To uncover the trails of artworks in Seinäjoki, one must venture with an open mind. Whether in the heart of Seinäjoki’s center or the serene surroundings of Törnävä, art might await around every corner. Surprising artworks can catch your eye by chance. Have you noticed the owl lamps on Björkenheim bridge? Alongside charming owls, intriguing artworks can be found at Pruukinranta’s housing fair area, Törnävä, and Kalevan Navetta. Explore this blog for an overview of unexpected artworks in Seinäjoki.
A Big Hug – Päivi Rintaniemi
Location: Pruukinranta housing fair area, at the end of Pruukinranta road
“A Big Hug” is a large concrete sculpture situated in Seinäjoki’s Pruukinranta housing fair area by Lake Kyrkösjärvi. This endearing statue resembles a friendly stuffed animal. Despite its hard and cool material, sitting in its embrace is effortless. With its big round arms raised high, the sculpture welcomes residents and passersby.
Standing up to 3 meters tall, “A Big Hug” is hard to miss when strolling through Pruukinranta’s housing fair area. Created by sculptor Päivi Rintaniemi, the artwork’s message is one of community and caring. Pruukinranta’s modern housing fair area also features the Kyrkösjärvi observation tower, located along the shores of Lake Kyrkösjärvi. Both sites are worth exploring during the same visit.
Location: Björkenheimintie, Björkenheimin silta
Björkenheim’s owls, known as the Guardians (Vahdit), observe passersby from the historic Björkenheim Bridge. These colorful owls aren’t just ornaments; they double as lamps. The owls’ eyes glow on the road’s surface as bright beams of light during the dusk of night. Whether day or night, these owls are a splendid addition to Seinäjoki’s bird statues. Vesa-Pekka Rannikko’s artwork delights those who cross Björkenheim Bridge with its illuminating gaze and vibrant feathers.
The charming streets and vast park area of Piirin, illuminated by trees, appear magnificent in the evening dusk. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Björkenheim’s owl sculptures with their shining eyes during the darker hours.
The background of the Guardians Light Artwork is rooted in the local memories of the historic Björkenheim Bridge and its vicinity. Although the bridge itself was renovated in 2022, its original construction dates to 1920. The nearby nature conservation area, cultural history, and local stories all played a role in selecting the artwork.
Watch Seinäjoen Taidehalli’s video about the Guardians of Björkenheim Bridge –
Törnävän kolme hanhea
Location: Seuralantie 5, 60200 Seinäjoki, behind the Hallintola building
Within the culturally rich area of Piiri lies a small oasis where three geese stand by the water’s edge year-round. Kai Noramies sculpted the Three Geese artwork in 1960. The piece was erected during a time when Törnävän Piiri’s history was intertwined with hospital operations. The fountain and geese created a beautiful oasis for those residing in Törnävän and hospital patients. These same geese and the fountain remain, contributing to the overall beauty of the place alongside lovely plantings and trees reaching toward the ground.
Suomenhevonen (Finnish Horse)
Location: Törnävänsaarentie 2, 60200 Seinäjoki
In the shade of large birch trees in the Törnävä museum area stands the Finnish Horse atop an adorned pedestal. The Finnish Horse has been in place since 1997. Sculptor Herman Joutsen’s Finnish Horse–War Horse statue is a tribute to horses that perished in wars.
Horses played a significant role during times of war. In homes, horses were part of the family and crucial tools in agriculture. Nearly all war horses came from farms. Etelä-Pohjanmaa Museum selected the location of the Finnish Horse statue due to the large number of horses sent from the area to aid in the war effort. The adorned pedestal of the Finnish Horse showcases the horse’s journey, with its hooves transitioning from fieldwork to the ranks of soldiers. Animals have been significant actors in our history, and the majestic Finnish Horse statue stands as a testament to that.
Harley-Davidson-rallin muistomerkki (Harley-Davidson Rally Memorial)
Location: Törnävän kenttä
On the other side of Törnävä island, you’ll find the memorial stone for the Harley-Davidson Club Finland’s gathering event. Engraved with the Harley-Davidson logo, the large stone is situated near Törnävä field’s frisbee golf course. It serves as a reminder of the grand motorcycle enthusiast gathering that took place in 2009, where thousands of motorcyclists from around the world rode into Seinäjoki. They got together in the Törnävä area to enjoy music and celebrate their shared passion. The memorial stone also features runic writing that easily translates into Finnish.
The inscription reads: “Thank you, Seinäjoki.” The mind conjures images of a multitude of motorcycles on Seinäjoki’s roads on a sunny summer day. The auditory landscape was something quite special as motorcyclists revved their engines in unison along Seinäjoki’s streets.
Kerä – Tiina Laasonen
Location: Nyykoolinkatu 25, 60100 Seinäjoki
Seinäjoki’s art and cultural center, Kalevan Navetta, is a haven of numerous artistic expressions. Within Kalevan Navetta lies the Seinäjoki Art Hall, filled with impressive artworks. The grand Kerä artwork greets visitors as they ascend the staircase toward the art exhibitions. Hanging from the ceiling, Tiina Laasonen’s Kerä was created in 2020. It comprises large wooden rings intersecting like an unfolding ball. Kerä signifies the sense of community among Kalevan Navetta’s contributors. Explore Seinäjoki Art Hall’s exhibitions – https://www.kalevannavetta.fi/nayttelyt/
Auroista tehdyt kurjet, Uppa
Location: Tarhatie, näkymä tieltä kohti Pajuluoman puroa
Cranes Made from Plows, Uppa Location: Tarhatie, view from the road towards Pajuluoma stream Light cranes peek out from behind the bushes along Pajuluoma stream in Uppa. These overlooked cranes are poised for flight, their wings crafted from recycled plow parts. Next time you stroll through Pajuluoma’s beautiful park area, keep an eye out for these plow-formed cranes. Where have you discovered Seinäjoki’s most unexpected artworks?
Photographs and text by Ilta Lahti @ilta.lauriina