first regional printmaking association in Finland was founded
in Turku in 1933.
The starting point for the association was an exhibition held
in 1932 at the new office block of the Turun Sanomat newspaper.
The exhibition raised public interest as it was as far as we know
the first exhibition in Turku concentrating only on printmaking.
year earlier the national Printmakers Union had been founded so
it was evident that the interest for printmaking had grown and
the position of printmaking as an independent art form had become
clearer and more stable.
The artists taking part in the exhibition in Turku called themselves
Group Grafica, (Ester Borg, Ander Holmqvist Viljo Lehmussaari,
Josef Manulkin (Manuel), Aili Olofsson, Laila Säilä
and Edith Wiklund) a group, which soon formed the permanent printmakers
association in Turku.
The constitutive meeting of the organisation was held in Turku
at Café Lehtinen, March 17th 1933. The association then
took the name Turku graphic art association and the central aims
were defined as bringing printmaking to public attention and helping
the members in professional matters.
1967 the name was changed into Turku Printmakers association.
In 1933 the association elected Teodor Schalin chairman, a post
which he held during the associations first decade. After
him Viljo Lehmussaari acted as chairman until 1962 followed by
Reijo Koskela, Raimo Kanerva, Alku Avanto, Vieno Orre, Jouni Boucht,
Juhani Vikainen, Tanja Ubaleht, Hannu Hämäläinen,
Hanna Tammi and Juha Joro.
The association has been active from the founding moments. Numerous
exhibitions held around Finland have ensured that printmaking
has indeed been brought to public attention. The association has
also been the representative of its hometown with several exhibitions
abroad, the first ones taking place already in 1934 in Moscow
and Riga as well as in Czechoslovakia and Germany the following
year. In 1938 the association was represented in England at an
exhibition arranged by the Nordic Graphic Union at the Victoria
& Albert museum. During the war the activity was naturally
limited, but was restored in the 1950s when art equipment again
became more attainable.
Exhibitions have been held in Sweden, the Soviet Union, West-Germany,
Turkey and Italy. In Finland exhibitions have been arranged in
different towns with the rate of approximately three per year.
The association has made printmaking known also by arranging meetings
where the different techniques have been presented and explained
to the public.
association has also promoted the professional activities of its
members by various measures. On the associations initiative,
the city of Turku has arranged printmaking competitions in 1956,
1961 and 1969. Courses on different techniques have also been
arranged for the members. With the citys support the association
has had its own studio since 1967. In the studio the members have
a possibility to work with intaglio and lithography. Since 1981
the association has also had its own sale collection.
the moment there are 91 members in the association and 99 supporting
Supporting member activity has been part of the associations
agenda from the very beginning. Already during the first year
a sample collection of four portfolios containing one print donated
by each active member was assembled. The collection went round
and each of the supportive members could reserve one print, which
theyd receive with a bit of luck with the lottery at the
end of the year.
Later eight to ten works were allotted among the members.
In 1971 a new practice was introduced; each supportive member
will annually receive a new print for the membership-fee.