Kaisla shop gallery (Kaisla kauppa galleria) is a rectangular two-story old house with solid red-brick walls and interior open spaces, nicely situated at the port of Korpilahti, Central Finland (Korpilahden satama, Keski-Suomi), which offers the Päijänne lake beautiful landscape. The first floor has the arts & crafts shop function, revealing many pieces of local artists and the second floor is a single room gallery for artworks exhibition.
Last summer - in a particularly rainy and thunderstorming August (elokuu) in that Finnish region - my friend Haukka and I visited Kaisla. However, this time we’ve noticed there an open book with more than thousand signatures. What would be that? Talking with the kind hosts, they told us that it was a petition against the transformation of Kaisla shop gallery into a restaurant-bar, a decision of the Korpilahti municipality, the building owner. Signing the petition was a little contribution to support an arts and crafts collective that, like many others, have been caught in a web of market interests.
It’s good to notice the context of this situation. In fact, after the February decision for the extinction of the city of Jyväskylä (Jyväskylän kaupunki), the rural Jyväskylä (Jyväskylän maalaiskunta) and the Korpilahti municipality (Korpilahden kunta) - merging the three into one new municipality, established on the current areas of the abolished authorities (New Jyväskylä would be born on January 1 2009) - it took place the June confirmation by the Finnish government (Valtioneuvosto).
Either the “extinction” of Kaisla – yes, because the house is an intrinsic part of the arts and crafts project - is political or technocratic, it would be lamentable, in the future, not to find there beautiful handcrafted art pieces, like those of Ulla Huttunen and Arto Salminen, among others.Images: Luis Alves / www.flickr.com/photos/mokkikunta