• Exhibition

Matti Pikkujämsä Illustrator of the Year 2019 – Award Exhibition

Sep 7, Sat 13:00-20:00
Sep 8, Sun 10:00-20:00
Sep 9, Mon 10:00-20:00
Sep 10, Tue 10:00-20:00
Sep 11, Wed 10:00-20:00
Sep 12, Thu 10:00-20:00
Sep 13, Fri 10:00-20:00
Sep 14, Sat 10:00-20:00
Sep 15, Sun 10:00-20:00
Hanasaaren galleria, Hanasaarenranta 5
Event type
Free Admission
Accessibility for all

The first winner of the Illustrator of the Year Award in history, Matti Pikkujämsä, will be showcasing his award exhibition in the Hanaholmen Gallery starting from September. This is the beloved artist’s first solo show in the Helsinki region. The award exhibition presents a wide range of Pikkujämsä’s work, which is inspired by nature, craftmanship and Japanese aesthetics. There is plenty to look at for both aesthetes and families with children.

The exhibition is arranged by the Finnish Illustration Association in collaboration with the Hanaholmen Cultural Centre, and in cooperation with Design Museum, Kunstventures, Lapuan kankurit, Postal Museum, Posti and Samuji.

The exhibition is part of the Helsinki Design Week programme. Following the theme of the festival, learning climate, we warmly recommend you to use public transport or a bike when arriving at Hanasaari.

Before the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, 7 September, we will gather at the main entrance of the Koivusaari metro station at 12.30 to walk the last part of the trip together. You are welcome to walk with us!

Click here to register for the opening event.


Learn more about the artist:

“An Illustrator Who Breathes Through His Pen”

A professional jury chose Matti Pikkujämsä (b. 1976 in Oulu) as the first Illustrator of the Year in history based on the following reasons:

Matti Pikkujämsä constantly develops himself and boldly ventures into new areas. He is a phenomenal talent and an outstanding illustrator who breathes through his pen. His illustrations are not just decorations, but stories. His characters are alive. He has served as a role model for many illustrators, but has a humble approach to his talent, understanding that it only forms the underlying framework for actual work. Matti Pikkujämsä exports a Finnish visual landscape out into the world. Although he works internationally, his illustrations portray the Finnish spirit with their spruces and domestic animals. His style features echoes of Nordic design from the previous decades, depicted from a new, fresh perspective. Pikkujämsä takes Finnish expertise out into the world with his sympathetic, skilled touch. He has illustrated more than 20 picture books for children. He has designed textile patterns for Kauniste, Marimekko and Samuji, among others, and regularly does illustrations for Helsingin Sanomat.  Pikkujämsä is also a popular painter of portraits and has made the almost lost tradition of portrait painting trendy again. A Valentine’s Day postage stamp set illustrated by Pikkujämsä was released in February this year. In the Cup of Therapy project, Pikkujämsä illustrated mental health problems and wellbeing to make them visible.

The Illustrator of the Year 2019 was announced in the Hanaholmen Cultural Centre on 31 May during the spring seminar of the Finnish Illustration Association. “I cannot believe this,” said Pikkujämsä when he heard about the award.  “I feel like I have the obligation to be even better in the future.” Pikkujämsä won the Rudolf Koivu Prize in 2013 and the State Prize for Illustrations in 2015. This is the first time that the Finnish Illustration Association, which promotes Finnish illustration and the work of illustrators, has given him an award. 

The exhibition will be opened on 7 September and it will be on display until 27 October 2019.



More information:

Veera Pekkinen, Curator (Illustrator of the Year Award; exhibition and artworks)


+358-(0)44 7696291

Aino Kostiainen, Programme Coordinator (Venue and general enquiries)


+358-(0)40 551 9933

More information


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