The award


“For the past 40 years I have dreamed of establishing an award for the purpose of encouraging young artists,” says Her Majesty Queen Sonja.

Queen Sonja’s dream has now become a reality. In 2010, Kjell Nupen (1955–2014) invited the Queen and Ørnulf Opdahl to Atelje Larsen, run by printmaker Ole Larsen, to experiment with the art of printmaking. The two artists realised immediately from the first session that Queen Sonja’s pieces were too good to be stowed away in a drawer.

“That was when the idea of creating a joint portfolio that could form the financial basis for an award took shape,” says Queen Sonja.

The collaboration resulted in the project entitled “Three journeys – three landscapes”, a collection of graphic works. The proceeds from the sale of these works were used to establish the Foundation for what was originally called the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award.

The main purpose of the H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation is to generate interest in graphic art and to encourage young artists to develop both their craft and their unique voice. The Foundation presents the Queen Sonja Print Award every other year. The winner receives a cash prize of NOK 400 000 and an educational stay at the Atelje Larsen art studio in Helsingborg, Sweden. The first prizewinner was Finnish printmaker Tiina Kivinen, who received the award in Oslo on 14 June 2012.

The process