The first regional center of photography in Finland, VB Center of Photography, has been working in Kuopio since 1987. VB Photography Centre's mission is to promote the culture of photography, especially in North Savonia and Eastern Finland, but it also works throughout the country and even abroad.
The main directions are exhibitions, media education and publishing. In addition, the center organizes cultural evenings, lectures, seminars and workshops. Exhibition activities are held all year round and are focused mainly on Finnish photography, but also on foreign production. The center has five exhibition halls, a library, workplaces and VB store. In summer the Barcelona cellar and a beautiful courtyard are also used.
The center began work in 1987 and is located in an idyllic wooden house, in the same building as the studio of photographer Victor Barsokevich (1863-1933). The property belongs to the city of Kuopio. Viktor Barsokevich's father (1863-1933) was a Pole by birth, and his mother was a Swede Finn.
Victor grew up in Helsinki. He arrived in Kuopio in 1887 when he married Adele Sallin. Sallin's own photo studio was destroyed by a fire, but a new photo studio called Barsokevitsch was opened at the corner of Minna Kant and Kuninkaankatu streets, which was also destroyed by a fire.
From 1894, the photo studio operated in the house on Kuninkaankatu - the same place where the VB photo center is now located. Barsokevichi also lived in this house, designed by the master builder P.J. Pitkänen, until 1927, when they moved to Helsinki to spend their retirement days.
The center represents mainly domestic photography, but also, in various cases, foreign photography. International summer exhibitions are popular with the general public.
The VB Center of Photography complements its collection of works, which includes not only original photos of Barsokevich, but also a summary of reproducible negatives from the collection of the Barsokevich Kuopio Museum. Negative collections of Barsokevich, 70,000 glass plates, are in the Kuopio Museum of Cultural History.