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Festival Producer Tuuli Sotamaa:
Masters of Arts is a spring kitchen, a launch pad...
Masters of Arts 2006 is a three-week festival in Arabianranta, Helsinki. It is a joint venture between the University of Art and Design Helsinki, its graduating master students, various associates, sponsors, producers of culture and other educational institutes in Arabianranta.
The Masters of Arts Festival is a breathing organism, at the heart of which is a juried degree show. The exhibitioners represent each of the university's degree programmes. The volume, diversity and quality of the degree shows present an example of the power and progress of the creative fields of work. The exhibition showcases some of the latest visions. Spectators have a chance to enter a world in which societal themes, playful art, new methods, grandiose ventures and the wants and challenges of employers meet. A variety of different cultural backgrounds and professional factors live and function side by side. The exhibition is a testimony to the force of joint efforts and the momentum it generates.
In the buoyancy of the seminar series
The Masters of Arts Festival functions on a number of levels. In addition to the exhibition, there will be a series of five international seminars, galvanising discussions, fashion shows, living art, vibrant festivity and a whole lot more. Yet again MoA welcomes to Helsinki the key players of different fields of culture and incredible personalities from both around the world and Finland. The guests include some of the hottest names in design, brilliant stars and visionary thinkers; a wide assortment of cultural figures from all over.
This year other educational institutes in Arabianranta are also involved in making this exciting city cultural event. Arcada Polytechnic, Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia and the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory will participate in the production.
The story behind MoA
MoA is an annual, multi-faceted festival of youthful design, art, film and media that makes the Media Centre Lume and Arabianranta's Art & Design City the focal point of Helsinki. For employers looking for creative talents the event is a preview of the visions of the avant-garde.
The forefathers of the MoA project are the Think exhibition in Ateneum Art Museum (2000); the Masters of Arts 2002 event in the Museum of Applied Arts, The Finnish Museum of Photography and gallery Forum Box; and also Masters of Arts 2004 in the Design Museum, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Cable Factory, Media Centre Lume and Korjaamo Culture Factory. The first Masters of Arts Festival was organised in the University of Art and Design Helsinki's Media Centre Lume in 2005. The pinkest cultural festival EVER! attracted over 7000 visitors to its seminars and exhibition.
Father of MoA, Rector Yrjö Sotamaa:
Masters of Arts 2006 - the final workout
The Masters of Arts Festival is a celebration as well as a tour de force of the new Masters. The years of striving for a Master's degree in a prestigious University deserve a worthy finish: a final workout before taking off toward a desirable career. MoA is the collective effort of the graduating generation and the finishing exercise that encourages all involved to spar their communicative skills to highlight their own ideas, skills and abilities.
Years of experience reveal that MoA increases students' motivation to graduate. Everyone wants to stand together on this platform that oozes with creativity. It also seems as if the joint event judged by a jury spurs students to constantly work for better results and the departments to support the students in their efforts. The grand event gives birth to new endeavours as the participating students realise that their thoughts and ambitions connect.
Masters of Arts is a forum that enables making contacts with potential employers. From the viewpoint of the University, MoA is also a barometer for the quality of teaching and research and also the relevance of the University's work. Our associates, sponsors and the media are able to estimate if the University has succeeded in its mission. Furthermore, MoA demonstrates the international connectedness of the University and the varied co-operation the University maintains with various corporations, culture institutions and other universities. The seminars at MoA reflect the relationship between contemporary discussion and the presented works - place them in a greater context.
This year we have invited other educational institutes in Arabianranta to join us in constructing the extensive and scintillating city event that is Masters of Arts. Simultaneously we will be able to showcase the diverse creative know-how that resides in Arabianranta. Arabianranta is an accelerator laboratory for creativity.
People behind MoA 2006
Tuuli Sotamaa is the producer of the third actual MoA Festival. A Master of Arts in Design, she has studied in London and worked for a period in Italy. Tuuli is also a founding partner of the international architecture, design and production practice OCEAN NORTH. Creative madness has driven her to design pieces that situate themselves somewhere in the middle ground between architecture, installations, artworks and product design. Endlessly fascinated by the development of society, the mechanisms of the creative fields and the possibilities of architecture, Tuuli's doings are influenced by a number of factors. A taste of real life may also be found on horseback.
The University of Art and Design Helsinki's Head of Communications Outi Raatikainen is the person in charge of the marketing and corporate co-operation for the MoA Festival. She is intrigued by the crossing point of culture and economics and the possibilities the combination of these two generate. Outi is also enthusiastic about exporting culture, creative capital and spreading the word about the global impressiveness of the University's actions. As managing editor of Arttu! magazine and in various meetings around the city she is able to accomplish this. Design in particular has always been close to the former architect, who stumbled upon the field of communications through the MBA program of Helsinki School of Economics. She finds real peace on the grasses of summer.
The Curator - Smooth Operator
Tomas Ivan Träskman, born in 1970, is an art historian working at the crossroads of art, media, and education. In relation to contemporary arts practice, design and visual culture Tomas Ivan has a track record as a producer, director and writer working across sectors: he has programmed live arts festivals, directed, edited, and contributed to television documentaries. Tomas Ivan has devised work for contexts including Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki, Belgrade Cityscape (together with artist Milica Tomic), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), and Tampere Short Film Festival. Currently he is working as a senior lecturer in Arts Managment at Sydväst Polytechnic/University of Applied Science and Arts. When he works he likes to hum to Sade Adu's song "Smooth Operator" from the 80's.
The students taking part in the degree show are coordinated by production assistant Jessica Sinikoski . Jessica's got a master degree in literature from the University of Helsinki, but she changed letters to visual arts as she started her arts management studies in 2003. This is the second time Jessica's working for the MoA Festival and her next project is already bubbling under, as she is coordinating University of Art and Design Helsinki's academic degree ceremony in January 2007.
Hanna Kurppa (born in 1974) is a graphic designer from Helsinki. She has a prior education in genetics and has worked as a researcher of developmental biology at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki. Hanna has studied graphic design in the University of Art and Design Helsinki and typographic design in the Royal Academy of Art, based in Hague.
Architecture work group
This year's festival architecture is designed by a student team headed by Tuomas Toivonen , author of last year's MoA exhibition's spatial design. The rules for the team are clear: no second-hand solutions from yesteryear are tolerated, and the festival and its setting must be more interesting, fresh, exciting and contemporary than ever before. Besides being the ambitious team coach, Tuomas is also an architect, designer, sporadic teacher, member of Anteeksi and founder of Now Office.
The quality of the MoA web pages is guaranteed by the Virtual University (aka Virtu) of the University of Art and Design, Helsinki. Virtu helps the departments and teachers of the university to carry out flexible teaching. In addition, it helps in planning web pages of events at the university. The Virtu laboratory consists of Sanna Alver as technical coordinator, Marco Suvanto as visual designer and Timo Ovaska as web producer. Please feel welcome to drop in and listen to the humming of the stereo, the slurping of coffee and the hissing of fizzy drinks - www.uiah.fi/virtu.
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