Arts and handicrafts
Several artisans live and work in Suomenlinna, so the fortress has plenty of unique local arts and crafts on offer. The Jetty Barracks Gallery, Gallery Augusta and Icecellar host art exhibitions and cultural events all year round.
The Jetty Barracks Gallery, run by the Helsinki Artists’ Association, features high-quality exhibitions of contemporary art. The gallery is open throughout the year.
Accessibility: The gallery is located near the main pier. There is a ramp at the entrance. Accessible toilet facilities are located in the ferry lobby in the same building as the gallery.
Gallery Augusta is a versatile space for art exhibitions and events on Susisaari island. It is run by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, the largest international artist residency programme in Finland. Augusta hosts HIAP’s annual international summer exhibition and plenty of other activities as well, such as exhibitions, performances and HIAP Talks throughout the year.
The popular open-air theatre is located in the Good Conscience ravelin on Susisaari island, which has featured open-air theatre performances since 1968. The theatre has staged popular productions such as The Brothers Lionheart, The Lord of the Rings, The Unknown Soldier, and Ronja Robbersdaughter. The language of the productions is Finnish.
The shows are produced by the Ryhmäteatteri theatre company. The auditorium has nearly 500 seats, and its canopy makes the largest ‘indoor’ space in the fortress.
Accessibility: Accessing the open-air theatre by wheelchair requires some special arrangements and should be agreed in advance; for example, upon purchasing tickets. Theatre staff will guide the visitor in a wheelchair to their place in the audience. The route leads through the make-up room and across the stage to the audience via a ramp. The route is mostly along accessible terrain. The facilities and settings of the auditorium and stage vary according to the show, but there are a couple of places for wheelchairs at the base of the auditorium.
The Icecellar offers products made by artisans living in Suomenlinna, throughout the year. It also hosts changing exhibitions and various events, such as concerts. The Icecellar also has a café which is open all year round.
Accessibility: The Icecellar facilities are located on one floor. There is a ramp at the entrance.
The ceramic studio of the Pot Viapori ry artisans’ association started operating in Suomenlinna in 1973. Every once in a while, the studio organises events and exhibitions, and in the summer it hosts a summer exhibition open to all. Products made at the ceramic studio are sold in the Icecellar art shop and in the Arts and Crafts Summer Shop.
Accessibility: Visitors using a wheelchair will need an assistant.
Hytti ry operates a glass studio in the Virtue Bastion on Susisaari island. During glassblowing, the doors of the studio are mainly open, but the studio has no official visiting hours. A tour of the studio and glassblowing demonstrations can be scheduled in advance.
Accessibility: The glass studio is accessible by wheelchair and there is an accessible toilet facility next to it.
Esa Toivanen’s main materials is wood, which he uses versatilely to create art works. Esa Toivanen gladly tells visitors about his work and the unique wooden products. During winter season Esa’s studio is open during Art Walk event on Fridays between 12-16. Besides Art Walk the studio has no official visiting hours but doors are open when Esa is working.