The history of the Serlachius Museums starts with Paper mill owner Gösta Serlachius, who had plans to build a museum in Mänttä to house his growing collection already in 1920’s. Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation was established in 1933 with the purpose to build and maintain a museum in Mänttä.
At present Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation maintains two museums. Art museum Gösta exhibits the pearls of the art collection that is one of the largest private art collections in Scandinavia. In summer 2014 alongside the art museum will rise a pavilion with area of over 5000 sq.m. that multiplies the exhibition spaces of Gösta and enables construction of new exhibitions, more versatile than before. Gustaf Museum tells stories. In the former head office of the historical forest combine G.A. Serlachius Ltd. curious and surprising exhibitions associate with the colorful history and magnificent architecture of the building.
Mänttä Art Festival is summer exhibition of contemporary art organized by Mäntän kuvataiteen ystävät ry, a registered association of the friends of art in Mänttä. The Festival was first arranged in 1993. A biennial event during the early years, the festival has been arranged annually since 1999. The registered association each year chooses a new curator of the next year’s festival. The curator alone makes decisions in relation to selection of artists and exhibition architecture. The main exhibition space and exhibition centre is Pekilo, a renovated industrial building. Mänttä art festival has grown to be Finland’s most important annual show of contemporary art. The curator compiles each year a new selection of art and artists that best reflect a theme or title chosen by the curator. During recent years also artists from e.g. Estonia have participated.
Many side programs offer single artists, members of the cultural audience or the curator possibility to reflect on exhibition, particular artworks or other cultural matters. Concerts and lectures as well as other events have been organized to discuss cultural issues in connection of the Art Festival.
Description of the residency programme: Serlachius-residency is a residency studio maintained by the Serlachius Museums and Mänttä Art Festival. Residencies are intended for creative professionals working in the field of art, such as artists, art historians, researchers or curators. The aim of the residency is to make new connections between artists, researchers and curators. In addition to a studio and housing, the residency can offer contacts with local art field and possibilities for community-based projects of with local people.
The guest is required to make a visual or written report of his or her stay during the residency. If willing exhibition(s) and /or event(s) are easy to organize in studio´s galleria.
The work of the residency takes place in the centre of Mänttä in an Art Nouveau building known as Aleksanterin linna, which is located next to the Serlachius Museum Gustaf on the shore of a small lake. The building, which originally housed a chemist's shop, has five work rooms as well as a larger room downstairs that can be used for all types of work as well as events, exhibitions and public occasions.
The Einola house, on the grounds of the Serlachius Museum Gösta, serves as a dormitory during residencies. The building was formerly the home of the groundskeeper and includes three bedrooms as well as common kitchen, bathing, sauna and sanitary facilities. The distance between Einola and Aleksanteri linna is less than three kilometers.
The distance between Tampere and Mänttä is about 90 kilometres and Jyväskylä and Mänttä rough 80 kilometers. The distance from Helsinki good 260 kilometres, from Turku, Vaasa and Kuopio about 250 kilometers.