Saari Residence


Leena Kela appointed as substitute for the executive director of the Saari Residence

Performance artist and curator Leena Kela will begin working in October as a substitute for the executive director of the Saari Residence.

Leena Kela’s duties will include the management of operations at the Saari Residence and developing networks and partnerships with Finnish and international operators. She will provide support for the artists and researchers working at the Residence, and handle the programme planning of public events organised at the residence.

Leena Kela’s term as a substitute for the current executive director Hanna Nurminen will be approximately one year. Hanna Nurminen will continue acting as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kone Foundation.

From 2012 onward, in addition to her active international artistic career, Leena Kela has acted as co-artistic director of the New Performance Turku Festival and as curator of several other performance art events and exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. She has completed a Master of Arts degree at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, and is currently undertaking her doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki.

Leena Kela has worked as the Regional Artist of Southwest Finland and acted as a member of the Saari Residence Advisory Board in 2012–14. She is also part of a group of three artists known as “Naapurihmasto” with Heini Aho and Eero Yli-Vakkuri, who will be working as the artists in residence of Lauttasaari Manor – the Kone Foundation’s new premises – during its renovation phase this winter.

“I have been observing the activities of the Saari Residence from both near and far for several years. I greatly appreciate the conditions for working in peace that the Residence offers to artists and researchers, without demanding tangible results immediately after the term of residency. A term of residency also provides an opportunity to reflect on one’s authorship, alone or together with colleagues. It is an honour to serve as Hanna’s substitute for one year, and to get an opportunity to contribute to the development and continuation of operations at the Saari Residence,” says Leena Kela.

“I am glad that Leena Kela has accepted the position as my substitute. Leena knows the Saari Residence very well, and she has wide-ranging experience and insights from the field of art. I trust she will also introduce her broad-based international networks to the Residence. She starts just in time to take part in the planning of our 10th anniversary celebrations for next year,” Hanna Nurminen says.