Mikkelangelot, a local art society, has its facilities here, as well as Mikkeli Centre of Photography. The rhyming sign next to the doorbell politely implies: "Ring the bell, wait a while /And you can enter / art in style" or something like that... On the broom that leans on the wall, someone has scribbled that the first to enter must sweep the stairs! I step inside the Mikkeli Centre of Photography but find it is deserted, except for the two men doing some renovation work. I check out the wall of photographs and return back outside.
On the other side of the street there is a football field below the street level, totally covered with snow of course. A cross-country skiing track has been made around the football pitch - skiing is about the only thing you can do there at this time of the year!
At the corner of Ristimäenkatu and Hallituskatu streets, the posters insist that I must visit the corner building, Mikkeli Art Museum. Today the museum features Southern Savo regional exhibition, besides the permanent exhibitions in the impressive granite building that represents Art Nouveau style. The welcome is friendly and I get a brief introduction to both the museum and its exhibits. The building was first a post office but before becoming a museum, it has also served as a police station, including some jail cells!
A local or regional art exhibition may not sound like much but the works of some artists are really impressive, notably those of Nadia Zubareva and the human sculptures made of metal net; Anna-Liisa Kuosmanen's fabulous red double bass woven of willow; Pippa Laurio's black and white works that create an illusion of being three dimensional, and Pirjo Vartiainen's autumnal willowherb painting in its fantastic colours.