Saari Residence


Application period for residencies in 2024 starts in March

Kuva | Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

The open call for applications to Kone Foundation’s Saari Residence will open again on 1 March. The open call is intended for professional artists from all fields. Residencies for 2024 can be applied for in Kone Foundation’s online service for grant applications. Applications must be submitted no later than 31 March 2023 at 4 p.m. (Eastern European summer time, GMT +3). Only applications submitted via the online grant service during the application period will be considered. 

Application period: 1–31 March 2023
Saari Residence
Mynämäki, Finland

Saari Residence, which started its operations in 2008 and is maintained by Kone Foundation, is an international residence for artists in Mynämäki, Southwest Finland. Located in a beautiful and peaceful rural setting, the Saari Residence offers professional artists and groups of artists from all fields of art the opportunity to break away from their everyday routines and focus on their artistic work. Saari Residence is not aimed, for example, at networking within the field of art or putting on exhibitions or performances, and no exhibition or performance is required at the end of the residency.

At the Saari Residence, you can immerse yourself in your artistic work, develop potential new directions, and engage in fruitful interaction with the other residents. The Saari Residence also gives artists a platform to meet each other and share their thoughts and ideas at the Saari Well, which is one part of the residence that makes it unique.

During individual residencies, there are seven artists, one invited artist and one researcher working at the Saari Residence at the same time. In addition, a community artist works at the residence throughout the year. For each residency period, we select Finnish and international artists representing different fields of art, both young artists and those who are further along in their careers. In the summer months, there are working groups of artists (minimum three people, maximum 18) working at the residence for periods of 2 to 4 weeks.

Every year, the Saari Residence provides work facilities for between 35 and 50 individual artists, researchers or working groups. Since it opened, the residence has hosted approximately 700 artists and researchers from over 50 countries. Last year, 580 individual artists and working groups from 72 countries applied for residency. A total of 507 applications were submitted for individual residencies, of which 56 were working partners. There were 73 applications for group residencies. A residency for 2023 was granted to 6 per cent of the applicants.

Responsible and sustainable residence activities

Saari Residence’s long-term residence activities and way of thinking are determined by sustainability, and the key words are slowness, insight and change. When selecting artists for the residence, whether they work with ecological topics is not one of our selection criteria; instead, our focus on ecology lies in the residence’s overall activities.

Sustainability thinking permeates the entire residence’s operations, from everyday activities to environmental biodiversity work. Art and its potential for change involves are key to generating insights and understanding.

Saari Residence’s residence activities and thinking are defined by responsibility, which includes not only the environment but also social and psychological sustainability. Each residency period offers opportunities for insights at both the practical level and the level of thought through various study groups, discussions and workshops.

Taking care of the artists and researchers working at the Saari Residence and their peace of mind is at the core of the residence’s activities. At Saari, we follow the principles of a safe space and also take into account the perspectives of diversity, inclusion and equality, as well as the accessibility of our activities and related development needs.

Application period

Applications for residencies are always submitted a year before the residency takes place. The application period starts on 1 March and ends on 31 March at 4 p.m. (Eastern European summer time, GMT +3).

The four two-month-long working periods for individual artists take place in the spring and autumn, and from June to mid-August, all the premises of the residence are reserved for groups of artists working there for a period of 2 to 4 weeks.

Applications for the artist residencies are submitted in Kone Foundation’s online service for grants. Please note that we do not accept applications by email or other means outside the online service. Please read our application instructions carefully before compiling yours.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications for a residency at Saari from individual Finnish and international professional artists, authors, translators, curators and critics, as well as groups of artists (working groups and organisations with a business ID). Residencies are intended for artistic work in accordance with the work plan presented in the application. Priority is given to multidisciplinary, new, or non-mainstream themes and fields of art.

The common language of the international residence for artists is English.

Researchers or non-fiction writers cannot apply for residency through an open application.

A residency includes a grant, an apartment and a workspace

An individual residency spanning two months includes your own apartment, a workroom and a monthly grant, the amount of which is determined according to the applicant’s experience (€2,500 / €3,000 / €3,600 per month).

Groups can apply for a weekly residency grant (€750 per week) for their group members for a work period of 2 to 4 weeks. Groups have more compact accommodation and share apartments, but as a rule, each group has its own workspace.

In addition, each artist selected for an individual residency has the opportunity to engage in discussions with their pre-appointed mentors. The mentors of the Saari Residence are key professionals in their own field of art in Finland, and each of them also has a personal relationship with the Saari Residence. Read more about our mentoring programme

Work partners and families

You can also apply for an individual residency with a work partner or spouse. Artists with families are also welcome at the residence and will stay in its larger apartments. You can also bring your dog to the residence: one of the residence apartments is suitable for a person with a dog.

Members of a group residency can bring along young children under the age of seven. Those arriving at the residence with children are required to arrange for a childminder to take care of the children while they work.

The possibility of a Saari Home Residency

If an applicant for an individual residency cannot travel to the Saari Residence due to accessibility reasons, they can apply to the Saari Residence’s Home Residency programme. Saari Home Residencies are granted only if there are good grounds for doing so. The reasons for granting a home residency relate to accessibility and equality, such as physical limitations, family reasons (e.g. being a single parent) or the problematic political situation of the applicant’s country of origin. A person working in a home residency participates in the activities remotely. The Saari Home Residency is comparable to working at the residence, but applicants must apply either to work at the Saari Residence in person or at home within the Saari Residence’s home residency programme.

Support for ecological travel from abroad to Finland and those travelling from the Global South

Applicants travelling sustainably to the Saari Residence from outside Finland can apply for a grant for ecological travel to cover their travel expenses and receive a work grant for the slow travel if it lasts more than a week. The grant for ecological travel must be applied for at the same time as the general residency grant; you cannot apply for it retrospectively.

In addition, we recommend that working groups travelling from farther abroad choose a more extended residency period (e.g. four weeks) to allow for more sustainable travel.

As part of the social sustainability, diversity and accessibility of the Saari Residence, artists arriving from the Global South can apply for a grant to cover their air travel and visa fees. The Global South usually refers to people living in poverty in countries whose history is coloured by colonialism. Otherwise, we do not award grants for flying.

Residencies for 2024 will be published on 15 June 2023.

Read more about applying for the Saari Residence