The permanent exhibition called Encounters on the Border showcases Torne Valley culture and history on both sides of the Finnish-Swedish border. The second part of the permanent exhibition, called Our Cities on the Border, tells the history of Tornio and Haparanda. We also have 4 or 5 shorter term exhibitions per year. These focus on different aspects of current phenomena and the history of the area.
The exhibition “Master in the Museum” from February 17th to May 28th, 2023, focuses on the long and award-winning career of Mikko Saarenpää, the museum master (Museum Techinician) of Tornio Valley Museum and Aine Art Museum. Mikko has been awarded the Golden Badge of Merit by the Finnish Museum Association for his 30-year career and the numbered medal of the association, which is its highest recognition.
For the exhibition both the Tornio Valley Museum and the Aine Art Museum have searched their storages for a wide range of exhibition structures, tools, and objects. Even Mikko’s riverboat, which he built himself, has been placed in the museum’s temporary exhibition hall. In addition, the exhibition features the painting “After the Attack” by the artist Jouko Alapartanen, whose frames Mikko has made. Mikko’s contribution is also highlighted in the museum’s permanent exhibition’s halls, the most significant of which is the summer barn made of logs.
“Master in the Museum” also addresses the general job description of museum masters in museums, as their craftsmanship often goes unnoticed behind skillfully constructed exhibition structures. The museum master is responsible for exhibition construction, installation, transportation, technology, and tasks related to collection management, such as ensuring storage conditions in accordance with museum standards for museum works. “The job of a museum master requires good nerves. You need to have an eye and a vision for what you’re doing,” says Mikko about his work as a museum master. “Working with art gives a lot to life. And in a museum, you can also look at objects, take inspiration from them, and learn.” The exhibition is in Finnish and in Swedish.