Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art

Name of Residency: Skaftfell Residency Program

The residency program at Skaftfell creates an environment for inspiration, focus, and experimentation. It allows artists to experience life and work in a unique community where creativity is applied to the everyday and offers conditions that enrich the dialogue between art and life. Almost 300 artists have come to Seyðisfjörður through the Skaftfell residency program since it started in 2002. Some have left a physical trace behind, or a trace in someone’s memory. Some have returned many times, and some have stayed for good. Skaftfell is far from the busy centers of contemporary art, and offers a refuge, a hiding place, and a thinking space for artists and other creative practitioners. We encourage artists in residence to embrace the idea of a slow residency, and to allow themselves time for contemplation, preparing the ground for a shift in their practices. The program is suited to visual artists, artists with interdisciplinary practices, curators and art writers.

Skaftfell offers two types of artist residency: Self-directed Residencies and Thematic Residencies

Self-directed Residencies

The self-directed residencies are for individual artists and artistic collaborators. They offer quiet time and space for independent research, reflection, and experiment. Artists are encouraged to use their stay for in-depth inquiries into their work processes and conceptual interests, to use the magnificent nature of Skaftfell’s surroundings as a source of energy and inspiration, to share thoughts with other residency artists, and to work at the interface of art and life, embedded in a small but vibrant rural community. The program is best suited for visual artists, but artists with interdisciplinary practices are also welcome to apply.

Duration: 1-3 months within the winter, spring, or autumn term. We encourage artists to stay for 2 months or longer, in order to get deeper into place and practice.

Accommodation and working spaces: Artists-in-residence live and work in various historical houses throughout the town, all within short walking distance to Skaftfell and to each other. The houses are set up as private or shared self-catering accommodation.

Costs for the artist: Residency fee, travel costs, project expenses, and meals will be paid by the artist. The residency fee covers self-catering accommodation with combined living/working space, as well as general and PR support from Skaftfell staff. The fee varies according to the chosen type of residency.

Thematic Residencies

Skaftfell’s thematic residencies create platforms for exchange, discussion, and collaboration amongst fellow artists from various disciplines, who share a professional interest in the residency’s topic, both on a practical and a conceptual level, and who wish to deepen their knowledge and expertise. They are developed and led by experienced professional artists invited by Skaftfell. The thematic residencies offer a 3-week intensive program for 6-8 artists, including group workshops, presentations, individual working time, and professional advice and support according to the residency’s topic and structure.

Accommodation and working spaces: Artists-in-residence for thematic residencies stay in shared self-catering accommodation. Shared working spaces with individual working desks for all participants will be set up in suitable locations according to the residency’s topic.

Costs for the artist: Residency fee, travel costs, and meals will be paid by the artist. The residency fee includes full tuition, shared self-catering accommodation, access to shared working spaces and equipment, basic materials if relevant, access to WiFi, and general and PR support from Skaftfell staff.

Residency Programme since: 2002
Description of Organisation:

Skaftfell, based in Seyðisfjörður in East Iceland, is a visual art center with the essential role of presenting, discussing and encouraging the development of contemporary art in a rural area.
Skaftfell was founded in the year 1998 by a group of artists and art enthusiasts, in memory of the artist Dieter Roth (1930-1998) who periodically lived and worked in Seyðisfjörður during the last decade of his life.
Skaftfell is situated in a grand timber house built in 1907. In addition to the main gallery, the building houses an artist apartment and studio, a bistro, and a small library and store for book-art, art-books, and related publications. Further residency apartments, studios, and the office are located in three other historical houses in the town.
Today Skaftfell is the regional visual art center for East Iceland, a meeting point for artists and locals, devoted to contemporary art on an international level. It is running a busy exhibition-, education- and residency program, hosting around 20 artists-in-residence annually, and organizing 4-5 long-term exhibitions per year. In recent years the center has participated in several international projects and collaborations. Within the region Skaftfell has an important role as provider of art education for young people of all age groups. Every year Skaftfell organizes and/or hosts various seminars with art students from the Icelandic Art Academy, with local and regional primary schools, and with other educational institutions within Iceland and abroad. In 2013 Skaftfell received an Icelandic award, Eyrarrósin, for outstanding cultural leadership in a rural area.
Skaftfell is a non-profit organization.

Organisation founded in: 1998
What type of organisation are you?:
  • Not-for-profit
  • Independent Association/Foundation
Working Languages:
  • English
  • German
  • Icelandic
Presentation of artists’ work: Arranged on a case-by-case basis
Duration of residency:
  • Months: 1 – 3
Number of studios: 3
Number of artists in residence at one time: 3
Studio type and size: Live/work studio
Accommodation type:
Private Room
Private Apartment
Shared Apartment
Private Cabin/House
Which disciplines does your residency cater to?:
  • Visual Art
What practical facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Private accommodation
  • Shared accommodation
  • Private studio / workplace
  • Shared studio / workplace
  • Kitchen
  • Space for partners, families, pets
  • Internet
  • Library
  • Office
Is your residency wheelchair accessible?: No
Companions Allowed:
  • Children
  • Partners
  • Application process: Digital application
    Do you charge an application fee for your residency?: No
    Do you charge a residency fee for your residency?: Yes
    If yes, what is the residency fee? (in your local currency): 75,000-105,000 ISK per person per month
    Do you provide the residents with any funds associated with the residency? (e.g. stipend, fellowship, production allowance): No
    Expenses paid by the artist:
    • Travel
    • Housing
    • Production costs
    • Food
    • Supplies
    Are artists expected to do one of the following during their residency stay?:
    • No requirements
    Other activities happening at the space:
    • Workshops
    • Presentation
    • Films
    • Exhibition
    • Cafe/restaurant
    • Open Studios
    Selection process: By committee
    Setting: Rural
    Nearest Airport: Egilsstaðir Airport
    How to reach by plane: Several airlines offer flights from various destinations to Keflavik International Airport. From Keflavik the Flybus takes you in 50 minutes to Reykjavik central bus station BSÍ. From the central bus station it is a 15 min walk or short taxi ride to the Reykjavik Domestic Airport. AirIcelandConnect operates domestic flights to Egilsstaðir several times a day: . The flight takes one hour. Be sure to estimate a minimum of 3 hours for transit from arrival time at Keflavik airport to departure time at the domestic airport in Reykjavik. A bus operates between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður twice a day on weekdays. Skaftfell does not have the possibility to arrange pick-ups at the airport, so it is advisable to book a flight that connects to the bus timetable:
    How to reach by train: There are no trains in Iceland but in the summer it is possible to take a bus from Reykjavik. The journey takes around 14 hours on the bus, and you need to make a one-night stopover on the way and change busses. In the winter the bus timetable might be restricted.
    How to reach by car: It is possible to drive the 700 km from Keflavik/Reykjavik to Seyðisfjörður in a rental car via the ring road no. 1. From Egilsstaðir it is a 25 min drive over the mountain pass Fjarðarheiði to Seyðisfjörður. In winter the road and weather conditions can be very bad. They demand a 4 wheel drive vehicle with winter tires from October to April or May.
    How to reach by boat: From mainland Europe the ferry Norröna sails from Hirtshals in Denmark directly to Seyðisfjörður and takes passengers and cars during most of the year.
    Street & Number: Austurvegur 42
    Postal Code: 710
    City: Seyðisfjörður
    Country long: Iceland
    Austurvegur 42
    Seyðisfjörður 710 ISL
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