Art Centre and Museum
Mikkeli Centre of Photography is an art centre and museum, specializing in art photography. Mikkeli Centre of Photography was established in 1989, being one of the oldest centres of photography in Finland. The centre houses five separate gallery spaces: Hall, Galleries I, II, III and Lounge Gallery. The centre is located in a beautiful heritage building at the university campus of Mikkeli, a short walk from the market square.
In these galleries there are changing exhibitions showing contemporary Finnish photography, and in Gallery III often photographs of the local cultural history and heritage from the collections of the Centre. There is also an Information Service Desk in the Lounge.
The Centre promotes photography and visual arts on regional, national and international level. The Centre organises high quality art exhibitions, conducts photography, art and media education, is an expert in publishing photography books and houses a Digital Photography Workshop and visual design workshop space Kultura for artists' work, education and research. We work in cooperation with the Cultural Services of Mikkeli City and Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The Centre is also a member of Finnish Museums Association.
Welcome to visit
50100 Mikkeli, Finland
Tel. +358 45 1494866
info [at] mikkelinvalokuvakeskus.fi
Sundays and Mondays: closed.
The centre is fully accessible by wheelchair.
Safety for the visit
Due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation in Finland, hand sanitizer is available for the visitors and the staff takes care of the safety measures and distances.
Lake Saimaa in My Heart 10.6.–7.8.2021
Mikkeli Centre of Photography's summer exhibition Lake Saimaa in My Heart has been assembled from the centre's collections, which contain many pictures by photographers from South Savo taken over a time period of one hundred years. This exhibition focuses on pictures taken in the lake areas of Mikkeli, Ristiina, Anttola and Puumala.
The exhibition provides a view of a nostalgic, eternal summer in Lake Saimaa. The exhibition includes works by seven photographers. The body of the exhibition consists of pictures from the 1950s and 1960s by the Studio Sihvonen, which was located in Puumala.
Most of the old photographs in the exhibition have been edited and printed using contemporary technology at the Mikkeli Centre of Photography by Olli Jaatinen and Mikko Mäkeläinen.
Erkki Kakkonen (1925–2014) started as a photographer in Mikkelin Sanomat in the early 1950s. Kakkonen became the editor-in-chief of newspaper Länsi-Savo in 1976. In this exhibition, Kakkonen's work Description of a Cruise is featured among other works.
Leo Montonen (1905–1968) was born in the Puumala archipelago where he lived all his life. Montonen took up photography at the age of 18 in 1923. He worked as a travelling photographer mainly in the summertime, touring the Saimaa archipelago. Montonen’s pictorial legacy comprises nearly a thousand glass negatives and prints.
Jouko Palonen (1913–2012) was a principal and a history teacher in Helsinki. Photography was one of his many hobbies. The exhibition features Jouko Palonen's 8mm cine film from Anttola in the 1960s, where Palonen's family had a summer place on the shores of Sappulanselkä.
Veikko Salmela (1930–2016) was a stonemason and photographer from Mikkeli. Salmela was a paddler at the national level and a hiker as well. These hobbies are reflected in his pictures.
Lahja Sihvonen (1892–1967), and later his son Kalervo Sihvonen (1918–1973), had a photo studio in Puumala since the 1920s. Lahja focused on studio photography, Kalervo also photographed everyday situations and leisure activities.
Juha "Norppa" Taskinen (b. 1958, Sääminki) is a documentary filmmaker, nature photographer and author. In his work, he has especially focused on the Saimaa ringed seal and the nature of the Lake Saimaa.
Previous Exhibitions 18.2.–8.5.2021
Pave Maijanen: Picture & Light
Pave Maijanen Memorial Exhibition
In the autumn of 2020, Pave Maijanen wrote the foreword to his exhibition:
In the summer of 2020, I held the first photo exhibition of my life in Kesälahti, curated by photographic artist Stefan Bremer. He has been a great help in these projects. Steffe has made all the prints and he was with me choosing the pictures to display.
The title of the exhibition Picture and Light comes from the fact that I never use flash light, but natural light is something that is interesting to play with.”
Pekka Juhani “Pave” Maijanen (1950–2021) is known for his extensive career as a musician. During his career, he worked as a singer, songwriter, bassist, drummer, keyboardist, guitarist and producer. Less well known is his work as a photographer. Organizing his own photo exhibition was one of his last wishes.
Previous Exhibitions 8.1.–13.2.2021
Puddle Jump and Other Photos
Photographic artist Taneli Eskola is especially known as a photographer of the landscape and inhabited milieu. The exhibition at the Mikkeli Centre of Photography features black and white street photos from 1974–2019. The emphasis is on the everyday environment, cities and social relations.
Eskola's work emphasizes commitment to time and place, as well as a sense of space. There are humanly touching moments in the pictures, now lost neighborhoods, street views and lighting from different countries.
The exhibition is related to Eskola's book Blue Monograph, published in autumn 2019.
Taneli Eskola (b. 1958, Hämeenlinna) began taking photographs in the early 1970s. He defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Art and Design in 1998 and has been a docent at Aalto University since 2010. Eskola has held numerous exhibitions since 1979 and his works are in key Finnish collections. Eskola's latest retrospective was seen at the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2016.
I pour developer, stop bath and fixer in to the trays. I turn on the red safelight.
On the shelves I have old photo papers; some I have bought, some are gifts. Already the names on the boxes excite my imagination: Agfa Lupex, Tura Portrait-Rapid, Forte Bromofort.
I open one box, touch the paper, and feel the rough surface of the emulsion. The paper smells old and special. I turn on the ceiling light, turn the paper toward the lamp, and let it get exposed. By giving extra light, I can get more black, and the paper won’t just stay gray.
I turn off the ceiling light. The darkness turns red again; it is calm and quiet.
I press the corner of the photo paper into the liquid in the developing tray. Gradually, the paper slides to the bottom of the tray. I move it and turn at times with an atul. Suddenly, changes begin to occur in the paper. More than 50 years old photo paper is gaining new life. I think the picture is ready now.
Martti Jämsä (b. 1959, Jokioinen) is a self-taught photographer. He is an “old-time craftsman” who enjoys working in his own darkroom, making his black-and-white photographs himself. Jämsä has made 15 photobooks and 14 portfolios. He has held exhibitions since 1982 both at home and abroad. Jämsä's photographs are in several collections.
Cityscapes from Mikkeli
The Mikkeli Centre of Photography’s Historical Mikkeli Collection mainly consists of shots by photographers from Mikkeli. The purpose of the centre's collection work is to highlight our common cultural heritage expressed through photographs.
The Historical Mikkeli Collections include also pictures by Erkki Kakkonen (1925–2014). The newspaper Länsi-Savo's long-time photographer, reporter and editor-in-chief Kakkonen started as a photographer in Mikkelin Sanomat in the early 1950s.
Kakkonen became the editor-in-chief of Länsi-Savo in 1976, when photography was left to other employees. The pigment ink prints on display at the Centre were shot in the 1950s and 1960s on 6x6 black and white film.
Kakkonen's negatives were scanned and printed at the Centre in the autumn of 2020 by artesan Mikko Mäkeläinen. The collection exhibition presents Kakkonen's cityscapes from the old center of Mikkeli.
The Mikkeli Centre of Photography has received Erkki Kakkonen's photographs in its collections as a donation from Kakkonen’s daughters.