Experience Finnish design by a cup of coffee and some cake at Katja Hagelstam Lokal!
A by passer cannot miss the new design treasure on Annankatu street! The tall window awakens one’s interest and the text “72% art, 28% coffee”, that embellishes the window, brings a smile upon one’s face. When one dares to walk in, it’s like stepping into spring – the homelike gallery is full of playful pastel colors and numerous artworks that charm with their details. The unique feature in this space is its intimacy: all visitors, even if they are strangers, naturally start to talk about art with each other when visiting the gallery.
The gallery Katja Hagelstam Lokal, which you find in the Design District close to the commercial center of Helsinki, presents and sells artwork of Finnish designers and artists – in fact all items, furniture and paintings alike, are for sale. Each design item has its own description tag with price.
The owner, photographer Katja Hagelstam, has realized her own dream and brought a cozy gallery to Helsinki where one enjoys art alongside coffee and cake. She runs the gallery mainly by herself, but sometimes her daughter helps out. The self-made cake that changes on a daily basis and the fact that the owner makes the coffee in an open kitchen in front of the customers talks about Hagelstam’s passion for her work. Mainly Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo’s coffee blends are used at Lokal, and they can even be bought home or as souvenirs.
Hagelstam is an expert on everyday life design – she’s even written a book about it called “20-12 Design Stories” which can be seen and bought at Lokal, in Finnish and English. The place’s sincere hospitality one notes also by the guestbook where visitors can leave their greetings to the owner. Visitors have also been taken into consideration since Hagelstam sells books about Finland, in English.
A lovely detail is that the gallery also sells second hand books in English.
The gallery itself consists of a living room like space with a wide window, through which one can observe the city, an open kitchen and a so called studio space. The studio adds to the authentic feel of the gallery since it shows that Hagelstam truly works in the space as well, it’s not merely a shop.
A nice surprise for visitors might also be that the current exhibition Kevätsalonki (in English Spring Salon) shows off Finnish nature in a unique way. In addition to fresh branches, the exhibition showcases and sells some stunning nature themed artworks, e.g. birds and mushrooms.
The gallery changes its exhibition about once a month, and a good hint for art lovers might be to visit the exhibition openings because then it’s possible to meet the artists and designers behind the artworks. Because the exhibitions change so often, the gallery is worth a visit at least once a month!