Birds of passage – seminar

20 years of Skaftfell’s artist-in-residency program have resulted in 250 artists coming to Seyðisfjörður and to East Iceland. 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.

We will look back at the development of this program, watching it expand from being an occasional, informal guest studio on Skaftfell’s third floor to being a busy all-year-round program hosting up to six artists at a time in three to four residency houses throughout the town. A good handful of people have worked with the residency artists in Seyðisfjörður over the years, they have been their hosts, their first audience, their main contact persons in an unfamiliar place. The seminar is a part of the exhibition Birds of passage 1998-2018, that is ongoing in the gallery until June 10.

The seminar brings Skaftfell’s former and present “art workers” and facilitators together with colleagues from similar residency programs in East Iceland, and invites them to share their thoughts and experiences regarding the art of hosting. We would like to hear through their stories what the presence of all these visiting artists has meant to them individually, and what it has contributed to their art organization, their local context, and to their understanding of artistic agency. We also hope to inform a wider audience about what the Skaftfell residency program is currently doing, and where we plan to go with it. Most importantly, the seminar will discuss why it is locally and globally important to continue to support and develop artist residency programs, and to host artists from all over the world in remote regions such as East Iceland. 

Moderator is Julia Martin.

The seminar will take place in English and is open to the public.