UPEA16 street art festival creates vibrant colors in Finnish autumn cities


13.10.2016 16:30

Beautiful murals were painted with Tikkurila’s paints in seven cities in Finland.

Street art enlivens and brightens up the urban landscape. The UPEA16 Street Art Festival has made street art available for everyone. This unique street art festival was organized in Finland for the first time in September 2016. Front-ranking overseas and Finnish artists were invited to create street art on a huge scale.

The festival took over seven Finnish cities: Helsinki, Hyvinkää, Hämeenlinna, Kemi, Riihimäki, Turku and Vaasa. In these cities, beautiful murals were painted with Tikkurila Kivisil facade paint and Yki paint for socles. The street festival was organized by the street art association, Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry. Tikkurila was one of the main sponsors of the festival.



The largest mural in Helsinki is the handiwork of the Italian artist, Tellas. This street-corner mural on the seven-story Nuorisosäätiö building is like an architectural feature of the house. Displayed in settings close to nature, works by Tellas are inspired by his personal interpretation of the dominant landscape and color scheme.

“I became inspired by the colors of the autumn season in Helsinki – this resulted in the color palette of the mural and in the name of the artwork, “Autumn in Helsinki”.” 


Images: Evaliisa Orupold


The Australian artist Guido van Helten has an unbelievable gift for capturing facial features and interpreting powerful emotions in his artwork. He builds the world featuring in his works by getting to know the people, culture and history of the location beforehand. Called Pinja, this work is a mural portrait by van Helten for a seven-story dwelling house in Helsinki. Murals by Van Helten are on display in locations such as Australia, Europe, the US and Greenland.

UPEA16 vanHelten UPEA16 vanHelten

Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry


The Swedish street art duo, GraffitiSthlm, created a mural on the end wall of a four-floor building belonging to the Helsinki Mother and Child Home Association. GraffitiSthlm’s art combines a playful and cartoon-like style with a traditional approach to graffiti based on vibrant colors.

”We want to make people happy with our paintings and add color to the gray cities around us,” said the GriffitiSthlm duo.

UPEA 16 GraffitiSthlm UPEA 16 GraffitiSthlm

Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry, Evaliisa Orupold



Finland’s highest street art mural (30m high), a masterpiece on the Vaasa fire station tower, demonstrates the talent of US artist Andrew Hem. In his works, Hem mixes graffiti-inspired urban imagery with dreamlike, poetic fantasy.

UPEA16 Andrew Hem UPEA16 Andrew Hem

Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry



Street artist WD, who is originally from Bali, painted a breathtakingly beautiful work of art on a five-story building during a period of two weeks in Kemi. WD’s murals tend to take advantage of the building itself, forming imaginative wholes that blend in with the forms of the structure. Drawing on comics and graphic novels, WD has a characteristic, photo-realistic style.


Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry



Arsek and Erase, an artist duo from Bulgaria, created an end-wall mural for Turun Nuori Teatteri. Arsek and Erase are sought-after artists currently engaged in a whistle-stop tour of events across Europe.

UPEA16 Arsek & Erase UPEA16 Arsek & Erase

Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry

Sillankorvankatu, Hyvinkää; Viipurintie, Hämeenlinna

Artist duo Kim Somervuori and Teemu Mäenpää created their murals in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. The works of Somervuo, who is from Espoo, combine street art with the more traditional high art. The roots of Mäenpää, who is from Tampere, lie in graffiti.

“Finland has developed a more positive attitude towards street art. Our works were greeted with unconcealed enthusiasm in Hämeenlinna and Hyvinkää,” they comment.

UPEA16 Somervuori & Mäenpää UPEA16 Somervuori & Mäenpää




Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry


Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu

The Swedish Ola Kalnins is a long-serving graffiti artist. His style is known for its deep but broken-up, burgeoning colors and clean graphical lines.

UPEA16 Kalnins UPEA16 Kalnins

Images: Katutaideyhdistys Päävärit ry

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