Icelandic Art Center

The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 

The Icelandic Art Center promotes and supports Icelandic contemporary art internationally through grants, collaborations and projects. The Center facilitates professional partnerships, visitor programs and international artist collaborations. The Center serves as an information hub for curators, press, artists and art institutions.

The Icelandic Art Center operates three funds supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The funds are divided into three categories: the Visual Arts Fund; Travel Grants; and Artist House Bethanien (Kunstlerhaus Bethanien).

The Visual Arts Fund works in accordance with the Visual Arts Act no. 64/2012. Its objective is to establish provisions regarding the organization and management of matters relating to the visual arts, as well as promoting and creating favorable conditions for visual arts in Iceland. Allocations from the Fund are granted for artists setting up their own exhibitions and those working in the art field in general. These are considered project grants and are divided into a few categories: preparatory grants; grants for smaller exhibitions; grants for larger exhibitions; publication and research grants; and other grants. The amounts allocated to projects should reflect on what scale the project is.

The Visual Arts Fund usually makes allocations biannually, but in 2020 a special additional allocation was conducted due to the COVID pandemic.

The Travel Grants managed by the Icelandic Art Center are intended for visual artists based in Iceland, who have held professional exhibitions and are planning on exhibiting their artistry. These are primarily intended to ease the mobility of artists and may cover costs of traveling, accommodation and other general travel related expenses. In order to receive a Travel Grant allocation an artist must have a confirmed offer to exhibit their artwork at an art institution, gallery, publisher or similar for the same year that the Grant covers. Travel grants are allocated three times a year.

The Artists House Bethanien has signed an agreement with the Icelandic Art Center regarding residencies for Icelandic artists in Berlin. The agreement is made for a five year period, the current being 2020-2025, with each residency spanning one year. This provides artists with a private studio and access to workshops and libraries, with the option of living in the studio.

What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 

Various projects from numerous different artists have been supported by the Fund. This has allowed several exhibitions to be executed, broadening cultural expressions nationally as well as the ability of the public to enjoy various diverse works of visual art. In 2019, 129 projects received allocations from the Fund.

Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 

In 2019, 318,541 USD (50.4 million ISK) was allocated from the Fund over the course of two separate allocation periods.

An additional 417,399 USD (57 million ISK) will be allocated in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the government's response.

Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Icelandic Art Center
Public Sector