Artica Svalbard was today opened by Her Majesty the Queen and Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, in Longyearbyen. The foundation will facilitate arts and cultural activities in Svalbard (Spitsbergen).
Artica Svalbard was established by the Ministry of Culture, Freedom of Expression and Cultural Industry Foundation by SpareBank1 northern Norway on November 8th of2016. The aim is both to strengthen the creative environment and industry on Svalbard, and to increase interest in Svalbard as a tourist destination.
Queen Sonja had the pleasure to conduct the official opening of Artica Svalbard today. And it was a joy, the queen was quite clear: ‘A triple delight.’
The queen nourishes a deep fascination and love of Svalbard, which she has visited a number of times the last 37 years.
Svalbard also contributed strongly and directly to the queen as a performing artist, and queen Sonja told how her shooting formations in a melt water grotto under the Scott – Turner glacier became the starting point for some of her first graphic works.
And this led in turn to queen Sonja Printing Award (QSPA). The establishment of a scholarship for graphic artists was the realization of an old dream for the queen. The sale of art folders based on graphics made by herself, Kjell Nupen and Ørnulf Opdahl was the foundation of QSPA.
What is it about Svalbard? Light, ice, landscape, serenity, infinity…!
– There’s something about this archipelago that is both larger and more subdued than any words can capture – More powerful, the queen said. It art must be used to describe this. And that is just what the Foundation Artica Svalbard facilitates with its Artist Residency Program.
The creation of an artist residency program, where both Norwegian and international artists can get a 3-9 month stay in Svalbard, is an important part of Artica Svalbard. Practitioners of the visual arts, literature and music are invited to create and communicate art.
Dissemination is important. Seminars, conferences and debates will explore the connections between art and development in the north, and put it all in a political and historical context. Outreach activities will also help to increase cultural activities for residents – not to mention tourists who adds journey to Svalbard.
Queen Sonja Print Award is participating
The queen’s own art foundation, QSPA, is among those who have signed an agreement of cooperation with Artica Svalbard. In the same way as Norwegian PEN, the North Norwegian Art Museum and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, the Queen Sonja Print Award is contributing candidates for the residency scheme.
Source: kongehuset.no / Norway Today