est. 1984 – educating artists of all ages



Nordic Art School is an independent art school with a two-year study program in art. Many of our students continue their education at art academies across the Nordic countries and beyond, but some have finished academy or other university education to spend a year at our school.

The high standard of our education is widely recognized, as it has been the first step in the career of many artists currently working independently or at art universities and academies. On a case to case basis studies completed by Nordic Art School alumni have be credited at a bachelor degree level at some institutions.



Nordic Art School was founded in 1984 and was the first art school of the Nordic countries based on a program of visiting guest teachers – providing the students a diverse selection of leading artists of the Nordic countries. Back then it was a Swedish/Scandinavian language school, serving the idea of Nordic commonship. The idea of Nordic commonship has been evolved over the years to include a more global approach, including the language.

Today Scandinavian, English and Finnish is used side by side, but English is used for lectures to reflect the student´s many backgrounds. Nordic Art School of today has an identity of the Nordic countries and beyond, based in the beautiful Finnish city of Kokkola with its original wooden houses and early modernist buildings in a landscape of rivers and seaside. The school building is a wonderful example of Finnish wooden architecture inspired by Art Nouveau, situated close to the city center a short walking distance to all attractions. Unlike other art schools each and every student get a studio from day one where they work independently guided by visiting teachers and our two main teachers [more information in the sections below].



We are proud to have educated hundreds of artists that are active in many countries. The times have changed since 1984: the cold war ended, internet was introduced and changed everything. Art itself changed too: today we are much more than the classical art school based on model studies and traditional media that made the school famous. In Nordic Art School drawing and painting still serves as important media and significant artists in the field of painting and drawing are teaching at our school. We did not throw out our legacy, but expanded it. Today Nordic Art School is well equipped with digital equipment, giving our students access to work with 3D modelling, video editing and much more, informed by contemporary culture and a belief in an open, unbiased dialogue. The interests of our students span from classical drawing and painting, digital modelling, photography and video, feminist theory, manga and cartoons, street art and we provide teachers who can engage in these and many more topics from their own professional work. The teachers are here for the students, not the other way around.



The school stands for an international openness to mirrors the working environment of many successful artists. In the Nordic art world “Kokkola” simply means Nordic Art School. It has changed the lives of many students from all the 5 Nordic countries Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, including the autonomous Greenland, Faroe islands and Aaland islands, plus the Baltic states and an increasing number of countries as far away as Japan. The school is a true reflection of the new Nordic identity and has served as a melting pot for decades giving young aspiring artists lifelong professional contacts from many nations.


  • You get your own studio space. [see some under FACILITIES]
  • You get inspired and learn from the various artists that visit and teach at the school [read more below about how have been visiting]
  • The wide spectrum of courses allows you to develop useful skills needed when working as an artist today. [see an exampel at the end of this page]
  • You meet many new frieds that share your interests.



The education is focused on art and its varying forms of expression. The study program consists of full-time studies with practical and theoretical workshops, which are arranged as one- or two-weeks courses. In order to create a focused co-learning environment all our courses are mandatory for the first year students. As a student you will learn to develop your ideas, conceptual thinking, process-based working, collaboration and networking skills. The language mostly used in teaching and lectures is English. The administrative language is Swedish, but Finnish is also used.





Yearly we offer several part time courses which are open for everyone. Information about the courses and enrollment are updated regularly on OPEN SCHOOL.



Our schedule mainly consist of courses conducted by our guest-teachers who are professional artists working nationally and internationally. As a student you get useful knowledge from these courses that you can apply to your own art practice. Why not invite the guest-teachers for a talk in your studio!

HERE you can find names of artists that have been guest-teachers



To guarantee continuity in your learning process, you are provided with two part-time teachers. Currently they are Meri Linna and Erno Enkenberg. They teach courses and are also available on request to help you with your artistic development.

Meri Linna holds a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (KUVA). She is the Director of Studies at Nordic Art School and she also teaches courses at the aforementioned academy. Linna´s artistic practice is collaboration-based and her long-term engagement is with the artist duo Harrie Liveart. Her career started here at the Nordic Art School.

Erno Enkenberg is the Creative Director and holds a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (KUVA). Enkenberg is based in Helsinki and is regularly available at the school for teaching and studio visits. His is a painter and but also makes installations out of card board and paper.



Nordic Art School is a not-for-profit institution and is mainly financed by yearly applied grants. The study fee guarantees the high quality of our guest-teacher program. Quality is what you pay for!

  • The tuition fee is 790€ per semester and includes all teaching, tuition and personal instruction. The school year consists of two semesters.
  • Getting to know professional artist in a relaxed environment is the base for valuable networking.
  • A basic amount of materials is provided for each course.
  • In the weekly artist-talks you get first-hand inspiration from the artists themselves.
  • The school arranges two yearly study-trips. Travel, accommodation and entry fees are covered by the tuition fee, but usually a subsided fee of approximately 40-150€ from each participating student is collected.
  • All open-courses during the weekends at the school are free of charge for the regular students if there are available places.



Teaching hours take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 9:00 and 16:00. On Wednesdays and Thursdays between 12:00 and 20:00. Aside from the weekly program the students have the possibility to work in the school facilities during evenings and weekends.

  • Wednesdays at 18:00 – Artist Talk. The guest-teachers or invited artists present their artistic   work.
  • Thursdays at 18:00 – Croquis – Life drawing class.



The schedule has a selection of workshops in different techniques such as drawing, painting, printmaking, three-dimensional works and time-space related mediums.

Spring term 2018 schedule:




Finding a place to rent in Kokkola is relatively easy. Student accommodations can be found privately or through the student accommodation agency, Tankkari.



Studies at the Nordic Art School entitle students to grants and subsidies from their respective home countries. In questions of eligibility, please refer to the student aid authorities in your country.