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Riina Tervo

Art educator


+358 40 5149 502



96800 Rovaniemi


Who am I?

I am an art lover and pedagogue. Creative work has always been strongly present in my life, and I found myself close to art as a child. I have applied to the field of education because in my work I want to help people understand how with the help of art we can create meanings in our lives, influence, touch, be present and achieve something valuable. I see that through art and creative work we create connections with people, phenomena and the environment around us; art has an impressive power that should not be underestimated, but on the contrary strengthened.

As a teacher, friend, partner and colleague, I am an adaptable, creative and encouraging person. Conscientiousness, thoroughness and punctuality are present in almost everything I do, sometimes even too much. When I feel passionate about something or something, I tend to throw myself into it and give it my all.

I have always been eager to observe the world around me through drawing, painting and videography. Creative and artistic work has brought me security, joy and meaning in life in many ways. I have attended art school for ten years throughout my childhood and youth, I have been able to admire art from all over the world in various museums, from the Louvre in Paris to the Kaukonen Särestöniemi museum, I have curated and been part of art exhibitions, and I have studied myself as a bachelor of arts. I will graduate with a Master of Arts in the end of the year 2023. 

In addition to art, I have always been interested in different cultures and travel. After high school I tried my wings and lived in Paris, France during my gap year. However, the peace, nature and slower pace of life at home began to beckon amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, and I moved back to Rovaniemi, where I was born and spent my childhood. I understood my appreciation and longing for the northern nature very strongly at that time. Nature, and especially the nature of the north with its coniferous forests and dangers, has become a very important part of my life. I move a lot in nature as a hobby, for example running with my dog, I draw artistic inspiration from nature. Nature is everything and we as humans are part of it. So I see that the appreciation of the environment and sustainable choices in our everyday life are of paramount importance. 


After returning to Rovaniemi to study at the University of Lapland, I applied for tourism research on the social sciences side. I got in and studied myself for a bachelor's degree in social sciences. As a secondary subject, I completed the basic and subject studies of cultural history. After my bachelor's degree, I did not continue with my master's studies, because my interest in art had grown so significant that I decided to apply to the same university to study visual arts education at the faculty of arts.


So I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in art education, and as a minor I completed visual arts subject studies. At the moment, in addition to my master's degree, I am studying history, for which I am qualified as a history subject teacher in addition to visual arts. In my opinion, history and visual arts are intertwined in many ways and support each other. In order to learn about the present, the world and ourselves, we must understand the past and everything that has brought us to this day, this moment. Art always tells something about its time, building history. History is multi-layered in our lives like art, and for this reason I feel that teaching history and visual arts is very important, a matter of the heart.

What kind of teacher am I?

Fairness, justice, willingness to experiment and open-mindedness guide me in everything I do. I want to emphasize these issues also in art education and in my work as a teacher. As a teacher, I support the development of the learner's understanding of art, and promote knowledge of art and visual culture in as many ways as possible.


As an art educator, I have versatile knowledge and expertise in managing various techniques and materials. I always try to use existing, recycled or natural materials in my teaching if possible. My technical strengths are acrylic and oil painting, working with painting bases, mixed media and videography.

Through my teaching work, I want to achieve something good, meaningful and constructive.  I feel that art can be the tool through which we can find something empowering in ourselves, and with this also in others and the environment. As a teacher, I offer a safe environment where everyone is valuable, and where everyone's needs and ways of creating are equally supported. I want to show how each of us has artistic potential; art is not measured only by technical skills, knowledge of color theory or brushstrokes. Art is about throwing yourself, the joy of making and putting yourself in the hole. Daring, bravery and intuitive, carefree and playful activity. Failures, blunders, problem solving and finding creative solutions. What is truly and sincerely the innermost of you. Excluding external noise, and listening to and reflecting on one's own inner voice. Art can currently be a journey to yourself, but also to the people around you. Interaction and communal activities as part of creative work can open up new dimensions alongside independent work. and this is what I want to emphasize in my teaching.

I see that art primarily brings security, it nourishes and touches, but with art you can also influence. In my teaching, I want to show how art can be used to take a stand and promote things that are important to you. With the help of art, we can change the world, address grievances in our society and bring current issues into the discussion. Art can play numerous roles as lyricist, processor, solver and creator of new narratives. It is therefore important that the power of art is understood and made aware. 

Experiences in teaching work

I have teaching internships, placements, museum pedagogy and mapped out what the work of an art educator is like on a practical level through association work. I have already learned a lot, and understood how diverse and varied tasks the job of a teacher can contain. I have been able to teach people of all ages, from preschoolers in early childhood education to seniors in art workshops. The repertoire of learners in this work is huge, and I feel that this is precisely the most rewarding aspect of the work of an art educator. I get to meet different people, of different ages, from different backgrounds and from different artistic starting points. Depending on the work environment and location, I can work with a very motley crew. 

I have sometimes collected feedback on my teaching both verbally and in writing using questionnaires. The feedback has been positive and encouraging. According to the feedback, the assignments were clear, the teaching of techniques and concepts was understandable and the teaching was consistent. The comment of one of the internship supervisors stuck in my mind particularly strongly, and created faith in the fact that I can do my job well:

You are natural and self-confident in a teaching situation. It was amazing to hear the growth story from a timid thrill-seeker to this point. You tell and teach enthusiastically and expertly, the passion for the matter and the subject is visible. You have done great effort and groundwork throughout the training. You can see the cleverness and maturity of the students. You present ideas and works that require maturity. You dare to challenge students to think and expand their art concepts. The training went really well for you. You will be a top and dedicated teacher who knows how to encourage and bring out the best skills and self-expression in students.

Below are pictures from lessons and workshops that I have been able to organize and teach. 

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