The HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation was established in 2011 with the mission to promote graphic art, foster interest, and stimulate the development of contemporary printmaking.
The Foundation is committed to supporting and encouraging various expressions and techniques within the realm of graphic art. With roots in both tradition and craftsmanship, the field of graphic art is currently undergoing an expansion of its means of expression while reviving well-established techniques. Artists have long recognized the unique power of expression and communication that prints offer.
The Foundation's primary activities include acknowledging outstanding graphic artists through awards. Currently, the Foundation presents three distinct awards:
The Queen Sonja Print Award: Recognizing artists who have excelled in the art of printmaking, this prestigious graphic art award stands as the largest of its kind internationally. It was formerly known as the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award.
The QSPA Inspiration Award: In memory of Kjell Nupen, this award acknowledges emerging graphic artists and printmakers from the Nordic countries. It is awarded in collaboration with master printer Bill Goldston at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE). The award was first introduced as the Kjell Nupen Memorial Grant in 2014.
The QSPA Lifetime Award: Introduced in 2018, this is the newest addition to the QSPA awards. It serves as a tribute to an artist's career and lifetime contributions to graphic art and printmaking.
In addition to presenting awards to exceptional graphic artists, the HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation actively engages in a variety of initiatives aimed at promoting the art of printmaking.