Ateljé Stundars: surroundings
Ateljé Stundars, situated in the village of Solf (in Finnish: Sulva) in Korsholm (in Finnish: Mustasaari), Ostrobothnia on the west coast of Finland, offers artists a peaceful rural environment with good possibilities to concentrate on creative work. The village of Solf with its 1,700 inhabitants is a genuine, traditional Ostrobothnian village dominated by wooden house architecture.
The artist residence operates in conjunction with an open-air museum and centre of culture and art, the Stundars Museum. The Stundars area is quite busy, especially during the summer, with a lot of activity going on: crafts days, exhibitions, concerts, children’s events, time travel etc. There is also a small gift shop-cum-café in the area.
Ateljé Stundars is surrounded by open plains with a rich bird life. Deep forests and a beautiful archipelago can be found within biking distance from the studio.
The 520 million-year-old meteorite crater of Söderfjärden lies within walking distance from the residence. Today the circle-shaped cultivated crater plain is one of the most interesting geological sites in Finland and a true paradise for bird watchers in both spring and autumn. From the bird-watching tower you can on a good day observe thousands and thousands of migrating cranes, swans and geese.
Meteoria, a visiting centre right in the middle of the crater, features an advanced exhibition of the entire history of Söderfjärden. There is also a well-equipped astronomical observatory with a telescope for studies of celestial bodies hundreds of millions of light years out into the universe.
The village of Solf is part of the municipality of Korsholm. With its 20,000 inhabitants Korsholm is the third largest municipality in the region of Ostrobothnia. The closest city is Vasa (in Finnish: Vaasa), some 17 kms north of Solf. Vasa with its 60,000 inhabitants has a rich cultural life and offers a number of interesting museums and galleries, for instance
- the Ostrobothnian Museum and Terranova – Kvarken Nature Centre– Kvarken Nature Centre
- the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art
- the Tikanoja Art Museum
- Platform (artist-run initiative)
- Black Wall Gallery.
In Jakobstad (in Finnish: Pietarsaari) 100 kms north of Vasa, the Novia University of Applied Sciences offers a master's programme in culture and art. There is also an artist residence, AiR Jakobstad.
The Nordic Art School in Karleby (in Finnish: Kokkola) some 120 kms north of Vasa also offers a residency programme.
The Kvarken Archipelago is the only natural heritage on Unesco's World Heritage List in Finland. The area received the World Heritage status because it is the best place on earth to witness and observe the unique geological phenomenon of land uplift.
Bilingual Finland – bilingual Ostrobothnia
Finland is a bilingual country with two national languages: Finnish and Swedish. The Swedish-speaking population is concentrated on the west and south coast of Finland as well as on the Åland Islands.
The region of Ostrobothnia with some 180,000 inhabitants is the only region on the mainland with a Swedish-speaking majority. Many people are bilingual and speak both Finnish and Swedish, but there are people, especially among the elderly, who are not able to communicate in the other national language.
Most people in Finland speak English quite well.