About Contact AiR Studios Projects Workshops ︎ ︎
Situated in the center of the Lofoten Islands, lies the artists’ collective Kunstkvarteret Lofoten, where local artists have permanent studios and guest artists can come and work for periods of up to three months.
Since its start in 2008 Kunstkvarteret has hosted several international symposiums and seminars, as well as organizing small exhibitions.
Recently we have become an authorized “Artist In Residence” institution in collaboration with Nordland County and Vestvågøy kommune, the island’s municipality.
The house is located in the middle of the island, 4 km from Leknes, the island’s business and administrative centre, which also has an airport and large shopping centre. Fifteen minutes to the south is Stamsund, with theaters, galleries and port of call for the coastal steamer Hurtigruta.
On the neighbouring island and one hour to the East is the town Svolvær and the Artist Union’s headquarters Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, Here every other year the international art festival “LIAF” is held. In the town next to Svolvær we find Kabelvåg, where the Nordland Art and Film School is located, as well as several galleries.
About the AiR programme
The residency programme at Kunstkvarteret Lofoten has been based on the ideas coming from the local artists that have their studios at the house. In 2007, when the artist house was established, there were already plans for a future with international artists visiting, but the first years there was a lot of work getting the infrastructure in place. It was originally an old people's home, with several small bedrooms, so it had to be modified to make artist studios and living quarters.
Since the artists at Kunstkvarteret already had contacts in Russia, there was a great symposium with 20 Russians the first summer, with seminars, workshops and a joint art exhibition at the end. The year after five of the Norwegians artists were invited to St. Petersburg for a show in collaboration with The Russian Artist Organization.
We invited people from all over to apply for residency space through an Open Call the year after, and that has been the case since. Then we received around 60 -70 applications, and we could choose the artists that we think would be beneficial to the community.
The criteria for selecting the residency artists are therefore both artistic quality, the content of the proposed project and involvement in the community. The artist is asked to explain why she/he wants to visit Lofoten as a residency place.
The aims of the residency programme has been:
1. To bring international artists with outstanding quality to the Lofoten islands, so they can work in the environment of the Arctic, relating both to the nature and the people.
2. A plan of interaction with the local community, so the public also gets to meet the artists in a natural setting- either through an art project, or just through a show or an artist talk.
3. The research around the environmental issues of the Arctic are of special interest, as we also wish to have scholars from other disciplines as visitors.
4. Through this networking Kunstkvarteret Lofoten wants to be an active part in developing the area of the Lofoten islands in a sustainable way, focusing on local culture mixed with other cultures, welcoming refugees, but resenting mass tourism and exploitation.