradually the situation to ground a new artist association matured. A group of artists gathered at Kolohonka atelier at the Runeberg day 1994 and as a result Vantaa Artist Association was born.
ARTIST HOUSE GJUTARS
In 1996 after months of negotiations, Vantaa Art Association managed to bind a contract with Vantaa city to rent premises called Gjutars for the Association- and exhibition operation. Detoriated wooden house located in an old protected cultural enviroment was woken alive. Vantaa Artist Association renovated the house with the help of capital reparation unemployed-course workers, reparation material was funded by the city of Vantaa.
The house was enthroned officially in August 1998 but the first exhibition of Gallery Gjutars was held two months earlier in June 1998. The rest of the exhibition periods 1998 were reserved for the members of the association. But it was not long that the intimate ja idyllic exhibition space and location started to interest professional Artists outside Vantaa.
Artist House Gjutars functioned for a long period of time as a center for the whole Vantaa Artist Association, including the art gallery, art rental shop, office and guest atelier. In the beginning of 2000 Gallery Gjutars held exhibitions through open call and through invitations. First of the artists that were invited to hold an exhibition was Painter Tuomo Saali, Graphic Artist Outi Heiskanen and Sculptor Ossi Somma.
One of the highlights of the Vantaa Artist Association has been the Vantaa award received in 2010. An Award that is granted every year by the city of Vantaa to an association or a person that has meritated in Arts. In the award speech the Vantaa Artist Association was praised due to its long-term work for the good of Visual Artists and having a first rate exhibition activity.
In 2013 it became possible for Vantaa Artist Association to expand when the city of Vantaa approached the Association in terms of collaboration. Plan was to found a Gallery into the old main library of the Vantaa. Gallery K opened in 2014 with Pentti Kaskipuro’s exhibition and during the early spring 2014 the office and the art rental shop moved into these new premises. Gallery K is Vantaa Art Museum’s Artsi’s and Vantaa Art Association’s collective space. Half of the exhibitions that are held every year is held by the Vantaa Artist Association and the other half by Vantaa Art Museum Artsi. Residency-, workshop and exhibition operation is continuing in Gallery Gjutars. In 2019 Vantaa Artist Association filled 25 years and had 105 members.