abc of ITE art

ITE art is Finnish contemporary folk art. The acronym ITE comes from the Finnish words ‘itse tehty elämä’, i.e. self-made life. ITE is art which is dependent on its maker’s environment and experience; it is a way to live a good life that emphasises aesthetic values.

ITE is the folk art of our times. In traditional folk art, the focus was on collectivity and tradition. In ITE art these values are replaced by individuality and unique creativity. Where traditional folk art was, above all, aesthetically elaborate handicraft, contemporary folk art is folk-like visual art based on skill and creativity.

ITE artists work outside the art world and display their work in their everyday environments. They are self-taught, which means they have no formal training in art-making. They do not look up to professional artists, nor do they need guidance or support from any amateur art clubs.

Text: Minna Haveri, Doctor of Arts

Ensio Tuppurainen created his Paradise in the village of Kääpälä in Vekaranjärvi, Kouvola. Photo: Veli Granö

Contact us

Do you need background information about ITE art, artists, art environments, surveys, collections, publications, international networks or the 20 years of ITE activities? Would you like to collaborate with us? At the Association for Rural Culture and Education, ITE art content is directed by Helka Ketonen, the Director for Cultural Affairs and coordinated by Raija Kallioinen, the Coordinator for Cultural Affairs.