ArtSU's values: art, science and education

The first ever strategy of the University of the Arts Student Union was approved in the spring. The strategy outlines the long-term goals for ArtSU, but also its values. ArtSU’s values are Art, science and education, Ecological sustainability, Critical thinking and Sense of community and equality. The definition of each value can be found in the strategy but we also wanted to hear from members of the community to know what they think about them. That is why we asked actives of the student union to write or discuss what the values mean to them.

Art, science and education are crucial values to ArtSU and at the core of its activities. The chairpersons of the student union discussed this value, especially the meaning and importance of art:

Mikael Karkkonen:

Why is it that often the conversation is about both science and art? Comparing or equating them does not always make all that much sense.

Johannes Pessi:

Both are important on their own. Art is the product of a luscious soil that is ready to blossom. If art does not receive necessary investments, culture and art will wither.

Viivi Tigerstedt:

Art is a journal. It is layers of humanity, a history that is still ongoing. Art combines all that is intriguing about humans. It is a reflection of the past and a reflection of the future. The creation of art is communication. Each person’s personal cultural background has a great effect on how each individual creates art.


The meaning and importance of art is difficult to put into words but if I had to summarize with only one word, that word would be ‘life’. Art has been a pivotal part of my life since I sang in a boy choir as a child. If I were to lose art? That would certainly result in a deep crisis since it would mean losing the quintessential way of expressing myself. To me, art also includes a sprinkle of ambition. That I am able to do something someone else deems ‘high class’. That I can create something spectacular.


For me art, more specifically theatre, has been a calling. The yearn to search for and share something fundamental about our existence. Life is not eternal but art is.

I think that perhaps art moves a person especially strongly when one can find themself in the manuscript. After a person an audience member has come up to me and told me that the performance has both shattered and then reshaped them. Of course as an artist, that cannot be your only aim when you are working.


Each person looks at a piece of art from their own perspective. Sometimes when you are performing, you can see a person laughing and another crying. All in all a show of emotion is an instant form of feedback. As a performer in an opera, I am a medium for the artist through my own interpretation and voice.


I think the coolest moments have been when you recognize something you yourself have experienced before from another person’s feedback or reaction to your performance. Those moments are like flashbacks to those powerful experiences you have had that keep inspiring and moving you in inexplicable ways.

What does art mean to you? What is its relation to science and education?

Find the definitions of all the values and the entire strategy here: ArtSU's strategy 2022–2026

Johannes Pessi is the chairperson of the University of Arts Student Union. Johannes studies classical singing at Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts.

Viivi Tigerstedt is the vice chairperson of the University of Arts Student Union. Viivi studies accordion at the department of classical music at Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts.

Mikael Karkkonen is the vice chairperson of the University of Arts Student Union. Mikael studies in the programme of dramaturgy and playwriting at the Theatre Academy of the University of Arts. Mikael is also a student representative on the University Board.