The Government is partnering with private actors to establish a new foundation with a mandate to develop an art residence and atelier on Svalbard.
Partners include the Queen Sonja Print Award, the Office of Contemporary Art (OCA) and the Northern Norway Art Museum. The Governor of Svalbard, Longyearbyen Community Council and Svalbard Museum are also involved in the project. Work is continuing to recruit additional private contributors.
“The establishment of an art residence and atelier is an investment in art which will put Svalbard and Norway on the international art map. Artists from all over the world can come here for a time to live, be inspired and create art. The project will benefit regional and international artistic dialogue. It forms part of our proactive High North policy, and is a direct outcome of the white paper on the future of Svalbard published in May,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.
The white paper stated the following regarding the art residence: “The Government will facilitate evaluation by the Northern Norway Art Museum of the potential for establishing an art residence/atelier for visiting artists.”
“We are honoured and delighted to be key partners of the Svalbard Art Residency, as part of the Art in Svalbard Foundation. It is a natural fit with “Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North” – a programme of lectures, new writing, exhibition projects, research journeys and residencies curated by OCA – through which we are actively working with international artists, curators and other thinkers to link their concerns with those of the North. This significant announcement coincides with the first Svalbard conference ‘Thinking at the Edge of the World’ in collaboration with NNMK Tromsø, and we are excited about the international attention this will bring to the region. We look forward to helping forge many imaginative and profound intellectual and personal relations between artistic and other related communities within and beyond Norway as a result of this new residency programme,” says OCA Director Katya García-Antón.
“Northern Norway Art Museum founded Kunsthall Svalbard in Longyearbyen in February 2015. Our first residency project has also just been completed, resulting in the exhibition Olav Christopher Jenssen: The Expedition. We look forward to cooperating with other actors on the establishment of a permanent artist residence and atelier on Svalbard. Through this project we can continue to further develop our ongoing work here, with art as a locally rooted driver of Svalbard’s future,” says Northern Norway Art Museum Director Jérémie Michael McGowan.