Antti Hahl
Heli Ellis: Ardent Martyr
Kaisa Hoikkala: Kokoro
Timo Mikkonen: Villa Kouki
Annmari Pietilinen: Frostbite
MoA08 7.-25.5.2008


The Masters of Arts Festival has taken place three times now. The annually changing event has grown to be a showcase for limitless collaboration. A great number of the freshly graduated Masters’ of Arts diploma works are presented in the exhibition set up in Media Centre Lume. Current and future developments in art, design, film and visual culture are brought to the forefront in many ways, in various events.

The MoA approach is sincere – the University wants to support its graduating students and also give a chance to other students of the University to design and carry out a unique, first-rate and tangible enterprise.

The production of the Festival has its foundation in neighbourly help, good will and seamless co-operation. The event does not strive for monetary gain: its mission is to multilaterally support learning processes and the advancement of Finnish culture as well as buttress the position of design, film and visual culture in society.

MoA is an equally challenging project for the Masters, the directors and the workgroup – at the same time, it is extremely rewarding. Every year, the second Tuesday of May, Media Centre Lume is filled with the families and friends of the Masters as well as the supporters and associates of the University – the year-long work is revealed to the public. Through this process a new MoA family is born: a group of people who have worked intensively and with devotion, believing in a common dream and making it reality. This community is one of a kind and indispensable.

Enthusiasm and surprising encounters

All graduates from the University of Art and Design Helsinki do not apply for the exhibition. Those who do not participate do so of their own volition, for various reasons. However, the number of applicants has increased every year and the role of the exhibition curator has become more and more important. The curator’s duty is not about his or her personal vision of current visual culture and compiling the Masters’ works accordingly, but rather getting to know each of the exhibition applicants with equal interest and respect, irrespective of educational branch and work methods. Only after this the curator develops the content and the message for the exhibition. The selection process that leads to the exhibition takes several weeks. At the end the curator has the invariantly unpleasant task ahead of him or her – many fine works and unique artists must be left out of the exhibition. All applicants simply cannot fit in the existing exhibition spaces. The process is, however, developed each year; the workgroup wants to find ways to make those who cannot participate a part of the Festival. The objective of MoA is to be the joint enterprise of the entire University!

The production of MoA has not been made easy either. The Festival has no definitive logo and visual identity, no highly paid professional designers – the creators are young students who are given a true challenge to overcome. A common language and goal must be found, the tools for communication and design must be created – one has to be able to negotiate and bring together multiple points of view. One must be able to think big without neglecting detail. MoA is a pathway and a context that enables the birth of inspiring and surprising encounters.

The Festival is supported by a large group of companies, institutions and private persons. The University has succeeded in creating an enterprise that professionals from various fields regard as something uniformly positive. The intellectual presence and expert opinions of these people are immeasurably valuable to the Festival.

The MoA Festival has become a tradition that returns again next year with a new look, new content and new programme, enriching Finnish cultural life between May 7 – 25, 2008.

We thank all partners, supporters, members of the workgroups and especially all the Masters for the past year!