OAF communications assistent Mika Leminen interviewed Sami Helle and Toni Välitalo about the new Outsider Art Festival. Sami and Toni are former PKN punk band members and owners of Pertti’s Choice.
What were the thoughts that the Outsider Art Festival started from?
Sami: We wanted to showcase many kinds of outsider artists. There are a lot of good artists here and we wanted to give opportunities to everyone. Outsider art is very interesting and we wanted bring our people to the spotlight.
Toni: Pertti’s Choice is a great store, where you can buy shirts, eat cookies and dance. Pertti’s Choice sells shirts and advertises products.
What makes outsider art great?
Sami: Diverse artists, who’s art is very original. Outsider art is easy to approach. When I first got introduced to outsider art, I was like wow, this is amazing. I feel like something great is happening and we want to bring this forward.
Toni: Sami talks facts, I agree with Sami.
What are your expectations from this year’s festival?
Sami: That people arrive at the festival and everyone has a fun time. We hope that there are no problems. We want to become a good thing, be part of Helsinki and be part of the Helsinki Festival. That’s the most important thing.
Toni: I agree with Sami, He speaks the truth.
What kind of vision do you have for the festival’s future?
Sami: We want to make the festival an annual event. We will work with other festivals and show that outsider art is a great culture. We showcase disabled artists and other marginal groups. We want to replicate the concept. We want to employ disabled people and have fun.
Toni: People want punk-rockers and to get autographs, because PKN is always sold out. More sales, and soon Ilosaari and Ruisrock want to sell shirts too.
What other projects have you got going on?
I’ve got the Sam Heat trio, where I sing and write songs. It’s music that goes in every direction. The first album was released a few years ago and the second album is coming out in August. I had a performance in G Livelab club and that got me wishing for more gigs. I’m proud of the trio. Even though Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät is over, making music won’t stop.
Toni: I agree with Sami. I play drums in the Taikasydän band. Arttu sings, Jutta sings, our assistent plays bass and Kalle Salonen plays Hammond.
Sami and Toni: See you at the festival!