Visual artist Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen, who started her career in Kinnula, organizes a solo exhibition for the first time in Pihtipudas. At Koto Hotel, a cross-section of Hakkarainen’s versatile body of work is on display. Previously, it has been displayed extensively around the country and the world.


Koto Hotel’s exhibition now also contains some of her table paintings and statues, which have never before been displayed in public.


– I wanted to bring both older and more recent works to the exhibition. The combination tells a story of my journey, which has wound via interesting stages to this point, the artist says.


Celebration of colour and images of nature


Painter, visual artist and illustrator Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen has for decades been counted among the top of Finnish naivists. Her works of art have also been in demand elsewhere in the world.


Hakkarainen’s naivistic paintings with glowing colours pay homage to the nature and peace of Central Finland.

– Kinnula is seen in both the fox and the pike, as well as many other details in my works. The granny statue I dedicate to the grannies in Pihtipudas. My Pieni kylä (Small Village) painting, on the other hand, depicts a small village that provides its inhabitants with a lot of valuable perspectives to life. Sometimes you just have to go far to see how much can be found close by.


With Hakkarainen’s touch, colours and details of nature transform into magical, touching stories. There is an endless amount to see in the metaphorical details of the paintings. In them, people as well as figures of forest animals: rabbits, bears, birds, foxes, and moose, can be seen.


Table paintings and statues are the very latest works

The most recent works in the Oma tie–My way exhibition are table paintings painted on wood, which Hakkarainen started creating last winter.

– I find icon-type small wood paintings appealing, although creating them is work-intensive. I am also enthusiastic about statues created with mixed media, as well as collage paintings. They bring new dimensions to my work.


Hakkarainen is also a recognized and awarded book illustrator. One of the highlights of her illustrator career was in 2002, when an actress from the United States, Julie Andrews, asked her to illustrate her book titled Grateful. It includes a CD where Art Garfunkel sings the text of the book. The book is also on display in Koto Hotel’s exhibition.


Hakkarainen has been awarded the Finlandia Junior award, among others, for her illustrations.


Hotel is a good place for pausing and viewing art

Hakkarainen has only had a few solo exhibitions. She lives in Jyväskylä, but her Kinnula house with its studio remains an important place for her. She is pleased to bring her works of art to Koto Hotel, because the entrepreneurs are genuine art lovers.

– It is rare and wonderful that someone wants to display professional artists’ works in this region. In the hotel, both locals and other customers have a good opportunity to pause for viewing art.

Since 2020, Koto Hotel Pihtipudas has profiled as and art hotel and received background support in this from the Jyväskylä Artists’ Association. Hakkarainen is the fifth professional artist from Central Finland whose exhibition is seen in the hotel.


Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen’s sales exhibition contains her oil paintings, pigment prints, serigraphy and a collage work. The Oma tie–My way exhibition will be on display in Koto Hotel until the end of 2021, and it can be visited during the hotel’s opening times, every day from 3 pm until 9 pm. The address is Keskustie 2, Pihtipudas.