New guide to employing an artist under an employment contract

The Artists' Association of Finland did a pilot project in the exhibition Nuoret 2023, as eleven young artists were either hired or commissioned by the Association to produce a new work on a designated production budget.

At the moment it is extremely rare for a visual artist to be paid a salary for artistic activities. The Artists' Association of Finland would like to urge organisations to engage in employment experiments by offering practical, tried and tested advice.

Visual artist on a monthly salary: a guide to employing an artist offers practical advice on how an artist can be hired to carry out artistic activities and explains what it means when an artist works under an employment contract. This guide is primarily aimed at visual arts institutions, such as museums, municipalities, foundations and galleries.

Nuoret 2023 Exhibition is now closed - the exhibition gathered a record audience!


A huge thanks to all the visitors and the amazing Nuoret 2023 Artists! The exhibition was open for different time spans in seven exhibition spaces around Helsinki city centre between 22.4.-4.6.2023.

Thank you Nuoret Artists, project partners, collaborators and supporters! The exhibition was organised by The Finnish Artists’ Association.

This guide contains tips for drafting an employment contract from Artists’ Association of Finland lawyer Viivi Kuosa. Vappu Renko and Sakarias Sokka, researchers from Cupore, the Center for Cultural Policy Research, explore visual artists’ various sources of income in the past, present and future in this publication. Five artists who took part in the Nuoret 2023 exhibition also share their experiences of the pilot project.

The guide is available as a PDF in Finnish (link), Swedish (link) and English (link).

In the photo Iida Pii’s installation Merkkipäivänäsi (2023). The arwork was prepared in employment relationship to the Artists’ Association Finland. Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

Supporting Art - Pro Av Saarikko


Pro AV Saarikko, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, is supporting the Youth 2023 exhibition. Jorma Saarikko has consulted the under-35-years-old artists selected for the exhibition on the technical side of the works and designed the AV technology solutions for the works.

–I am looking forward to a very high-quality exhibition. It is important to me that young artists were trained in AV technology right from the start, and we have talked about common rules for technical solutions. My own wish is that young artists will not have to repeat all the classic mistakes but will be able to learn to with media art on a faster schedule.

Saarikko's own work has always been characterised by two features, which he also highlighted in the training for the Nuoret artists.

Technology must always function, and the work must not be out of use due to technology. In addition, the AV solutions should be design so that the viewer does not notice the technique but can focus on the artwork itself.

The joint courses of Pro AV Saarikko and MUU ry, which introduce students to the latest AV technology have been very popular amongst artists. Saarikko hopes that the teaching of technical solutions will be better taken into account in the education of visual artists in the future.

–Knowledge of the possibilities of technology is beneficial for the artist.

Read the whole interview of Jorma Saarikko here (in Finnish):

Artists selected for the Nuoret 2023 (Young Artists) Exhibition - a record number of applicants

The artists were selected through an open call with a record number of 658 submitted applications. The jury, led by visual artist Emma Ainala, selected a total of 36 artists or artist groups for the exhibition.

Eleven of the applicants were selected on the basis of their work plan to create a new work for the exhibition. The selected artists are hired by the Artists' Association of Finland for a 1-3-month employment relationship, in which the artists receive a monthly salary and separate production support. For the first time, the artists' employment relationship will be piloted in the exhibition.

The other 25 artists were selected based on their proposals for finished works. All artists will be paid an exhibition fee and exhibition remuneration.

The Nuoret 2023 jury selected the following 36 artists and artist groups for the exhibition:

The Artists selected for employment relationship:

Samira Elagoz, Rag Elnyg, Hanna Hyy, Kihwa-Endale, Maisa Majakka, Iida Pii, Mai Pesonen, Oskari Ruuska, Julia Strandman, Elsa Tölli, Anna-Karoliina Vainio.

The Artists selected with finished works:

Kristoffer Ala-Ketola, Timo Andersson, Anna Anundi, Dora Dalila Cheffi, Shia Conlon, Amy Gelera & Domi Fleischmann, Pauliina Heinänen, Sadet Hirsimäki, Pilvi Hyväri, Joonas Hyvönen, Mira Hyvönen, Nayab Ikram, August Joensalo, Ulla Kokki, Karoliina Korvuo, Iisa Lepistö, Heinä Loukimo, Zagros Manuchar, Jenni Niskala, Anni Porrasmäki, Kerttu Saali, Emilia Tanner, Alma Tuuva, Man Yau, Haliz Yosef.

The jury included visual artist Emma Ainala as chairperson, Jade Kallio, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, photographer Heli Rekula, and Nina Toppila, CEO of Kunsthalle Helsinki.

The jury's chairperson Emma Ainala was delighted with the high quality of the proposals.

The quality of the submissions was very high. Despite the large number, we discussed each application carefully, and after a thorough process, it is easy to stand by the choices we made together as a jury. The exhibition will be amazing! Many of the works proposed and selected addressed questions and issues of identity. Several powerful, deeply personal works reflecting family background and relationships were selected for the exhibition. The pandemic and the era of isolation following it may have contributed to this, Ainala recalls.

One of the aims of the project is to strengthen the working life skills of young visual artists. The employed artists will have an opportunity to collaborate with the Praxis curator students of the Academy of Fine Arts. Collaboration with a curator is voluntary for the artist.

The project, led by the Artists' Association of Finland, involves a diverse group of visual art exhibition and expert organisations: The Artists' Association of Finland and its member associations MUU, the Association of Finnish Sculptors, the Association of Finnish Printmakers, the Finnish Painters' Union, the Association of Photographic Artists and the Union of Finnish Art Associations as well as Kunsthalle Helsinki, the Helsinki Art Museum HAM, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, the Praxis Master's Programme in Exhibition Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and the  Art Centre for Children and Young People ’s Nuori Taide 2023 event.

The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Gerda and Salomo Wuorio Foundation and Pro Av Saarikko Oy. The Maecenas Guild’s young artist prize is awarded in conjunction with the exhibition.