About Reijo Raekallio
Celebrating 30 years of art!
Visual Artist Reijo Raekallio - capturing motion and light
For 50 years Reijo Raekallio has been painting pictures of everyday life portraying people, reindeer, nature, motion - focusing on the atmosphere and the light. Reijo’s paintings are based on imagination. Both animal and human characters are caricatures. His vivid deep coloured aquarelles have been described magnificently colourist.
The home gallery building - designed by the artist - is a beautiful sight in itself. And inside you will always find a varying exhibition of 100 or so paintings.
Reijo’s spouse Maria Grandell warmly welcomes guests fluently in Finnish, Swedish, German or English. Maria takes care of the gallery and runs the cafe, guest house and catering side of the business. Her occupation is hotel and restaurant manager.
Reijo Raekallio was born in Kittilä June 22nd 1950. He was the 10th of the 11 children by Urho Raekallio and Aili (maiden name Tervo). The smallholder family had immigrated from Petsamo.
Reijo started painting as a hobby in 1968. In 1969 he already had his first exhibition in Kittilä, and also succeeded in taking part in Ars Artica exhibition in Rovaniemi. In 1974-77 he studied in Lahti Art School and joined the Finnish Painters’ Union in 1978. From 1977 he taught visual arts in Pälkäne for a semester, and then went on to teaching in Lapland Art School in Tornio for three years.
In 1981 he moved to Pöntsö and started building the gallery. He was a member of Lapland Arts Council for three years, and the president for another three. Reijo received the Kittilä Art Award in 1988. That same year the art gallery was built and it has been open and running ever since - open every day for 30 years.
1992-98 Member of the Central Arts Council of Finland
1985 Ars Artica Award
2000 Cross of Merit of the Order of the Lion of Finland
Reijo has had 13 solo exhibitions in Helsinki and 10 in Rovaniemi, plus more in Oulu, Turku, Tampere, Kuopio, Vaasa, Pori and Savonlinna. He has had 68 solo shows altogether, some of them abroad in Hungary, Sweden, USA, Germany, France, Russia, Bulgaria, Portugal and Norway. Reijo has also taken part in 96 group exhibitions, and has his artwork on show in several collections, museums and private collections around the world.
Reijo tends to paint several paintings at the time - sketching, painting and drawing, always being very productive. Reijo is also an amateur musician, playing the mandolin and some violin too.