Barents scholarship of EUR 10,000 goes to Lapland Artists' Association
The Artists’ Association of Lapland was a scholarship recipient of the Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation. The scholarship amounts to EUR 10,000. The Barents Scholarships for Cultural Cooperation were awarded on Tuesday 26 October in Tromsø, Norway. Four scholarships were awarded.
The Artists’ Association of Lapland is the central organisation for professional artists and artistic associations within the cultural field in the Barents region. At the heart of the organisation’s activities are not only on gallery and exhibition activities but also art lending, international activities and the production of art-based services.
Maria Huhmarniemi, Chair of the Board of the Lapland Artists’ Association, explains how important the scholarship is for the organisation:
“We have worked hard in engaging in cultural cooperation in the Barents region. For us, crossing borders means the mobility of exhibitions and works, the production of international exhibitions in Finnish Lapland for local audiences, as well as friends and kindred spirits in the Barents region. The scholarship is an important sign of recognition.”
In 2021, two significant exhibitions produced by Lapland Artists’ Association were held that involved cooperation in the Barents region. The ‘Wiping the Ice-Cream Off Your Face’ exhibition in Rovaniemi marked the 30th anniversary of the Artists’ Association of Lapland, to which Nordic and Russian artists and members of the Association were invited. The exhibition invited to reconsider notions about the North and contemporary Arctic culture outside the mainstream, conventional way of thinking by dismantling stereotypes of the Arctic as a barren wintery destination and sparked discussion on the need and means for de-arcticfication.
The fourth Young Arctic Artists exhibition, under thematic umbrella of Fight / Kamppailu”, was arranged in Rovaniemi, and it is currently in Alta, Norway. The exhibition builds on the concepts of multiculturalism and multilingualism in the Barents region. In addition to indigenous peoples and national majorities, there are also other linguistic and cultural minority groups in the region. The Fight / Kamppailu exhibition showcases cultural richness in the region, but also cultural conflicts and the experiences of cultural minorities in the past and today.
The Artists’ Association of Lapland was founded in 1990. The Association has cooperated in the Barents region throughout its existence, for example by financial support from the Nordic Culture Fund and the Russia programme for arts and culture granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In earlier years, the Rovaniemi office of the Arts Promotion Centre played a significant role in cooperation in the Barents region.
Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation
The Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation is awarded every two years. It is granted simultaneously in each of the four countries in the Barents region: Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia.
The purpose of the scholarship is to highlight cooperation across borders and recognise artistic excellence and encourage people to work together in the Barents region. The scholarship also serves to make artists and cultural activities in the Barents region better known.
The Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation was first awarded in 2017. At that time, it was awarded to Jaakko Heikkilä, a photographer from Tornio. In 2019, the Scholarship was awarded to the Northern Finnish cultural magazine Kaltio.