Pihtipudas - an active village of sport and culture

Activities in Pihtipudas

News and events

When you step out of Koto Hotel’s door, you are within easy reach of the finest leisure trails – or in the middle of services, if you prefer. The nearby area provides opportunities for magnificent experiences in the nature, whether you are looking for extreme experiences or would like to listen to silence, breathing the pure air of the Heart of Finland. If you are interested in the extensive and versatile range of cultural and sports events in Pihtipudas and the nearby regions, you can, for example, walk or cycle from the hotel to watch a home game of women’s Finnish League volleyball, or watch horse racing in the idyllic setting of the Pihtipudas sands.

We always have the latest information about the top events in Pihtipudas and the nearby region and are happy to help you with the arrangements, whatever you decide to experience during your holiday. 

The versatile experimenter Sirpa Kemppainen surprises with colours and arrangements

Art exhibition Kylässä/Visiting in Koto Hotel 2 December 2022 - 28 February 2023.


Sirpa Kemppainen's art exhibition in Koto Hotel Pihtipudas

Sirpa Kemppainen's naive works are a warm splash of colour in the heart of Koto Hotel’s winter in Pihtipudas. The animals of the forest adventure in the fascinating settings of the acrylic paintings. Weir net sculptures, which are important to the artist, are also on display in the exhibition.   The artist Sirpa Kemppainen, who lives in Jyväskylä and originally comes from Viitasaari, now organises her first private exhibition in Pihtipudas. The exhibition titled Kylässä (“Visiting”) mainly consists of her recent naive, fairly large acrylic works. – The name of my exhibition reflects the thought that I come for a visit to Koto Hotel. With my art, I want to bring colour and joy, as well as highlighting the diversity of nature, says Kemppainen.   What fascinates her in naive expression in addition to the rich colours is the possibility for experiments and many kinds of surprises. Indeed, for example a moose drawn by a grandchild, the sun, a blueberry, autumn’s red leaf, a deer and a rock painting symbol can all be found in a single artwork.   It speaks of Sirpa Kemppainen’s versatility that in addition to acrylic paintings, she creates artworks from weir net and wire, as well as paintings by carving plywood. These can also be sampled in Koto Hotel’s exhibition. Kemppainen has also tried her hand at bronze casting.   Energy from autumn colours   Bears, deer and birds are often in the main role in Kemppainen’s paintings and plywood carvings. Her naive expression includes distinctive arrangements, flamboyant use of colour, as well as sweet warmth. – Nature, and in particular the autumn, inspire me. Autumn colours give energy, and in autumn time, I may paint enough for other seasons. I do not prepare drafts for my works – I design them in my head and start implementing them on the basis of my mental image. Some of the image themes I transfer to my works using a wax paper template and often, white borders separate the animal characters from the background of the paintings.   In addition to fish and forest animals, berries are the most common symbols used by Kemppainen. And the reason is easy to find. – I am a passionate berry picker! I pick cranberries and cloudberries as well as blueberries and lingonberries. And at the same time, I observe everything I see around me. I draw endless inspiration from the richness of the seasons, says Kemppainen.   Experience of over 70 exhibitions   Kemppainen started her artist career with weir net works in mid-1990s along with her day job. – During the days, I worked as a secretary and in the evenings, I made art. My first own exhibition was in Viitasaari, in the Heinäaho summer gallery in Mäntylä village in 1996. Our family’s beloved summer cottage is in Mäntylä village, and we spend a lot of time there in all seasons, says Kemppainen.   Kemppainen, who retired a couple of days ago, has exhibited her works already in over 70 exhibitions. The works have been juried over the years also for several joint exhibitions of the Jyväskylä Artists’ Association.   At the beginning of December, she will bring an art collection to Koto Hotel. Some of the works will be changed in January. In this way, the audience has an opportunity to see a wider selection of her works. Sirpa Kemppainen is already the eighth artist whose exhibition is displayed in the hotel. Since autumn 2020, Koto Hotel Pihtipudas profiled as an art hotel and received support for this from the Jyväskylä Artists’ Association.    Sirpa Kemppainen’s sales exhibition displays her acrylic works, weir net and wire sculptures, as well as paintings carved in plywood. The Kylässä (Visiting) exhibition will be in Koto Hotel 2 December 2022 – 28 February 2023, and in January, the artist will change some of her works. The exhibition can be viewed during the hotel’s opening hours, every day from 3 pm until 8 pm. The address is Keskustie 2, Pihtipudas. 

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Koto Hotel's solar power plant

The solar power plant consists of 50 solar panels.

Koto Hotel's solar power plant

Koto Hotel gets its own solar power plant

This autumn, the privately owned Koto Hotel Pihtipudas invested in a solar power plant comprising 50 solar panels. The plant will cover an estimated 11 percent of the hotel's annual electricity consumption. At the moment, all the electricity consumed by the hotel is renewable. – Our own solar power plant improves our energy self-sufficiency, and in the long term, will bring us significant savings. Moving to renewable energy will make our carbon footprint much smaller, which is an important sustainability goal for us, say hotel's owners Sirpa Laitinen and Anneli Williams. Already more than a year ago, Koto Hotel concluded an agreement with VENI Energia Oy, which has made it possible for the hotel to use only renewable electricity that mainly originates from the Nordic countries. The agreement includes hydro-, wind-, solar, bio- and geothermal energy. In addition, the hotel now has its own solar power plant on its roof, and several new air heat pumps are being installed in the building.  Koto Hotel received support for financing the solar power plant and the heat pumps from the Rural Development Fund's recovery funds. Laitinen and Williams acquired the 13-room hotel built in 1990 in spring 2019 and had an extensive renovation carried out in the property. At the time the renovation was completed, the coronavirus pandemic broke out, which hit the turnover and profitability of companies in tourist industry particularly hard. Koto Hotel's operators went through quite a difficult time in the early stages of their entrepreneurship. – Because we were new entrepreneurs, we did not receive any significant Covid support from the state in support of our business operations. We decided to survive nevertheless and succeeded by making tough adjustment measures. We laid off our staff fully or partially, we increased our own work input, we reduced our opening hours and adjusted our operations, say Laitinen and Williams. Now, the future of the hotel looks bright. At the moment, the hotel provides employment for one full-time employee and two part-time employees, as well as one extra, in addition to the two owner-entrepreneurs. – We have several ideas for developing our operations, and the solar power plant creates preconditions for developing the hotel's new services. For example, our guests will be able to charge their electric and hybrid cars in the hotel's charging station that works on solar power already in late 2022.   

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Talon tarinoita / Tales of a House performance in Koto Hotel

Action Painting

Talon tarinoita -performance in Koto Hotel

The Talon Tarinoita (Tales of a House) performance is a meeting of visual arts, dance art and music. The performers are visual artist Virpi Lehto and 4-5 dancers, as well as one musician. The art forms intertwine in the performance, creating an artwork that takes place in a moment, in which the dancers and the musician are inspired by the visual artist's artwork; by the forms appearing on the canvas, colours and images. An artwork in which the visual artist is inspired by the sounds created by the musician, the texts and the presence of the dancers. The performance is created using the Action Painting working method, utilising and being based on the Talon Tarinointa (Tales of a House) dance performance that will premier in autumn 2022 in Harjulinna, Muurasjärvi. It is a continuation of the performance series that brings the memories of Muurasjärvi to life. 

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Pysähtynyt parvi – A Flock at a Standstill

Virpi Lehto's exhibition of watercolours in Koto Hotel 12 August – 30 October 2022

Kuvataiteilija Virpi Lehto

Koto Hotel’s autumn art exhibition: Artworks are in dialogue with nature in Virpi Lehto’s watercolours

Virpi Lehto is a professional visual artist, who originally comes from Jyväskylä and currently lives in Joutsa. The new exhibition is already her second exhibition in Koto Hotel in Pihtipudas.   It is very important that art and culture are accessible everywhere and for everyone, irrespective of where they live, says Lehto.   Virpi Lehto has a long career as a visual artist. She studied visual arts in University of Barcelona's Department of Fine Arts, specialising in modern art. Her painting style is spontaneous and expressive. Lehto makes oil paintings, watercolours and ink-wash paintings, as well as performances and environmental art. Colour-filled symbolism has always been present in her artworks.   In the current exhibition in Koto Hotel, the artworks are in dialogue with nature. The works are watercolours and almost all of them from 2022. Often, a human and bird are present in the artworks to tell a story about a universal human state. In different forms of art, the bird may appear only as a glimpse – an almost inconspicuous flicker – but never unnecessary.     A bird means solace, longing, fear, threat – each viewer has their own interpretation.   IN ADDITION: TANSSIVA ELOKUU 2022 presents the TALON TARINOITA (TALES OF A HOUSE) performance together with visual artist Virpi Lehto in Koto Hotel. Friday, 19 August 2022 at 6 pm. Free entrance. Welcome !

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Reijo Veijalainen's exhibition of abstract art - 20.4 - 19.6.2022 

Reijo Veijalainen, abstract artist

Musta tuntuu – Reijo Veijalainen’s abstract art in Koto Hotel

  The exhibition of Jyväskylä-based visual artist Reijo Veijalainen titled Musta tuntuu is displayed in Koto Hotel, Pihtipudas from April until June. The exhibition consists of the artist’s oil paintings, which he has painted mainly this year and last year.   What is common for the paintings is black colour, which can be found in all the paintings – in small smidgens or as larger surfaces. – The use of black colour somehow fell between my wings about three years ago. Previously, I was a timid user of colour, but in the past few years, yellow, blue and red in addition to black have started to appear among my earthy colour palette, says Veijalainen.   Composition and play with forms   What is particularly important in Veijalainen’s abstract and minimalist expression is composition. He plays with nonfigurative and geometric forms of different sizes – and enjoys it. A close look reveals a square or a rectangle in almost every one of his works.   Veijalainen graduated from the painting line of the Kankaanpää art school in 1977. His first artistic works were collages and three-dimensional object assemblies, the materials for which he gathered from flea markets and dumps. Later, painting with oil on canvas has, however, completely captured him.   Veijalainen has never earned his living from art, and there have been long pauses in his art making. A year ago, he retired from the position of service supervisor of a community centre for the disabled. There, he used his creativity, among other things, to organise art projects implemented by disabled people. Seventh professional artist at the art hotel   Now, Veijalainen has more time for his own painting. After the Koto Hotel exhibition, he will have an exhibition in Galleria Hoppa in Jyväskylä, and in September, he will be Galleria Becker’s Artist of the Month. His paintings are in the collections of City of Jyväskylä, the Central Finland Health Care District Consortium and Jyväskylä Energy (currently, Alva), among others.   Since autumn 2020, Koto Hotel Pihtipudas has profiled as an art hotel and received background support in this from the Jyväskylä Artists’ Association. Veijalainen is already the seventh professional artist from Central Finland whose exhibition is seen in the hotel

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Oma tie - My way

Oma tie–My way exhibition at Koto Hotel until the end of 2021

Oma tie

Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen’s art brings light to the autumn darkness

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.

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Iana Vulpe myyntinäyttely

Iana Vulpe opens Koto Hotel Pihtipudas' new year of art

Koto Hotel's first art exhibition in 2021 presents the works of visual artist Iana Vulpe from Jyväskylä. 12 of her works are on display, the majority of which have been created in the past couple of years.   – I have used an experimental painting technique in the works, so-called process painting. In it, the brushstrokes do not remain visible. I have adopted this style from street art, where spray paints are used. I use surface colours and watercolours, says Vulpe. In her exhibition entitled The Root of the Universe, the artist, whose background is in graphic design, develops printed forms by the means of painting. According to the artist, the quality of print is the priority and only after that, the painting. In the exhibition works, strong colours and bold painting shapes are emphasised.    Vulpe also wants to use her example to inspire young people to try making art. – It is possible to create paintings for example on Finnish recycled plywood, like I do. In that case, the shape of the painting can be something other than the traditional rectangle. The protective covering on the plywood works is varnish, says Vulpe.   She says that her greatest sources of inspiration are scenery, people and events.  – For me, art is above all a thought process.   Indeed, in many of her works, Vulpe processes the great questions of existence and science, as the name of the exhibition, The Root of the Universe, indicates. – For scientific questions, I develop formulas, which are also visible in my works. The boundaries of science and art are blurred, and all things intertwine. The formula relating to the Root of the Universe can be found in one of the works in the exhibition.   Visual artist, graphic artist Iana Vulpe graduated from the Moldova Academy of Art in 2004. She has had numerous exhibitions in Finland as well as in Romania, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Italy and Moldova. She also works as art teacher in basic education in Jyväskylä, where she mainly teaches children.    Vulpe is a member of both Jyväskylä Artists' Association and Finland's Graphic Artists. Her works are for example in the collections of Central Finland Health Care District and the City of Jyväskylä.   Koto Hotel Pihtipudas has since autumn 2020 been profiled as an art hotel and received background support from Jyväskylä Artists' Association for this. Vulpe is already the third member of the Artists' Association whose exhibition is seen at the hotel. The intention is to present various art forms at Koto Hotel also in the future, within the limits set by the coronavirus situation.Visual artist Iana Vulpe's sales exhibition of mixed media paintings titled The Root of the Universe is on display at Koto Hotel, Pihtipudas, for two months from 1 January until 28 February 2021. The exhibition is open during the hotel's opening times Monday to Sunday from 3 pm until 9 pm. The address is Keskustie 2, Pihtipudas. www.kotohotel.fi

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Beauty of nature


Nature trails and outdoor recreation areas

A stone's throw from the hotel is a versatile sports park, where you can find a athletics field, three tennis courts, a beach volley field and a recently extended and renovated disc golf track. In winter, you can skate on an artificial skating rinks. The Ritovuori recreational area has a 5 km lit skiing track. 200 m from the hotel: sports park, tennis courts, outdoor gym, access to ski tracks 650 m from the hotel: (riverside trail Rantaraitti, about 1 km (birdwatching tower, a lean-to, possibility to swim - in winter, ice swimming 950 m from the hotel: Ritovuori outdoor recreational area, about 10 ha (a lean-to, a disc golf track) 2 km from the hotel: Heinäjoki nature trail 2/6 km (footbridge, birdwatching towers, a lean-to, a campfire) 3,2 km from the hotel: Rapeikko nature trail about 2 km (a lean-to, a campfire, a tar-burning pit)  in Muurasjärvi, about 30 km from the hotel: Yölampi-Imarrekivi-Harjuntakanen lean-to trail, 5 km  There are several beaches in Pihtipudas, the nearest are a couple of kilometres from the hotel.  If you would like to rent an electronic or non-electronic fatbike to explore the beautiful nature of Pihtipudas, please contact us ([email protected]).

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